East Bay Regional Park District & Outdoor Afro Partner to Commemorate Juneteenth
The East Bay Regional Park District is partnering with Outdoor Afro and local business leaders 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.”
“The Park District is proud to partner with Outdoor Afro in celebrating Juneteenth and encouraging the public to get into nature,” added Rosario.
Outdoor Afro is encouraging people nationwide to reflect on what freedom means here in America by spending 2.5 hours in nature – in a nearby park, forest, or beach – to recognize the 2.5 years of freedom that was denied to so many. Their goal is to get 50,000 people into nature nationwide.
“We are thrilled that many local business leaders have joined this commemoration to reflect on what freedom means, and we are grateful for the Park District offering this free day in the parks,” stated Rue Mapp, founder & CEO of Outdoor Afro. “We encourage all to connect with the healing power of nature on this day and every day.”
The Park District has a long-standing commitment to promote inclusion, diversity and 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”. The naming recognizes the history 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 up 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.
Juneteenth Events on Saturday, June 19, 2021
Celebrate Juneteenth with the Park District and Outdoor Afro
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, Arrowhead Marsh
Swan Way parking lot entrance (map)
Register here for Outdoor Afro’s Juneteenth 2021 Event
Planned games and activities include:
- Fun giveaways
- Program info & volunteer services information
- “What Juneteenth Means to Me” Art Activity
- Catch-a-Fish Activity & fishing rod pin giveaways
Fighting for Freedom: the Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Join East Bay Regional Park District Naturalists and National Park Service Rangers as we explore the continuing struggle for civil rights through the legacy of the Port Chicago 50, and the history of the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, celebrating societies successes and seeking solutions. Register in advance here for this webinar. This special webinar will also be streamed live on Black Diamond Mines Facebook page.
Commemorate Juneteenth: Pan African Dance with Norlisha Long - Virtual Wellness & Fitness Program
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Commemorate Juneteenth with us! The East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation are offering free one-hour virtual fitness sessions designed to help you stay healthy, active, and connected with the community! Join free class via Zoom. Visit the Park District Wellness & Fitness page for upcoming classes and more info.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor