Jean Sweeney Open Space Urban Ag Project
Jean Sweeney Open Space Park (Sweeney Park) is a 25-acre community park located in the central west area of the community. The park site is the former Alameda Beltline Railroad property that was secured by the City, with significant advocacy by long-time resident Jean Sweeney. It is the City of Alameda’s (City) largest park and after opening two of four phases in 2018. The City applied for the Statewide Park Program grant to update, design, and construct the most western phase of the park called the Urban Agriculture Phase which, most notably, would include:
- a community garden with plots for Alameda residents;
- free plots for Alameda Food Bank constituents, to address food insecurity in our community;
- large plots for faith organizations and others to provide food for those in need; and
- ·opportunities for educational workshops on garden related topics.
The western phase of Sweeney Park includes the community garden, a second playground, demonstration gardens to model drought tolerant landscapes, a tool and seed lending library in collaboration with the Alameda Free Library, an outdoor classroom, a second parking lot, restroom and small picnic areas. The community garden is planned to serve Alameda residents, as well as address food insecurity in the community, through collaborations with the Alameda Food Bank, local faith organizations, and Alameda Backyard Growers. A portion of the garden plots will be provided at no cost to Alameda Food Bank constituents, with gardening workshops and guidance provided by Alameda Backyard Growers. Larger plots will be available to faith organizations who grow food to distribute to those who are in need.
In February 2021, city staff held a community input meeting and the public also had the opportunity to provide input through an online survey. Click here(PDF, 553KB) for the survey results.
The city will learn whether it received the grant later this summer and if received, will then do a more detailed design update. The public will have more opportunities to provide feedback when this detailed design is brought to the Recreation and Parks Commission and City Council for final approval.