June 2019- Tree Replacement Plan
During the week of June 3, Public Works staff identified several trees surrounding the new Albert Park playground that were no longer healthy and posed a safety hazard to park users. This was confirmed by our arborists Urban Forestry Associates, who performed multiple thorough site inspections of the 6 trees. The trees were removed Tuesday 6/4 and Friday 6/7.
The City has consulted with Urban Forestry Associates on the ideal replacement trees to ensure the park continues to have the greenery we know and love. London Plane Tree has been recommended for the center of the playground and Red Oak for the tree spaces outside of the playground. The London Plane tree is a stable tree that can create a large canopy to provide shade to the park. The tree is also most commonly found in Gerstle Park and thus will match the character of the neighborhood. The Red Oak was selected as the park and community center already have a collection of Red and Tan Oaks so they will match the rest of the trees. The replanting will be done as soon as the trees can be sourced.
The playground is open for regular play.
We appreciate your patience and will do our best to communicate when new trees will be planted.
April 2019- Opening Celebrations
Community members, City staff, and elected officials gathered to celebrate the official playground re-opening at a ceremony on Monday, April 29. Donors and community partners were recognized for their role in making the dream of a new playground possible as well as celebrating the transformation of the space into a beautiful and safe area for families to gather and enjoy.
Thanks to community partners, the B Team, Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association, local businesses, and neighbors, more than $40,000 in donations were contributed toward the project as well as in-kind donations of hardscape removal and trash removal during a community clean-up events. “This project serves as a wonderful model for community-City collaboration. Together we transformed an underused space into an area that we can all be proud of," said Ashley Howe, Senior Recreation Supervisor.
December 2018- Preparing for Construction
The City’s contractor M3 Integrated Services has been working on clearing the future playground area. The contractor has begun demolition of the existing asphalt pathways and light standards. They are on schedule for a park dedication early next year.
Overview of the Albert Park Improvement Project
In 2015 the San Rafael Park and Recreation Commission held nine months of outreach meetings asking residents to identify their priorities for neighborhood parks. More than 60 suggestions were made for Albert Park, but the highest priority was recognized as the need for the replacement of equipment for the small children’s play area.
The City Council approved $50,000 to be allocated from San Rafael’s portion of Measure A funds, which was a ¼ cent sales tax increase to support parks and open space county wide and approved by Marin voters in November 2012.
In the spring of 2016, a group of local residents, which is now called the B Team, organized to lead awareness and improvements to public spaces along B Street in Central San Rafael. One of the goals for the B Team is to increase the amenities in Albert Park to attract more neighborhood users. The B Team pitched the idea to the Commission and to the City Council and won approval and additional funding for the expansion of the planned play area project.
The B Team is partnering with the City to communicate with residents about the project and the process to determine what will be built. They are also leaders in fundraising to supplement City financial support for the play area and amenities.
The City contracted Abey/Arnold Associates, Landscape Architects to conduct public meetings and develop design concepts for the Albert Park Improvement Project. The project area is between the Community Center and the Marin Bocce courts.