Nov 6, 2014
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Just six months after receiving a grant, a second park built by neighborhood residents is set to open in the Iron Triangle on Friday.

Harbour-8 Park, located between Harbour Way and 8th Street (along the Richmond Greenway between Chanselor and Ohio avenues), will officially open with a public ceremony at noon Friday.

See the flyer posted below for more event details.

The park features a children’s playground “unlike any other in the Bay Area” that was designed and executed by Pogo Park, a nonprofit staffed entirely with Iron Triangle residents.

Harbour-8 Park boasts a huge sandbox made of redwood stumps and a cement sculpture equipped with a waterfall system that can be activated by a push of a button. Richmond’s Scientific Art Studio helped build the system, according to Pogo Park.

Iron Triangle's Harbour-8 Park finished in just six months; officially opens Friday

This photo was taken by Pogo Park in July, when construction of the Harbour-8 park began.

Pogo Park brought $5,000 worth of Olympic sand – which doesn’t stick to your skin like other sands – to use at the new park.

The park also includes a large “spiderweb” of woven rope attached to six poles made of Douglas fir wood that children can climb upon. Also, the park has a clubhouse, two sets of swings, colorful murals and hand-carved, shaded benches made from redwood logs.

The entrance to the park from 9th Street is marked by a 10-foot, 3000-pound totem, created under the direction of master sculptor Peter Phibbs, Pogo Park said.

The park is not entirely finished. Future plans include community gardens, a fruit tree orchard and bioswales for stormwater management, Pogo Park founder Toody Maher said in a statement.

harbour-8.11-6The park’s construction began in July, two months after city officials learned the Trust for Public Land had awarded the project a grant.

Pogo Park’s resident team has also received praise for similarly creating the Iron Triangle’s Elm Playlot at 720 Elm Ave., which was such a success last summer that its hours were extended.

Jennifer Isacoff, director of Parks for People in the Bay Area, said in a statement issued by Pogo Park that “a quick intervention and focused investment can have a big impact on the community.”

“[The Harbour-8] project is not just about building a park,” says Maher. “It’s also about community and economic development. It’s about giving people from the neighborhood an opportunity to be involved and learn valuable skills in design, construction, and fabrication.”

And, of course, the parks offer a safe place for children of a rough neighborhood to play and get exercise.

Members of Pogo Park Richmond’s resident team who designed and built Harbour-8 Park include Project Manager Richard Muro, Daniela Guadalupe, Karina Guadalupe, Carmen Lee, Tonie Lee, Toody Maher, Jose Juan Reyes, Terrence Tolbert, Jesus Varga, Armando Ybarra, and Nancy Ybarra.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.