Plans finalized for nature pavilion at Shadow Cliffs

Groundbreaking set for April with designs approved, funding in place

Director Ayn Wieskamp joins Nancy and Gary Harrington at event marking approval of designs for new Shadow Cliffs nature pavilion. (Photo courtesy of EBRPD)

The East Bay Regional Park District is moving forward with building a new outdoor interpretive pavilion at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton next year.

Design plans have been finalized and funding has been fully secured for the estimated $900,000 project, which will add the 1,000-square-foot educational hub complete with exhibits highlighting the natural and cultural history of the park, as well as information about the recreational opportunities available in the park's nature area.

"During peak months, Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area sees 35,000-45,000 visitors per month, many for swimming, boating and fishing at the lake," EBRPD Board Director Ayn Wieskamp, whose district includes Pleasanton, said in a statement. "The nature pavilion will help better connect visitors to the park's larger nature area and its trails for walking, hiking, biking and nature-watching."

Wieskamp joined EBRPD officials and Nancy and Gary Harrington -- the Pleasanton arts and education benefactors who have championed the pavilion project -- to mark the project approvals with a photo-op at Shadow Cliffs earlier this fall.

"It's hard to believe that this pavilion is actually going to be built," Nancy Harrington told the Weekly. "It will be incredible."

"Since we've retired, Gary and I have discussed this hidden nature area in Shadow Cliffs," she added. "We wondered if there was anything we could do to help residents in our city learn about what there was to see and learn at the park. With the increased population in the Bay Area and traffic, how convenient it is to more fully utilize a park we have in our backyard."

Located off Stanley Boulevard in eastern Pleasanton, Shadow Cliffs includes a nature area with 116 acres of cottonwood and willow-lined creek open space, providing a natural oasis for a wide variety of wildlife.

In addition to the educational exhibits about the park's natural resources, the new pavilion will provide a shaded and weather-protected gathering place for school children that visit year-round on field trips, according to EBRPD officials. It will also help serve the growing number of public, non-school programs, including the monthly Lakeside Littles and "How Does Your Garden Grow" programs.

The groundbreaking is scheduled to occur in April, with the goal of having the project completed by the end of the year.

The Harringtons provided a lead donation of $200,000 to support the pavilion. Other funding came from state and nonprofit grants and individual contributions, including a California State Parks grant and a donation from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation. The remainder was funded by the park district.

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7 people like this
Posted by KHarvey
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 31, 2018 at 10:01 am

Nancy and Gary Harrington are Pleasanton jewels! They never cease to amaze me with their generosity and community spirit. Our beloved hometown is so much better because of their many projects. Thank you Gary and Nancy!

1 person likes this
Posted by PDQ
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Dec 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm

We used to have our union picnic here but it was too difficult to keep the public from taking our food.You may get some free labor and or material if you reach out to local union trades. We would love to return here to have our picnics.

4 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Dec 31, 2018 at 3:17 pm

David is a registered user.

I’m happy we have the Harrington’s to donate money to our community. Maybe this will get EBRPD and other funding sources to maintain the Shadow Cliffs Open spaces. There are fish hooks and lines along the paths of the ponds and lakes enough to get entangled in, as well as tons of cigarette butts, some old clothing, and garbage visible in the shallows. We have made so many calls but EBRPD has no volunteer clean up days and I’m sad to say Ms Wieskamp was not responsive. I’d like to think of what could be accomplished along with the educational pavilion. Maybe an exhibit about cleaning up our urban waterways and wildlife areas.

7 people like this
Posted by Reality Bites
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Jan 1, 2019 at 8:20 pm

Great, the nature pavilion that can focus on the very unnatural quarry filled with run-off and garbage. There is nothing natural about SC. Maybe the Harringtons could have donated money to keep the much loved waterslides at SC. Kids will be so happy to know they traded their summer fun for a pavilion where a bunch of crusty old bird watchers can hang out!

1 person likes this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 2, 2019 at 11:31 am

I'm sure that all of the kids that lined up for the water slides will now form a long line waiting to read the signs in the interpretive displays. No, wait, they'll be spending their money in Dublin.

Like this comment
Posted by Scott
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jan 2, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Let's hope there will some discussion about picking and properly disposing of dog wastes when at this park. A family of 3 fox pups died of parvo 2 years ago because of this.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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