For over two and a half years, Friends of Lincoln Square Park has been tirelessly working to support the park's facilities, staff, and community. While we've been involved in multiple projects at the park, we remain focused on building an expanded and improved recreation center. Anyone who spends time at the Lincoln Recreation Center can see that it barely fits existing programs, much less accommodate the very visible development growth all around the park.
To address this urgent community need, we've started co-hosting Lincoln Summer Nights, formed Friends of Lincoln Square Park, and shared our vision for a larger and improved recreation center. We've formed an incredibly dedicated steering committee and completed conceptual designs for a new recreation center. In case you're just hearing about us for the first time, here's a brief recap on our progress to date.
Lincoln Summer Nights
Lincoln Summer Nights were launched by volunteers in 2016 in order to provide a first Friday outdoor event in the heart of Oakland Chinatown. Each Summer, we partner with over a dozen community organizations to put on a family-friendly gathering for every generation to celebrate and have fun together. Hundreds of families and seniors attend to eat, play games, and enjoy entertainment by local community groups. These events give us an opportunity to talk to hundreds of community members about the park and gather input and ideas for the recreation center.
Community Partners include: Lincoln Square Recreation Center, Oakland Parks and Recreation and Youth Development, Oakland Public Library, Asian Health Services, AYPAL (Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership), AYSC (Asian Youth Services Committee), APSC (Asian Prisoners Support Committee), The Spot Youth Center, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and local businesses
Our first public community outreach meeting to discuss the need for a new recreation center was by Councilmember Abel Guillen in March of 2017. Over 250 people packed into the Gym to attend CM Guillen's community workshop, including seniors, students, school administrators and community organizations. Community members asked questions, shared their ideas and heard about the long process for rebuilding the recreation center. Everyone agreed more space was needed and CM Guillen pledged to work with the community to rebuild a larger recreation center. Other outreach meetings and activities have included:
In addition to forming a steering committee of dedicated volunteers representing a broad range of community stakeholders, we've been incredibly fortunate to have the support of a growing number of local organizations including:
In 2017, we raised enough money to hire Byrens Kim-Design Works to complete a space planning analysis which concluded we needed a center more than twice the size of our current center just to accommodate our existing programming. We then worked with Byrens Kim to develop conceptual designs for a larger center to be shared with the community in order to gather feedback. The new center would be three stories and use the existing space more efficiently, without sacrificing any of the current outdoor space.
We know we can't build an new recreation center without public support, so we've worked hard to make sure our voices are heard.
We've done a lot to get this program off the ground, but we need more support from the City, community partners, local foundations and businesses and the public in order to bring this project closer to reality. Once-in-a-generation projects like this don't happen over night and it's going to take a while to gather the support and funding required to build a larger recreation center.
The need is now. The time is here, we're ready to move forward, and it can’t happen without YOU! Please make a generation donation today and reach out to us to get involved in this exciting community endeavor.