Civic Center Park

Photo courtesy of City of Oakley

The fall of a piece of the city’s history in Civic Center Park will end up growing into a bright future.

One of the park’s two nearly 200-year-old oak trees toppled last year, but a slew of park improvements will blossom in its place.

City officials have confirmed that a blue sequoia tree, additional amphitheater seating, a small children’s playground and additional landscaping will be added to the park. 

“We feel as a staff this brings a number of components that would really complement the Civic Center Park and add to its beauty,” said Public Works Director Kevin Rohani.

The estimated 35- to 40-foot-tall blue sequoia, with potential to grow three feet a year until it reaches 70-100 feet, will be the new centerpiece, closer to the veterans’ memorial area, and possibly serving as the city’s future Christmas tree.

A playground, with play features resembling tree trunks and stumps, will be erected, along with additional amphitheater seating, mirroring the park’s existing curved-seating layout.

Rohani noted that residents have long suggested that the city add a playground to the park, and additional seating is always desired to accommodate visitors attending concerts and other events.

“Our Civic Center Park is a beautiful jewel in our community,” Rohani said. “We use it for an assortment of activities. This past year, with COVID, we have not been able to utilize it to its fullest, but all indications are when we get to the summer months, and with some of the issues with the pandemic going away, we will be back to full use.”

The council, which approved the design, suggested only minor modifications.

“I think it’s great,” said City Councilmember Anissa Williams. “I think we just need to plan ahead for any Christmas festivities. We do want to make it super welcoming.”

Vice Mayor Randy Pope agreed.

“I love the idea, love the concept,” he said.

Contracts for the work, with designated costs, are expected to go before the council, but the city has not disclosed when the project might be completed.

To view a rendering of the proposed additions, visit bit.ly/2O1gXww.

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