Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District
The very dog-friendly East Bay Regional Park District
is partnering with Outdoor Afro
to commemorate Juneteenth by waiving park entry fees on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Juneteenth is an annual recognition of the 250,000 enslaved Black Americans in Texas who were notified of their freedom on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
“There is no better place than parks to reflect on Juneteenth, the end of slavery, and today’s ongoing social justice issues,” said Park District Board President Dee Rosario. “The District embraces diversity, inclusion and promotes equal access for all.” Learn more here
The Park District has a long-standing commitment to inclusion, diversity as well as ensuring safe and welcoming outdoor spaces for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color.
This ongoing work includes the recent naming of the new regional park at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station “Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50” in recognition of the history and social justice significance of the deadly Port Chicago explosion which killed 320 enlisted men, mostly African American, and injured 390 more, on July 17, 1944.
The bravery of the fifty men who, in an act of protest against the discriminatory policies of the segregated Navy, stood against unsafe and unjust working conditions; and Thurgood Marshall whose advocacy on their behalf as an attorney for the NAACP led to the desegregation of the U.S. military.
The Regional Parks Foundation, which supports the Park District mission by raising funds for universal access, environmental stewardship, education and recreation programs, and acquisition of new parklands, has also launched an initiative to provide 750 free memberships to underserved Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Fees waived for Juneteenth include park entrance, parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, and fishing. The Juneteenth fee waiver does not apply to swimming, camping, and reservable picnic facilities (due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions), District concessions, and state fees. Concessions include the Tilden Merry-Go-Round and Redwood Valley Railway steam train, among others. State fees that are not waived include fishing licenses and watercraft inspections for invasive mussels.