Glenn W. Daniel
King Estate Open Space Park

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A small section of land bordering Fontaine Street, between Howard School and the King Estate campus, was made a city park in the 1960s, at the time the two schools were built.  The remaining land that King Estate Open Space now encompasses was in private hands, a remnant of the historic King family estate.  In the early 1980s, a consortium of developers proposed a massive housing development on the ridge line and western slopes. The Oak Knoll Neighborhood Improvement Association (OKNIA), formed in 1982, brought the Oak Knoll, Eastmont Hills, and King Estate neighborhoods together to save the open space (see map).

The combination of strong and unified community opposition and a lousy soils report defeated the housing proposal.  A land trust purchased the land and held it until the city could purchase it.  Many of our neighbors worked with Citizens of Oakland for Open Space (COOS) to pass Measure M.  The KEOS property was purchased with Measure M funds.

Clyde Grimes, a retired architect with ties to Cal, Berkeley, recruited the Landscape Architecture Department to do a master plan for the park as a thesis project.  Cal and the community worked over the course of a year to produce the master plan. The plan was completed in 1995 and submitted to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. It was then vetted by all the City of Oakland departments and passed by City Council in 1998.

Glenn W. Daniel, one of the founders of OKNIA, served as president during the efforts to protect KEOS from development.  He was a community activitst and had a long history as a City of Oakland volunteer, especially in the Council District Seven offices.  Upon his passing the City Council voted to dedicate the park in his honor, renaming it The Glenn W. Daniel/King Estate Open Space Park.

KEOS Master Plan

lupine

Environment:

KEOS is home to many native grasses such as purple needle grass, wild oats, and wild barley.  Many wildflowers populate the park as well: bush lupine and ground lupine, mule ears (Wyethia), blue eye grass, and wavy-eared soap plant. 

Poison oak is found at a number of KEOS locations.  Though humans consider it a nuisance, it is a native plant that provides valuable habitat.  Deer browse the leaves, and the berries serve as food for various birds in the region, such as the California towhee, the yellow-rumped warbler, and the western bluebird.  These birds also use poison oak as potential nest sites, as it offers great protection from humans.

Since the park’s creation, volunteers have been removing invasive species such as French broom, mustard, and salsify on a seasonal basis.

Deer frequent the park in the winter and spring.  Foxes can be seen hunting, early in the morning.  Large 
raptors like red-tailed hawks hunt the western slopes for rodents.


Trails:

KEOS was established so that all residents of Oakland could enjoy the natural beauty, native habitat, and wonderful views.

Fire roads were cut into the park decades ago and serve as a trail system.  The old Crest roadbed serves as an all-weather trail.

In 2006, Volunteers for Outdoor California (VOCAL), Oakland's Public Works Agency and Parks and Recreation Department, and OKNIA joined forces to cut a loop trail on the eastern and western slopes of KEOS.  District Seven Councilmember Larry Reid made a considerable donation to cover VOCAL's costs.  Hundreds of volunteers from Bay Area high schools, colleges, churches and the local community spent a weekend creating what is now a wonderful public amenity.

trails

Grazing:

Goat grazing of the park grassland for fire-suppression is scheduled by the City of Oakland Fire Department based on the season’s rainfall, grassland humidity, and fuel load.  Grazing typically lasts a couple weeks and always begins no later than the first of July, but can occur as early as May. During the grazing period, an electric fence is used to contain the grazing animals. The fence emits a startling but harmless shock when touched. Please use caution and do not let children or dogs come in contact with it, and please do not let dogs harass the goats

Parking:

Street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhoods. Please do not block driveways and please do not block the fire gates; it is illegal and you may receive a parking citation and your vehicle may be towed.


Dogs

Dogs:

Dogs are permitted off-leash, under strict voice control.  Please be aware that this park is used by many visitors who are there to enjoy the natural beauty and may not want to interact with your pets.

  • Please carry a 6' leash and dog waste bags.
  • Please keep your dog on leash while in the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
  • Please pick up your dog's waste and deposit it in the trash cans at the Crest or Greenly gates.
  • If you encounter a park visitor not accompanied by a dog, please control your dog.
  • If you encounter a park visitor with a dog on leash, please control your dog.
  • The western trail is on very steep terrain.  Please use care and control your dog when passing others on the trail.
  • Please do not let your dog chase or harass park wildlife.
  • A significant amount of the park is not fenced and none of it is gated.  Your dog's safety will be at risk if it leaves the park boundaries.
  • Please be aware that poison oak, a native plant, is widely dispersed in KEOS.  If you are sensitive you can easily get contaminated from poison oak oils on your dog's coat.
  • Some grass seed, commonly called foxtails, can enter dogs' ears, nose, eyes, and the webbing between the toes.  This can result in expensive vet bills and, if not treated in a timely manner, pose a serious threat to your dog's health.  April through June, depending on the weather conditions, are common foxtail months.  The grazing tends to significantly reduce the foxtail threat.

Volunteer:

The OKNIA Park Committee, working with the Public Works Agency’s Adopt-a-Spot program, organizes seasonal invasive-species eradication/habitat restoration, trail maintenance, and park clean-up work parties.  The city provides no maintenance except for trash collection at the Crest and Greenly gates. If you appreciate the amenities this park has to offer, please consider volunteering for some of these activities.  Please contact OKNIA here and provide your contact information and volunteer interests.

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