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.
"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.
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