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Planning Begins for Jean Sweeney Open Space Park on Beltline Property

Planning for the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park on the old Beltline property begins in February, 2013.

Planning for the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park on the old Beltline property begins in February, 2013.

Dear Editor,

In 2002, Jean Sweeney collected signatures and got an initiative placed on the ballot so we could vote to protect 23 acres of former Alameda Beltline Railroad property as open space. In her Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition that she filed with the city clerk, Jean described the Beltline Railroad Yard as quiet, pristine, and secluded; a wonderful treasure that must be saved. Jean had a vision of a space where we could enjoy the out-of-doors, with long walks, some community gardens, native California plants and native creatures, among other ideas. That initiative was passed by the people of Alameda and meant that the land could not be used for other purposes.

The Alameda Recreation & Parks Department has scheduled two community meetings for public input about what we want this open space to look like. (Saturday, Feb. 9, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the O’Club, and Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers [televised]) We have a chance to make these 23 acres a joy for all of our citizens and visitors to our wonderful island. It’s up to us to say how we would like this park to be developed. Plan on coming to the meetings and joining in this great adventure. The City Council voted to name the park The Jean Sweeney Open Space Preserve. Unfortunately, Jean will not be here to see her dream park come about, but we can create a great legacy for her and build a place she would be proud to bear her name.

We will be publishing information regarding the park development as news becomes available. We invite everyone to become involved. To join the email list send a request to or contact Jim Sweeney at 510-522-1579 or send a card to him at Jim Sweeney, 212 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501.

An audio CD of a forum honoring Jean, created by Joseph Woodard Multimedia, is available by sending email to During the forum Jean tells the story, in her own words, of the history behind her research and the final solution to save this wonderful 23 acres as open space for all of the people of Alameda.

To find our Facebook page, search on Facebook for “Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, Alameda, CA”

See you at the planning meetings for the The Jean Sweeney Open Space Preserve.

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