In the early 2000s, neighbors of the East Oakland King Estates community came together to address neighborhood issues. During one of these meetings came the suggestion to clean up a small open space at the corner of Lamp and Sterling streets. This patch of land was slipping into misuse with dumping, drugs, and disrepair. After an initial planting of native plants, neighbors named it the Phoenix Rising Peace Park. Neighbors came together yearly on Earth Day to maintain it. Over the years, energy started to wane, and plants were dying. Long term resident Susan Boggiano took the leadership of this City-approved Adopt a Spot and, in an effort to re-energize and create a place for the neighborhood to gather and enjoy, Susan applied for and was awarded a grant in 2017 from Keep Oakland Beautiful to buy new plants for the garden. Once again, neighbors are coming together to plant and weed the park.
The small grant from Keep Oakland Beautiful helped bring the garden to the next level. This neighborhood gem of a public space has flagstone paths meandering through drought-tolerant landscaping, a decorative bird bath fountain, a neighborhood bulletin board and book exchange, and a bench with views overlooking it all. The crowning glory is Susan’s own sculpture of a phoenix rising from flames above a totem of hidden Oakland tributes. People, pets, birds, and pollinators will be enjoying this neighborhood oasis for years to come!