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Kennelly Skate Park Walk

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group was not intending to grind some gnarly rails on the dome when they assembled at the Exedra last Wednesday, but when it was learned only two of the 20 walkers had ever visited Kennelly Skate Park in Piedmont, it was agreed that should be the destination. Knowing that the skate park is behind Coaches Field on Moraga Avenue, the day's outing meant being able to visit both locations.

Dick Carter wanted to get the walkers into a skating mood, so he brought to the Exedra his son's skateboard from the garage. Dick and a few other walkers tried out their boarding skills - with the help of Sergeant Carr of the Piedmont Police Department.

Sergeant Carr was there to give the walkers their monthly update on Piedmont police activities. She also brought parking control office Haley Douglas who is expanding her responsibilities as a community service officer. They answered questions and told the group about the Police Department's Trunk and Treat event on Thursday in front o the police department.

The walkers headed up Highland Avenue to Moraga Avenue where they learned some history of the location. It was the northeast edge of the original Blair Park that was built in the 1890s by the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company as an enticement for people to visit Piedmont and use the company's cable cars.

As the walkers continued heading toward the Corporation Yard they noted the deep backyards of the homes on Moraga, then walked along a boardwalk that provides a bridge above a ravine on the border of Coaches Field.

Stopping in the parking lot at Coaches Field they shared stories of their children's past use of the field. It was also recalled that be fore the field's site was filled in and leveled, it was Piedmont's land fill In 2001 largely through the efforts of Ken (Bebe) Rawlings, the sports field was created and opened in honor of many of the Piedmont coaches who worked with the city's youth. It now serves as a soccer and softball field, but drain- age issues limit its use.

The Recreation Department has developed a master plan that would expand the field and its use; and the plan is currently having an environmental analysis conducted.

The group marched around the back of the field to the skate park gate with its lock and heavy chain, but a key from the Recreation Department provided access to the stairs and skate park above. With its two deep bowls, ramps and runs, and a huge amount of concrete, the skate park impressed the walkers. They found it hard to imagine that a young person would mount about two feet of hardwood with a set of wheels, and plunge down into the bowls at a speed almost as fast as driving to Safeway. The walkers were satisfied to walk around to one of the bowl's lower entry points and play imaginary skateboarders.

As they left Coaches Field it was noted that just up Moraga Avenue there is a long, wooded path that leads to Abbott Way and Maxwelton Road on the hill above Coaches Field. Most of the walkers didn't know the path existed.

Quincy said he had hiked it and that it would be a good walk for the group, so they decided this would be their next destination the following week The walkers retraced their steps back to the Exedra, but not before stopping the Police Department to collect the Halloween treats that Sgt. Carr had offered.


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