Oakland wins $9.25m grant for the Lincoln Square Community Resilience and Recreation Center

by | Nov 8, 2023

Photo by Stephen Woo Images

Oakland, CA, November 3, 2023 Oakland Chinatown is one big step closer to seeing our dream of a new 21st century center at Lincoln Square Park become a reality.

We are thrilled to share that on November 2, the State of California and the City of Oakland announced that the new Lincoln Community Resilience and Center Recreation Center was awarded a $9.25 million grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Neighbors, local nonprofit partners and press gathered at the park with local and state officials for the announcement and festive community celebration.

The City was one of only five recipients of the highly competitive Community Resilience Centers Program grant. This grant would not have been possible without the valuable collaboration between the City, Friends of Lincoln Square Park, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

“When disasters and emergencies happen, Californians often look to local community centers for refuge, information and guidance,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “These grants will strengthen our communities’ ability to provide shelter and extend services during emergency events, and the improvements will also benefit residents who use these centers throughout the rest of the year as well.”

Mayor Sheng Thao remarked, “The construction of this facility delivers on a commitment made in Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan. Resilience Centers like this one will support our frontline communities as they become stronger, more self-determining, socially connected, and successful – before, during, and after disruptions.”

The grant will allow for the inclusion of state-of-the-art climate resiliency infrastructure during the construction phase of our new 22,000 foot building. This will allow the center to:

  • Serve as a cooling and warming respite center during extreme weather,

  • Provide clean air on poor air quality days,

  • Offer a place for people to charge phones and medical devices during power outages via back-up power from solar batteries,

  • Be a distribution point for emergency information through communication both in English and in other languages spoken in the community,

  • Provide access to a commercial kitchen, restrooms, and showers

  • Provide more flexible programming space for everyday and emergency use

“As we face intensifying climate disasters like heat waves, wildfires, and floods, investments like this strengthen the social fabric of our communities and bring critical resources in times of crisis”, said Shina Robinson of APEN.

As climate disasters and extreme weather become more frequent and intense in California, investing in resilience centers like Lincoln Square Park is one way to keep our communities safe in times of disaster. In Chinatown, a dense urban area affected by the urban heat island effect, many elders and working class families are at risk from extreme heat, smoke and power outages. With this investment, Lincoln Square Park will be able to do even more to keep our Chinatown community safe and resourced before, during, and after disasters strike.

The project was chosen because of its ability to offer year-round services and activities that strengthen the community, while having the potential to provide a safe haven during times of crisis.

According to the City, our new center will break ground in the fall of 2024.