Protect Public Land From Private Takeovers

Categories: Announcements, Autonomous Action, Events

Oakland’s beautiful and wild Knowland Park is under threat, and we need your help at an important City Council vote. Right now, the free public park is home to a range of wildlife, including threatened species, native grasslands, and woodlands.

However, the Oakland Zoo is trying to take over the heart of the park–77 acres!–which would displace local wildlife…for an exhibit about species that are regionally extinct due to development. What?! 

This would also mean privatizing our public park, and since the zoo has been working behind closed doors with local officials for years, the City Council just might let them do this. Unless we all stand up.

We need YOU to come to Oakland’s City Council Meeting the night of Tues 11/18, to protect this important public park from privatization.

For years, this political process has been behind closed doors, away from the public eye. But this is PUBLIC parkland, and we should have a say. The City Council needs to know we’re paying attention. 

The zoo will be bussing in its employees, and we need to pack the room and show them what democracy looks like. It is absolutely critical that we turn out a BIG crowd.

The Oakland City Council will meet on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 starting at 5:30 pm at Oakland City Hall to vote on whether to grant the zoo additional park acreage. The zoo is trying to take even MORE parkland from the public to “mitigate” for destroying the best of it…and if the Council votes for the zoo on 11/18, that’s it. It would set a terrible precedent.

Don’t stand for this. Please RSVP to come to City Hall on Tues 11/18 — last chance to protect our park!

Join us at the City Council meeting to tell the City Council what the wildlife protection agencies recommended in the first place, and the public has been demanding for years:  move the development elsewhere—and preserve the park for all the resident wildlife, including the prime habitat for the threatened Alameda Whipsnake, rather than having to mitigate for its loss.

Sign up here if you can come or want to help out:

Thanks for helping us win this fight!


Poster note: Admission to the Oakland Zoo is $15.75 ($12.75 for 2-14 year olds)  and $8 for parking. And there are NO FREE DAYS. So basically, a working class family can not afford to visit this publicly funded institution.  From Wikipedia:

Under Joseph R. Knowland, Chairman of the California State Park Commission, California purchased the land and in 1950 renamed the park to Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park……

….Since 1998, the Zoo has proposed several different plans to expand its operations into the neighboring Knowland Park. As of November 2014, the plans involve taking 77 acres of the city-owned park’s western ridge to build a 56-acre development with over 50 structures, including a 3-story visitor center, high-end restaurant, offices, interpretive center, paved walkways, 15-car gondola with 7 towers up to 68-feet high, and 100+ person overnight camp compound. development. The project calls for an 8-foot chain-link perimeter fence topped with 3 feet of barbed wire and expanded and paved access roads.[4]

The Zoo argues that the expansion will allow them to educate visitors on the importance of environmental conservation, while the local activist group, Friends of Knowland Park, argues that the expansion will endanger the threatened ecosystems the Zoo claims to want to preserve. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is responsible for enforcing the California Endangered Species Act has also questioned the Zoological Society’s approach to conservation and mitigation particularly as it relates to the threatened Alameda whipsnake.

Knowland was the owner of the Oakland Tribune and a GOP politico.


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