FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE’s mission is to ensure that the will of the voters in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, who passed Measure WW in 2008 by 71.9%, is enforced and that the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) use funds made available in that bond to acquire, expand and enhance one of the most used and beloved of our city’s treasures – Crab Cove Regional Park. Measure WW directs that the EBRPD “Acquire appropriate surplus property if it becomes available.” Approximately $6.5 million dollars were included in Measure WW and a portion of that money was used to purchase the 3.899-acre property on McKay Avenue, located between the bay and the parking lot of the existing Federal Building Complex. Now, the Federal Government has declared the connecting parcel of land consisting of the Federal Building Complex to be surplus federal property and as such, should be available for acquisition by the EBRPD. FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE believe that we must ensure that the intention of Alameda and Contra Costa voters, as set forth in Measures WW, be carried out and that the existing Federal Building Complex, now surplus federal property be zoned for open space and is acquired for expansion to existing recreation space, using the remainder of the funds set aside by Measure WW.
Concurrently, FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE will work to oppose an existing and active proposal by the Federal Government to turn the Federal Building Complex on McKay Street into an extensive homeless facility which would include 140 beds for homeless people experiencing trauma, emotional and mental behavioral issues and homeless seniors; and, a 24 hour drop in center which will allow homeless people to come in off the street and sleep in the center. This project is called the “Alameda Respite and Wellness Center.” This homeless facility will not only serve the approximately 200 homeless people in the City of Alameda but will also serve any of the 5000 homeless people in the County of Alameda who choose to come to Alameda to utilize the 24 hour drop in center. This extensive homeless facility will be located along McKay Avenue which is also the main entrance to Crab Cove and provides much of the parking for Crab Cove.
FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are extremely concerned that if the EBRPD does not quickly act to acquire the now surplus federal land on McKay Avenue and use the land to expand Crab Cove Park, it will be extremely difficult to stop the Federal Government from pushing through their proposed homeless facility. Although FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are extremely sympathetic to the need to assist the growing homeless population, we do not believe that placing an extensive homeless facility next to a highly utilized public park is an appropriate or workable solution. FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are exploring alternative possible locations for the facility.
However, if the EBRPD misses this opportunity to acquire the only available land adjacent to Crab Cove, then there will be no regaining that opportunity, Crab Cove Regional Park is one the Crown Jewels of the City of Alameda. In fact, it was just voted “The Best Place to Bring Your Children” by the readers of the “Alameda Magazine.” Crab Cove provides educational programs for hundreds of students year-round. Hundreds of people attend the “Summer Concert” series, the “Annual Sand Sculpture Contest,” the “See Jane Run” race to fight Breast Cancer, the “Annual Easter Egg” celebration and multiple other yearly events. Multiple schools bring children to Crab Cove for field trips. Many families and organizations hold yearly get togethers, thousands of people picnic, walk, run, cycle, swim, birdwatch, kitesurf, wind surf, kayak, play soccer, hold race meets and participate in multitudes of activities year-round. We must not lose this opportunity to expand this precious resource.
Friends Of Crab Cove
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