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Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department
Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department

 Renovations to King School Park Playground are coming!

King School Park is located on property owned by the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD).  Under an agreement between the City and BUSD, the City of Berkeley is responsible for day to day maintenance as well as renovations of the Park.  The current playgrounds were constructed in 2006. 

Unforeseen, a giant eucalyptus tree toppled during the night of February 26, 2019, crushing and destroying the playground designed for 2-5 year olds, known as our King School Park Totlot.  All the play features, furnishings, and elements in the Totlot, including the safety surfacing, were destroyed beyond repair.  Several site elements around the Totlot were damaged or destroyed as well, including the fencing, asphalt pathways, benches, drinking fountain, and landscaping.  No injuries were reported. 

In the weeks shortly after the accident, the tree and stump were removed, the asphalt pathway was patched and re-opened, and some furnishings were replaced.  The Totlot has remained fenced for safety and security while the site was being further evaluated for damage and needed capital improvements, for insurance evaluation and possible funding opportunities. 

The City is pursuing an insurance claim for a large part of the funding, and will need to supplement the cost with other funding sources such as Parks Tax from Measure F which passed in 2014.  The City has allocated funding in FY20 to supplement the cost.  Because the replacement of this is funded in large part by an insurance claim the design will need the approval of the insurance company.   

The City has brought on Harris Design to continue the plans to renovate the area to current standards.  They are in the process of evaluating the site, and designing possible options for a replacement.  This fall, the City is planning to facilitate a public meeting to discuss the possibilities for replacement. 

Once the City has consensus of proposed improvements, we will move forward through the process of creating a final design and project specifications, seek any additional funding needed if there is a funding gap, and obtain the permits necessary for construction.  Review and/or approvals for this project will include the City’s insurance provider, the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department, and the Building and Planning Department.  And because the site is owned by BUSD, the project will also involve BUSD and the State of California Division of State Architect.

We are anticipating that the construction of a new 2-5 play area will happen in 2020!  Thank you to the members of our community for their support of the project.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for project updates, please contact Jesus Espinoza at the City of Berkeley at 510-981-6708 or, or Evelyn Chan at


King School Park is a large park featuring King Pool, an Age 2-5 play area, an Age 5-12 play area, a picnic area, and an open lawn.  It is also adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School which has additional facilities that may be open to the public outside of school hours, with amenities such as tennis courts and a track.  Situated in a residential area, the park is heavily frequented by users of all ages.  More information regarding the Park can be found at:


While King School Park Totlot is closed, please visit some of our other City Totlots:

Cedar-Rose Park, refreshed in 2019

Becky Temko Totlot, renovated in 2018

Willard Park Totlot, renovated in 2017

Virginia McGee Totland, renovated in 2016

Other upcoming Projects:

George Florence Totlot, undergoing renovation starting Fall 2019.

James Kenney Park Totlot, planned renovation starting Fall 2019.

San Pablo Park Totlot, planned renovation starting Spring 2020.

Please visit our website for more information about Parks Capital Improvements:

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Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6700
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903