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About the Piedmont Recreation Department’s Walking on Wednesdays group

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About W o W and the King of the Hills


Walking on Wednesdays was first started by Richard Carter and the Piedmont Recreation Department. With the help of Gail Lombardi on his first walk telling the history of Piedmont, our community members loved the walks and it has been a hit ever since. Dick is too modest and would never call himself "King of The Hills" but anyone who has taken a walk with him knows that his enthusiasm for Piedmont and WoW has earned him the much deserved title of "King of the Hills" 


It is an informal, weekly activity for anyone who enjoys casual walks in and around Piedmont. No fee, no sign-up: Just come and walk for about an hour. Rain or shine — the walk goes on!

There are no fees to participate in Piedmont's Rec Department's Walking on Wednesdays activities. Those interested in walking with the group should register via Community Pass. If you have any questions please contact the Piedmont Recreation Department at 510 420-3070 or

Start of Walking on Wed.jpg
Start of Walking on Wed.jpg

Piedmont Post, April 8, 2020

When we meet

 Time: 10:30am (duration approximately one hour)

Where we meet

Location: Piedmont Exedra Arch (Highland and Magnolia)

Piedmont Recreation Department to offer more senior programs

With summer underway, director says agency will ‘create more classes, meet-ups and social groups’

East Bay Times 

By LINDA DAVIS | Correspondent

PUBLISHED: June 7, 2022 at 5:40 p.m.

PIEDMONT — Seniors in town can sign up for day trips, a reading group or yoga. They can also play pickleball seven days a week by just showing up on the courts, no reservations needed. Some Piedmont seniors, though, such as Rick Schiller, 74, say Recreation Department programming is inadequate and that they want to see more. 

“Piedmont has an aging population. I believe our median age is about 10 years older than Alameda County. Senior programming in Piedmont is woefully lacking,” Schiller said. “There is no senior center, there is no time at 801 Magnolia (Avenue) or the recreation building for seniors to meet for cards, tea, chess, music. Piedmont is very child-centric. I think the city figures all seniors are affluent and sailing off to various exotic vacation places.”

According to 2020 U.S. Census data, people 65 or older make up 20.8% of Piedmont’s population of 11,270; children younger than 5 are 4.8%; and youth ages 5 to 18 comprise 26.4%. People ages 18 to 65 account for the remaining 48%.

The building at 801 Magnolia Ave. houses the Piedmont Center for the Arts and is used by the city for various occasional events. Chelle Putzer, the city’s recreation director, agrees that the city should offer more activities to its seniors and is working on it.

“PRD (the Piedmont Recreation Department) will be working to create more classes, meet-ups and social groups for seniors,” Putzer said this week.

Sara Lillevand, Piedmont’s city administrator and former recreation director, also agrees with Putzer and Schiller.

“Indeed, since 2015 we have been working to identify opportunities to better serve our seniors. Our biggest constraint when I was recreation director was lack of facilities. The addition of city daytime hours at 801 Magnolia should help open up time and space for more senior programs,” Lillevand said.

The Piedmont Seniors Group is actively seeking new members for fun and socializing in an informal manner. One need not be a Piedmont resident to join. Meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon at Piedmont Community Hall.

A recent excursion to Santa Rosa held June 2 went to the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center and the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. A Collette Tours slideshow on extended travel possibilities will be held June 22, and a free Walking on Wednesday group has 122 registered seniors.

“We have a robust pickleball program that has a large number of 50-plus-year-old players who participate in the free drop-in program,” Putzer said. “One of our goals will be to expand senior programming into the Center for the Arts at the 801 Magnolia space.”

The city recently entered a new lease with the arts center in which some time slots would be available for uses other than arts and music events. Putzer said some senior programs that the Recreation Department previously devised received little interest. “Theater Games for Older Adults” and “Write Your Personal Story” were canceled due to low enrollment. Piedmont also offers limited adult school classes open to adults and seniors, she said.

“The (separate) adult school coordinates to make sure we aren’t offering the same classes or competing with one another,” Putzer said. “The goal is to have a variety of adult offerings in Piedmont.”

Former Mayor John Chiang notes there are also existing seniors programs through Piedmont Community Church and some exercise classes available to the public at Veterans Hall.

“I have seen various programs or topics of interest in the Moonlighter (bulletin), some for seniors,” Chiang said. “Since we have an aging population in Piedmont, it might be helpful to have some wellness programs provided by health care professionals in town, such as exercises for seniors, health topics, fall prevention and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. There could be travel ideas and suggestions for fellow seniors, gardening and resources for seniors.”

Putzer said some of the current senior programs are free and fees for other classes or programs are set just to cover costs of offering the program.

“The programs are set up to be self-supporting,” she said. “The Piedmont Seniors Group pay an annual fee to participate, and that helps to cover the part-time senior coordinator, Janet Epstein. They offer local trips, and the fee for those covers the cost of the trip, admissions, driver and car rental. Senior classes that are taught by a contractor are set up to be cost-recovered. The Monday reading group and Walking on Wednesday are free and run by volunteers.”

Said Schiller, “The city now has control of 801 Magnolia, though the arts group has substantial priority. Hours and programs could be initiated there for some senior-only programs. Much more can be done, and what has been initiated has been (largely) resident-initiated.”

To view the Piedmont Recreation Department’s summer activities brochure, visit online. For more information, call Janet Epstein with the Recreation Department at 510-420-3070.

“We would love to get input from our senior community about what types of programs they would like to participate in,” Putzer said.

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