THE SUNOL BUSINESS GUILD Park Committee has been very busy and they'll
not be resting anytime soon. The park acreage, which is owned
by Alameda County, is leased by the Pacific Locomotive Association
(PLA). The SBG, in turn, has a memorandum of understanding with
the PLA to develop and operate the park. Got that?
Guild members and other community volunteers, with help from
the county, started with a basic picnic and event area and a
maintenance schedule. The guild made the park a top priority
in 2000, and Jim O'Laughlin headed up the Park Committee. "One
of the most significant aspects of this project," Jim said,
"is that it has truly been a community effort."
Last year the SBG put over $10,000 into the park and has committed
more than that for this year. "The guild has provided the
funding, but the people in the community have done the work,"
Jim continued. Guild members who have volunteered many hours
of labor, provided machinery and sought out affordable materials
include Lorie Gronley, Bob Saia, Dimitri Kastriotis, Dan Williams,
Dan Reasor, Bob Olsaski, Bud Hall, Ario Ysit, Bob Foster and
Frank Fries. Jim cut the lawn for the first year and reported
that the guild is looking for a permanent solution to lawn maintenance.
"Many people who are not in the guild have been very active
and volunteered a great amount of time and talent," Jim
said. "Robb Marshall, Tom Harland, Roy Livingston, Al Mason,
Neil Davies, Randy Mills, Derek Johnson and Bill Foland have
helped, among others." Other non-members, such as Sarah
Mills, attended Park Committee meetings and contributed planning
input and problem solving. Alameda County helped, too, drilling
holes for the trees, bringing in crushed rock for the parking
lot and removing debris.
The first major improvement was the lawn area, installed for
the Christmas Tree Lighting in December, 2000. This required
irrigation, which was then expanded to the rest of the park
for landscaping. Over 2,500 yards of dirt were hauled into the
park to grade it for drainage, and over 80 trees and over 80
roses were planted. "Our planting is limited by water,"
Jim explained, noting that water and electricity are currently
provided by the PLA. A hard surface was then installed around
the lawn to provide a clean, low maintenance area for tables
Current projects include relocating the supplies and equipment
container to the lower parking area, replacing the old stage
with a trellis structure; and continuing the walking path around
the park perimeter. All of these projects are planned for completion
prior to the annual Chili Cook-Off and Bed Races scheduled for
October 6. And, of course, there's the ongoing maintenance.
"The Chili Cook-Off is our major fund raiser," Jim
stated. "It has provided and will continue to provide funds
for the development of the park." The guild also offers
an opportunity to support the park through its Patrons of the
Trees program. For a donation of $50, you can sponsor a tree
and place your name or the name of a loved one on a plaque to
be installed at the park entrance.
Jim recently became the SBG's president, and Dan Reasor has
taken the helm of the Park Committee. "We are very grateful
for all the help we've gotten and hope the support continues,"
Jim concluded. "Suggestions, questions, and opinions related
to the park development are welcome." If you'd like to
get involved, leave a message for Dan on the Business Guild's
voice mail at 925-862-0472 and watch the town bulletin board
for meeting notices.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The Save Our Sunol Memorial Day Service
and Picnic is scheduled for May 27. The tuneful Debra Knox will
fill the air with music once again, SOS will provide barbecued
chicken, hotdogs and hamburgers, and y'all can bring a side
dish to share. More details coming soon!