The Oakland Recycling Association (ORA) was a non-profit founded with the mission of providing recycling information, education and advocacy in Oakland before recycling was available. We were an early leader in the recycling movement and take shared credit for Oakland’s early adoption of curbside recycling. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ORA operated recycling buy-back and drop-off centers and at one-point shared space with the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. When the City of Oakland first began curbside recycling, ORA was contracted to provide outreach and education. Later, ORA introduced a waste motor oil education and recycling program. ORA staff and volunteers spoke at dozens of outdoor events and meetings to provide education on recycling. After the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, ORA opened a Construction Material Drop-off Site as an alternative to landfill. Once recycling became institutionalized ORA decided it was time to shut down shop. KOB seemed a very fitting non-profit organization to donate ORA’s balance of funds and we wish KOB well in its efforts.
In our continued effort to give back to our community, Keep Oakland Beautiful partnered with Iconoclast Productions and other neighbors of Courtland Creek Park on Saturday, April 20. In addition to picking up litter and spreading mulch for weed control, we helped restore this towering monument that honors the history of the Leona Line cable car and station that once existed in this Oakland neighborhood.
Keep Oakland Beautiful took part in an event that honored the life of Oakland resident, Michael Stewart who worked with the City of Oakland to make this neighborhood safe, clean, and a unique place to live. Michael passed away from complications from the flu on March 11th of this year. On Earth Day, volunteers planted a tree in his honor along the walkway where he walked his dog, Ingo, twice a day.
Michael was integral to the formation of the Jingletown Arts Community, where he and his partners developed the first legal live-work art studio building in the area, which led the way for many artists to settle in the neighborhood art district. He was also an important community activist, a voice for the Jingletown neighborhood, helping to make it a clean, safe and artistic haven in Oakland. Michael was awarded a tribute by Oakland's City Council for his never ending volunteer work appreciated by all who lived in the Jingletown Art district.
Keep Oakland Beautiful partnered on three earth day events in Oakland this past weekend on April 20. Over 50 volunteers gathered in Jingletown and filled a dumpster with trash and separated out a large pile of green waste. Volunteers in Jingletown also painted over graffiti on the White Elephant Building (see below)
Volunteers also weeded the Jingletown Art Wall. Former long-time board member Cynthia Elliott explained that about 10 years ago, with a small grant from Keep Oakland Beautiful, they installed The Lady of Guadalupe in the center of the wall in an effort to transform what was then a very unkempt dump site. The wall, which spans an entire block, is now covered in art from end to end and has a garden path in front of it and has become a neighborhood attraction.
Last November, Keep Oakland Beautiful gave away 5,700 daffodil and native bulbs, and countless wildflower seeds for planting in public spaces. Right now our daffodils are in bloom! Brodiaea, California poppies, and native wildflowers will soon follow!
Some of our volunteers shared pictures and information about their sites. Here are some highlights
Hillcrest Middle School
Amanda Lacau and her crew planted their bulbs and seeds on December 6, 2018 at the Hillcrest Middle School and across from the school’s nature area on the corner of Buckey and Mandalay. Looks like they had a great time!
Here are the results of all their hard work ...
Community Gardens at Lakeside Park
Tom Branca said his garden, which belongs to Landscape Horticulture/Merritt College, is maintained by the students of the Urban Gardening Class, which they have been doing for over 20 years. This was the first community garden at Lakeside Park. Students enjoyed planting the bulbs knowing that they would all be there to see them bloom and enjoy.
Oakland Animal Shelter
Michael Frazier has some nice blooms at the Oakland Animal Shelter.
The Jingletown Arts, Business and Community group has completed two storm drain murals for the Storm Drain Mural Project funded by the Keep Oakland Beautiful Small Grants Program. Both projects were designed and led by Jill McLennan. The first mural, Estuary Fish, was painted by 50 eighth-graders from Lazear Charter Academy.
The second mural, Community Quilt, was designed in collaboration with a local senior quilt maker, and painted by neighborhood volunteers during the MLK service day in Jingletown on Monday January 21, 2019. Both murals have brought awareness to the drains and volunteers to keep them clean as well as appreciation for the beautification of the neighborhood.
Learn more about Small Grants and apply for one!
We are proud and delighted to announce that KOB has welcomed new board members to the team! Our 2019 board now includes the following new members:
Congratulations to these new members! We are all looking forward to a productive year in making our city a beautiful place for everyone.
Learn more about our board here.
The Keep Oakland Beautiful board has completed another successful season of daffodil days! This year, we gave away over 5,000 daffodil and native cluster lilies bulbs along with packets of California poppies and native wildflowers to community groups in the city of Oakland.
We can't wait to see all the bulbs and seeds bloom next spring! Stay tuned for updates on your neighbors who are working hard to keep Oakland beautiful with us.
Photo courtesy of Google.
Cluster lilies, a California native, were a new edition to Daffodil Days this year.
The Keep Oakland Beautiful board participated in the festivities at the 23rd Annual Fruitvale Día de Los Muertos Festival at the Fruitvale BART on November 4. Sponsored by The Unity Council, the event is a free, outdoor festival that draws over 80,000 people where they to enjoy live music, activities, traditional Latin American artisans, and artistic alter installations created by community members paying homage to los Muertos.
Keep Oakland Beautiful board members set up a festive booth where community members could stop, learn a bit about our work, and have their photo taken with props and a festive background. Here are a few of our favorites!
Our secretary, Leslie!
What a terrific way to meet the community, join in the fun, and get the word out about how we can all help keep our city clean and beautiful.
Hope to see you next year!
On September 15, we rallied our volunteer troops with the mission of cleaning up Cesar Chavez Park in East Oakland. It was a beautiful day for cleaning up the park, and we made great progress! Take a look below at some of the before and after photos of the park.
Storm drain BEFORE
Storm drain AFTER
Perimeter fence BEFORE
Perimeter fence AFTER