Splash Pad Farmers Market Advisory Committee

Pat Kernighan, former District 2 City of Oakland Councilwoman, initiated the Splash Pad Farmers Market Advisory Committee (now referred to as Grand Lake Farmers Market Advisory Committee) in the spring of 2007.

It’s original Mission Statement defined its basic parameters which included provisions for community input, business district promotion and protection of the park’s infrastructure. The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has been managing the weekly farmers market since the market opened under the 580 freeway in the late 1990’s. The City redeveloped Splash Pad Park in 2003 enlarging the park and designing it, in part, to host the weekly farmers market.

In 2009, Walter Hood, the Landscape Architect for Splash Pad Park, was selected by the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum as the Landscape Architect of the Year – partly in recognition of the community benefits that accrued from the new park. Since 2003, he has been featured (along with the park itself) in a stunning array of publications. Oaklanders can be most proud of this truly significant park, and will hopefully support the sustaining of it as a community resource.

Current Priorities & Objectives

The Committee is pursuing the following as its highest priorities:

  • Help facilitate a new five year agreement between the City of Oakland and AIM that will:
    • Reflect holistic consideration for a long term sustainable economic model.
    • Provide operational criteria that will preserve the park.
    • Clarify roles and key responsibilities for the City, AIM, and the Citizens Advisory Committee.
  • Work with AIM on a number of initiatives, including:
    • Increase and improve outreach to the Oakland community.
    • Providing ongoing educational opportunities in support of nutrition and food justice.
    • Rebrand the market to enhance its Oakland identity.
    • Engaging local merchants to participate in the market – including a Chef’s Table and a booth for merchants to use on a rotational basis to promote their business.
    • Reduce congestion in the park on market days.
    • Promote awareness and use of Lakeview School parking lot.
  • Address conditions in the park in need of maintenance and repair.
  • Facilitate a survey of local merchants to assess benefits and issues associated with the farmers market.
  • Reinvigorate the Committee and its activities.

Recent News

The election of Nikki Fortunato Bas as District #2 Councilmember is introducing a change in leadership. All involved parties are going through an introductory process and determining how best to resume and continue the negotiations for the new agreement between the City and AIM.

Park Conditions Report

There are a number of issues associated with park conditions. The biggest problem is the erosion of the areas that were originally covered with pea gravel. Most of the gravel has dispersed and the underlying heavy plastic grid is exposed and becoming damaged. All of this creates tripping hazards and degrades the appearance of the park.

The condition of the sod, which has always been a problem, needs to be revisited and problem areas addressed.

The committee needs to work with the City to produce a comprehensive list of repairs and maintenance and determine how to get work done.

A long-term rat infestation is currently under control thanks to the Public Works Department’s decision to hire an integrated pest management company. Another critical factor was city staff’s decision to remove two fern beds that offered ideal conditions for rats to nest. Mary Jo Sutton and her Grand Crew volunteer team have recently replaced those two fern beds with California native plants, which has the community beds looking better than ever. Successful ongoing management of the rat population will depend upon the city continuing its current contract with the outside vendor.


Look for the Committee to re-establish regular meeting dates. Meetings will be held every other month at the family/meeting room in the Lakeshore Baptist Church. Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and are concluded by 8:30 p.m. You are welcome and encouraged to attend. You can make a difference!

If you have questions, concerns, or want to become involved, contact Jerry Barclay at jerrylbarclay@outlook.com.