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.