Cooley Landing Park opens in East Palo Alto

New park on Bay Road doubles park space in city

The City of East Palo Alto and the Midpeninsula Open Space District celebrated the grand opening of Cooley Landing Park on Bay Road Saturday, July 21.

The park's completion doubles the amount of park space in East Palo Alto.

"We're pleased to mark Cooley Landing Park's opening with a ceremony," stated Laura Martinez, mayor of East Palo Alto. "(The park) supports the strategic goals we've set for improving our city."

The park, located within the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve in East Palo Alto, was formerly closed to the public because it used to be a dumpsite for toxic waste.

The preliminary phase of the project included removing toxins from the soil, site cleanup and construction of a new section of the Bay Trail, which will connect the existing Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and the Palo Alto Baylands.

Future construction, which is planned for the next two to three years, will add more greenery and make the park more accessible to the public, East Palo Alto Youth and Family Services Manager Debbie Bickell said. Construction was planned in six phases and is slated to continue for two to three years.

Many donors -- including the California Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Palo Alto Baylands -- helped fund the project.

"We hope members of the community will come out to the park regularly because it's such a peaceful and beautiful space," Bickell said. "We hope it really connects the community and that it becomes a place for environmental education."

The grand-opening event took place at the park from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 21. The event included a brief opening ceremony, historical and environmental tours, and displays by the Ohlone Nation, Overland Stage Coach, Los Banos Buffalo Soldiers Association.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Is "construction of a new section of the Bay Trail, which will connect the existing Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and the Palo Alto Baylands" that project that is funded by the Stanford? That is a fantastic gift to the community.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by .
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

And hopefully not become a haven for vandals, graffiti, drug dealers, and gang members.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2012 at 2:13 am

I biked way out there one time from the Palo Alto Baylands. It is pretty isolated and there was not much there at the time. It would be nice if PAOnline would post some photos. It was a nice view. I just worry about the crime from EPA I have to admit.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michelle Daher
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

I was at the event. It's a beautiful location with a nearly 360 degree view of the San Francisco Bay from the Landing. A few residents out walking with their families or teaching their kids how to ride their bikes and have picnics in the fresh air. This is a fantastic site for no- to low-impact recreation.

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