Skip to main content

Our Community Focus

PH Rec & Park April News

Apr 04, 2016 01:55PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Zac Shess, Chair of Pleasant Hill Rec and Park Board of Directors

Pleasant Hill is one of the best-kept secrets in the Bay Area: wonderful people, great community events, a safe place to live with good schools, and strong property values. One of the key contributors to this community since the 1950s has been the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District. As chairman of the District’s board of directors, I’m proud to help lead this organization.

While I may not have the Andy Rooney-esque observations of “How Russ Sees It” or the ocean of musical knowledge of a Paul Cotruvo, I really look forward to telling you about what’s going on and, hopefully, shine a light on the places and people that make this District so special.

Farewell to Bob

Much of the District’s success over the past 30+ years can be credited to the leadership of our general manager, Bob Berggren. Bob started out as a recreation supervisor in the 1970s and ascended to the GM position in 1987. May 31 marks Bob’s last day with the District. Post-retirement, he plans to enjoy time with his wife, Donna and family. His numerous accomplishments culminated recently with successful completion of the new Community Center, Senior Center, Teen Center and renovation of Pleasant Oaks Park. District staff, board members and the community salute Bob for his remarkable career. Thank you for all you have done for the District and our community, Bob. See you on the golf course!

Oak Park Update

When Contra Costa County declared the 10-acre site at the former Oak Park Elementary as surplus property last fall, the District board of directors formally expressed interest in acquiring the property. The rationale was simple: our mission is to provide parks and open space for the Pleasant Hill community, and this property is one of the last few remaining open parcels within district boundaries.

Since entering into negotiations last fall, it’s been anything but simple. We have worked diligently to try and meet with the county to negotiate within the statutes of limitations of our proposal. We offered fair market value for the county property based on a reputed third-party appraisal and current zoning. Unfortunately, the county declined our initial offer and had been reluctant to engage in timely negotiations. Recently, however, the county indicated that they would finally come to the table. At press time, we remain hopeful for a positive outcome. Please stay tuned as we expect more developments in the weeks to come.



Spring into Fun

As I’m writing this article, it’s the first day of spring. With the arrival of the new season comes some great District events. On April 16, our popular Literary Women lecture event takes place at the Community Center. On April 22, we host a new comedy show featuring the hilarious talents of Michael Meehan and his brothers. Next month, on May 15, we’re bringing back our fabulous Wine, Women & Shoes event for a third time. Don’t miss this exciting fundraiser event benefitting District programs and our partner, Rehabilitation Services of Northern California. Tickets are available now for all three events at I also want to take a moment to recognize our event sponsors for their continued support of the District to provide special events for the community.

Summer is Around the Corner

Our new Spring/Summer Spotlight is now available. I encourage you to sign up for summer camps early. They’re very popular and they fill up fast. I also wanted to mention that fall registration for our extremely popular teen after school program is May 7 at 7am at the Teen Center. More details are online at

Enjoy your spring!