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Cooley Landing Park and Education Center Project
Cooley Landing Project

Updated June 14, 2018

After more than a decade of studies, research, and community discussion, improvements at Cooley Landing Park are underway.  The first three phases of the project have been completed! 

Phase I included capping contaminated soil (related to the site’s former use as a burn-dump) and providing for safe public access.  When the park was opened to the public in 2012, Cooley Landing added nine acres to the amount of public open space in East Palo Alto.

The early studies, as well as the design and construction of Phase I project, were almost entirely funded by grants from both public and private organizations, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, CalRecycle, the Packard Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Stewardship Council, the Bay Trail Project and others.  Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District owns the Ravenswood Nature Preserve adjacent to Cooley Landing and, in addition to acting in partnership with the City on the project, provides an easement to the City to access the site from Bay Road. The City of East Palo Alto deeply appreciates the contributions of these agencies, because the realization of Cooley Landing as a public park could not be achieved without their support.

Cooley Landing 
In March of 2012, the State of California Statewide Parks Program awarded $5 million of Proposition 84 funds to the City of East Palo Alto for design and construction of Phases 2 – 5.

Construction of Phase 2 of the park - installing utilities, improving the access road, and installing native planting, started in September, 2013.  The park was closed during this work and then upon completion it reopened to the public in February, 2014.

Phase 3 of the Cooley Landing Park improvements included the construction of the Education Center which will serve as a place for community meetings, and as an institution which preserves and enhances the area’s cultural heritage, history, and traditions. Construction of the Education Center was completed in September, 2015.

Phase 4 & 5 consists of construction of an informal outdoor classroom area, picnic area, extension of main pathways, secondary trails, seating areas, and interpretive signs. Project plans and specifications have been completed by Callander Associates. The design and construction of these phases are being carried out as a partnership between Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) and the City.

Bids were recently opened for the construction of Phase 4 & 5 in May 2018. We are expecting to award the project to a contractor in June 2018 and commence construction of the site in July/August 2018. The project is expected to be completed in January 2019.

Cooley Landing Front
This small building on a newly reclaimed landfill provides the first-ever opportunity for the under-served citizens of the city to access the natural wonders of the San Francisco Bay. FOG Studio was selected to guide the design process, which included 8 community meetings to decide upon programmatic elements, building form, materials and aesthetics. There were significant challenges to the site, which is not only underlain with bay mud in a highly seismic area, but which served as a burn dump for several decades. In an earlier phase, the entire peninsula was remediated with two feet of clean fill to cap potential hazards – except for the building site area, which capped the site with structural slabs and landscape paving.

 Cooley Landing Landscape

For more information about the Cooley Landing Park and Education Center Project, click on one of the following links.

Animated views of the Education Center

Education Center Public Meetings

October 2013 - Sustainability
November 2013 - Activities and Space
December 2013 - Personality and Character
January 2014 - Schematic Design
February 2014 - Design Development I
March 2014 - Design Development II
April 2014 - 50% Construction Docs Presentation
May 2014 - 90% Construction Documentation


September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013