"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Help Save Knowland Park!

Location: Oakland, CA

Website: www.saveknowland.org

Knowland Park is a 500-acre wildland park in the Oakland hills, deeded to the city in the 1970s under the condition that it would always remain a park. Located above the Oakland Zoo, which sits on a portion of the property, it is the largest and most pristine of Oakland’s parks, a thriving hotspot for rare native plants and wildlife. But it has never been listed on the city’s Parks website, despite repeated requests.

Thus its amazing natural resources remain relatively undiscovered by the public.

In 2011, the City approved a major “conservation” theme park expansion of the Oakland Zoo into more than 50 acres of sensitive wildlife and rare plant habitat in the undeveloped area of the park. The development would include an aerial gondola ride with 60-foot towers and a three-story ridgetop visitor center, restaurant and gift shop, all approved without a full Environmental Impact Report and over the protests of numerous environmental and citizens’ groups.

Two of these groups, the Friends of Knowland Park and the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, have filed a lawsuit aimed at forcing the City to complete a full environmental review as required under the California Environmental Quality Act.

A full EIR would require thorough consideration of other alternatives to this destructive and expensive project.

0ur goals are to save the park’s precious habitat for existing wildlife and to protect the remainder of Knowland Park from further development, specifically:

- Ensure preservation of the largest remaining piece of open space owned by the city of Oakland for wildlife habitat, native plants and free public access.

- Dissuade the Zoo from  its current ill-conceived expansion plan and work toward a more modest plan that serves an authentic conservation goal: preserving wildlife habitat.

- Reduce or mitigate traffic congestion, noise/light and air pollution impacts on surrounding communities and wildlife.

- Increase community awareness of the threats to open space and wildlife habitat in the South Bay hills and the relationships between the fight to protect Knowland Park and other community concerns.

- Require the City to complete a full Environmental Impact Report.

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