Thursday, July 10, 2014

Willard Park

Not far from bustling neighborhood of Elmwood in Berkeley is Willard Park. It was opened in the early 70s and named after Suffragate and Temperance leader Frances Willard.


Here in the background you can see the clubhouse (and bathroom on left side of structure) where the Berkeley Day Camp is ran from.. a neat water fountain is seen in the foreground.


Toddler Play Area seen across an open field of dead grass.. Tennis Courts are to the right of the play area.
toddler playground & tennis courts

tennis courts

Willard Park is really a family, neighborhood park.. and is located just around the corner from Willard Middle School, which also uses the park for activities.

What I don't show is the smattering of homeless folks there that were sleeping under the few random trees.. Along with the homeless were random sunbathers, napping folks, ladies having picnics and playing cards. Nearby a couple bicyclists had taken a break from their ride to rest by cooling off and playing a game of "hacky sack" (they were doing pretty good too!)

It was a busy park mid-afternoon and I was hard-pressed to find a spot where I wanted to sit and read. It wasn't peaceful, nor restful. The day was such that with a strong breeze, a shady tree wasn't what I was looking for, and the grass that extended outside in the sun was very dead. I ended up sitting and watching the hacky sack players for a bit and then contemplated the random piece of brown glass from a beer bottle laying weather-worn in the grass next to me. The day camp kids on the far side of the park were playing some kind of soccer I think, well away from the resting homeless. The thing about Berkeley though, is that you can have a wide range of people of various backgrounds and economic situations enjoying the same park. No one is bothering anyone.

That said, this isn't really my idea of a 'meditate under a tree' and read type of park. I'm sure it is for someone..

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