Redwood Heights Park

Project Information

This project is to redesign Redwood Heights Recreation Center Park, located at the intersection of Redwood Road and Aliso Avenue. The idea is to update this park and create a modern space for meetups, gathering, activities, or just hanging out. The design will include sustainable, future-focused features for all community members - children, teens, and adults of all ages.

It can happen. 

It’s all connected. Recreation, curb appeal, community value… Our park is a shadow of what it could be: The property has been limping along in mediocrity for decades, with many areas ignored and unused, and falling into disrepair. If we do nothing, it will only get worse.

It doesn’t have to be like this. The potential is there, and it’s time to revive this wasted resource. We’re ready. We have a plan. Now what we need is you. You can help make this happen. See below for the Design Principles, what is Out of Scope, and Park History.


Existing Conditions

Here is a list of some, but not all, of the areas in need of improvement at the park.

  • Outdated play area
  • Poorly designed open space
  • Inadequate seating areas
  • Poor accessibility

Project Sponsors

Community Members crop

Next Steps

Phase 1 - Ideation: Complete

Gathered community ideas and values to create the design principles.

Phase 2 - Park Design: In-process

The first draft of the park design was completed in early February 2019. Revisions are being made and the initial design will be presented to the public at the Love Your Park event on April 13, 2019.

You can help make this happen...

Design Principles

These design principles (presented in alphabetical order) will be used as the foundation for the park redesign plans.

Accessibility Easy access for wheelchairs and strollers
Art Include art that is reflective of Oakland
Durability To ensure longevity, structures must be high-quality designed for long-term use
Exercise Provide areas for exercise activities
Fencing Attractive fencing for safety
Gathering Spaces Places for people to gather. Seating that is accessible, comfortable, well-maintained, and located in the right places is critical to successful placemaking. Seating includes Café style seating and picnic tables.
Hyperfunctionality Designs that provide multiple uses in a confined space
Inter-generational Park design considers multiple age groups
Lighting Lighting throughout the park for ambience and safety
Maintenance   Minimal maintenance needed from the City of Oakland
Natural Environment Take into consideration the natural environment of the Oakland Hills
Neighbors Consider nearby neighbors and how the park will affect them
Performance Performance area, e.g. amphitheater
Play Structure Play structure for all children ages 0 to 12
Smart Access Take into consideration all modes of transportation (today and in the future) that may need access to the park (food trucks, parking, traffic flow, pick up/drop off, autonomous vehicles, bicycles, etc.)
Verticality Consider building up – views, multi-purpose spaces, etc.

Out of Scope

These items have been identified as out-of-scope for the reasons shown below.

Dogs Unfortunately, dogs and kids do not mix well; plus current code does not allow for dogs in the park
Fire Features No fire features, such as fire pits, due to fire hazard risks in California
Hidden Spaces No hidden spaces that may encourage sex, drugs or other non-family friendly activities
Large-scale Concrete No large-scale concrete structures. It’s a small park, so keeping a more natural environment is important.
Large-scale Sports Facilities Sports facilities that take up the majority of the space in the park, e.g. football, soccer, baseball, swimming pool, etc.
Water Features No water features due to water conservation and maintenance requirements, plus not allowed in current code.

Park History

1920s Avenue Terrace Subdivision opened in the 1920s
1925   Real estate advertisement called the new neighborhood "the Piedmont of East Oakland"
1930s   Developers carved out more plots: first the Sunset Manor subdivision on upper 35th and Victor; then Redwood Gardens at Redwood and Detroit
1950s City acquired the "old nursery", which was known for its gothic columns (located where the Rec Center is today)
1957  Dedication of Redwood Heights Recreation Center Park
1989  Construction of a new Recreation Center approved
From RHIA newsletter: A new building is on the drawing board for the Redwood Heights Rec Center. After many, many, meeting, everyone has approved, and the project is now in the bidder’s hands. Final drawings are available for inspection at the office of Dennis Flannery, Oakland Rec Services Mgr., 273-3082.
1992  Redwood Heights Community Recreation Center open new facilities
2017  RHA starts project to reimagine the park
2019  Design plan underway and new park logo created

You can help make this happen...