"We are definitely growing, and the city is working hard to keep up," said Dan Yore, Oakley's parks and landscape supervisor. "We are going through our list of undeveloped land, and setting priorities."
A number of the proposed properties were originally set aside, but financially unsecured, by the county prior to Oakley's incorporation. Other acreage was part of a developer-fee commitment in which the allocated dollars never materialized.
Now, said Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick, with some extra money in the city coffers allocated to the development of these parks, the city is moving ahead.
"Oakley residents have been waiting for years to have their neighborhood parks," said Romick. "When the City Council was first formed in l999, they sat down and insisted that a plan for these parks be put in place. Now we have the ability take on some of this financially, and it's very exciting."
Photos courtesy of the City of Oakley
Nutmeg Park, located behind Laurel Elementary School, is expected to be ready for recreators this summer.
According to Yore, many of the planned parks are fairly large - more than three acres - and will be built in phases. Two parks currently under construction with funding by the city are Nutmeg Park and Holly Creek Park.
Slated for completion sometime this summer, Nutmeg Park, located on Nutmeg Drive behind Laurel Elementary School, is a 2.5-acre park costing about $685,000. The community park will include playgrounds, half-basketball courts and walking paths.
Holly Creek Park, located on Hagar Court, is the site of a former Contra Costa Water detention basin originally designed to store storm water runoff. Sitting on 6.5 acres, the site is now being recycled as a neighborhood park.
With an estimated cost of $850,000, the city is currently developing three of the park's acres and leaving the remaining acreage as a natural, unfenced area for the time being. The park, which is expected to open later this year, will have picnic areas, playgrounds and walking paths.
Next up on the city's to-do list are Laurel Crest Park and Creekside Park. The combined cost for the parks is between $700,000 and $1 million, with construction to begin this summer.
Laurel Crest Park, located on 10 acres at the corner of Laurel and Brown roads, will have ball fields and possibly bocce ball courts, as well as picnic and playground areas.
Creekside Park will sit on nine acres along Marsh Creek Road near the east end of Laurel Road. Possible features include a skate park, picnic and barbecue areas, ball fields and basketball courts.
Other projects presently in the works, which will be developer-built projects, include Cypress Grove, Magnolia Park and Live Oak parks.
"There are other developer projects also in the planning stages," said Yore. "There's a lot going on in Oakley."