The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday agreed to spend $420,000 to improve a relatively obscure public park at the end of Main Street and to rename it Rotary Park in celebration of the 50th anniversary next May of the chartering of the first of Pleasanton's three Rotary clubs.
The small three-quarter-acre park, now known as Main Street Green Park, is located at the corner of Vervais Avenue and Main Street at the Main Street bridge over the Arroyo del Valle. It was slightly expanded two years ago with the city's purchase of an old home on Vervais just east of Main Street.
Although several council members suggested keeping the Main Street Green name, Rotarian Bob Silva won out in his plea to keep the name simple and to honor Rotary.
The three Rotary clubs in Pleasanton will highlighted their anniversary with a banquet at Castlewood Country Club on May 8 next year to celebrate the original charter award establishing the Rotary Club of Pleasanton in May 1965, which took place at Castlewood.
Also to be recognized will be the chartering of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton North in 1987 and the Tri-Valley Evening Rotary Club in 2002. All three clubs are affiliated with Rotary District 5170 in San Jose, and with Rotary International, a global community service organization with 1.2 million members in 166 countries.
The clubs will pay the $25,000 cost of the distinctive Main Street clock with the city funding the additional $150,000 to install it and complete the park's plaza that will serve as a gateway to downtown Pleasanton. The remainder of the park, including landscaping, trees, two bocce courts, a barbecue pit and picnic tables, will be added next year, or after California's current emergency drought conditions end.
The clock will be mounted on a black granite base with medallions naming each club and the date it was chartered on three of the clock faces and a Rotary logo on the fourth face.
Mike Fulford, Pleasanton's landscape architect, said he and the city's Parks and Recreation Commission have long eyed improvements to the Vervais park and property just across Main Street as "gateway features" to the north end of the downtown district. The project has been part of the Downtown Specific Plan since 2002.
"I'm excited about this because it will give us a real gateway to our downtown while also honoring Rotary, which does so much for our community, provides scholarship to high school students and buys and delivers wheelchairs to those in need in other countries," said Councilwoman Kathy Narum.
The dozen or so Rotary Club members in the audience cheered in agreement as the council voted unanimously to start the project in time for its dedication next April, ahead of Rotary's anniversary celebration.