May 26 Rotary Nature Center Update

As per Karis Griffin’s latest updates from OPR&YD:

  • The department plans top open the center in June or July
  • Cleaning is complete, and the center has passed air quality tests.
  • The June 2nd meeting is confirmed for 9am-noon at the Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave.
    • Initial proposals will be reviewed. The city is excited about the proposals that have come int.
    • The community is invited to attend along with the individuals presenting.
    • They will continue seeking partnerships for other programs if/when they come forward.
    • These initial proposals (submitted as per these guidelines) helped them to clarify the emerging criteria and came up with answers to commonly asked questions (please see below)
    •  Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 30th, to Space is limited do they want to know how many to expect.
    • Presenters will have about 10 minutes to talk with another 10 minutes for questions and clarifications.
    • The core team will be present as fellow listeners but will not be there to approve or decline proposals.

Commonly Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What is the role of Oakland Public Works in support of RNC? RNC is a City facility and will be supported by Oakland Public Works.
How will maintenance of the RNC be provided? The City will continue providing custodial and maintenance coverage for RNC.
Can requests be made of specific taxidermy items when identified in proposals? Yes, we can make specific items available for use with programs at the Rotary Nature Center facility, assuming the items are in condition to be released.
Who will be the person in charge of the RNC? Karis Griffin, Recreation Supervisor, will be responsible for RNC.
What will be the days and hours of operation? Determination for operating hours has not been finalized, but we anticipate a regular schedule of daily hours during the weekdays.
Will there be staffing for night events and weekends? Staffing will be made available for night events and weekend programs as needed.
Will there be a naturalist associated with RNC activities, including being present at the RNC site, related areas and outreach? Yes, there will be staff trained as  naturalists operating alongside the Rotary Nature Center.  This may take the form of support for programs, outreach, and on-site activities.  We currently have 2 nearly full time positions and part time support as well.
Will there be staff always present during RNC operating hours? There will be staff present during RNC operating hours.
What about insurance? The RNC and its staff are insured by the City of Oakland.  Specific programs not associated with the City will need their own liability insurance.


What is the current status of clean up and air quality within the site? Cleanup of RNC has been completed.  We anticipate all safety measures, including air quality, will meet and exceed acceptable standards.
How large a group can fit comfortably in the RNC building? TBD.  We will be upgrading areas within the physical building, including the library area.

Criteria for Program Partnerships with the Rotary Nature Center

  • The primary purpose of the program must be about nature – and the diverse ways we understand and interact with the natural world.  This can include scientific investigation, knowing nature through our senses, eco-literacy, relevance to well being, expressive art, literature etc.
  • Programs must be inclusive.  We encourage existing communities and specific populations (i.e. at risk youth, underserved, veterans, seniors, etc.) to partner with the RNC, but as a City agency we hold to the principles of inclusiveness and equity.
  • Programs will be subject to agreed upon duration of time, such as use of the RNC every Saturday morning from 10 am to noon, Sept. 2018 through May 2019. Agreements can be extended with agreement from both parties.
  • Programs and related exhibits cannot be permanently housed at the Rotary Nature Center.  All permanent exhibits must be authorized by the Director of Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development on behalf of the City.  However, temporary exhibits can be showcased on a case by case basis with permission from Karis Griffin,  OPR&YD supervisor for the Rotary Nature Center.  Please be aware that storage space, in general, is quite limited.
  • During the first year of operation, emphasis will be placed on learning what kinds of partnerships and programs are most beneficial.  A general framework has been developed with priorities and key questions that will guide the process.  Individual ideas for long term plans or specific ideas requiring significant planning, execution, cost, and staff resources will not be a priority during the first year.
  • Community groups wishing to support the priorities outlined in the framework document through volunteer efforts, networking, and fund raising will be encouraged and embraced.

One thought on “May 26 Rotary Nature Center Update”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s