A new book, “Living Landscape: The Extraordinary Rise of the East Bay Regional Park District and How It Preserved 100,000 Acres,” by author and historian Laura McCreery traces the East Bay Regional Park District’s 75-year history, from its beginnings in the depths of the Great Depression when voters approved a tax hike to acquire “surplus” watershed lands to its establishment as the first regional park special district in the United States.
The agency’s unwavering focus and sophisticated methods have allowed it to preserve 100,000 acres of public parklands in 65 parks throughout San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay and become the largest regional park agency in the United States.
The book explores the politically charged annexation of new territory in 1964, board members whose controversial tactics nearly brought the agency to its knees, the clashes of “pure” open-space advocates with those favoring increased public access to parks, and many more pivotal moments.
Set against the coming of age of the environmental movement, the book reveals how these extraordinary events unfolded, through the eyes and words of people behind the scenes. Living Landscape informs and surprises readers interested in the environment, California history, politics, law, or simply a good story.
Narrated in captivating text with stunning full-color and black-and-white photographs, Living Landscape tells the story of the first park district of its kind, the campaign for ecoconservation and livability, and describes the people, places and innovation that have made the East Bay Regional Park District a model for park agencies in the nation and around the world.
The book is available at a discount price at all EBRPD visitor centers (for a list, visit www.ebparks.org/parks/vc) with the exception of Del Valle, Garin and Regional Parks Botanic Garden.
For more information, visit www.livinglandscape.net.