Once a Landfill, César Chávez Park in the City of Berkeley, California Continues as a Mecca For Area Residents and Outdoor Enthusiasts

In 1991, the City formally closed the landfill in accordance with a master plan to repurpose the site. The City subsequently hired SCS Engineers to perform landfill post-closure monitoring and maintenance services. These services included landfill gas system operations, site surface repairs, groundwater monitoring, and compliance reporting to create a safe environment for human, animal, and plant life. Based on a remarkable safety and compliance record, the City was awarded the 2000 Gold Award for innovations in landfill gas control and post-closure use from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

Sustainable programs are an important part of the 90-acre park with opportunities for citizens to be involved in community activities. Popular programs include model rocket launching, kite flying, picnicking, dog walking and dog playground, wheelchair accessible trails, and a large lawn area for public activities. The park has successfully expanded activities to include scientific and cultural events as well, with the installation of the solar calendar, homage to the famous activist and park namesake, at a peaceful waterfront vantage point.

“We’re excited that the City of Berkeley and its citizens are reaping the environmental benefits and economic value the park provides,” said Galen Petoyan, Senior Vice President Operations and Maintenance (O&M) at SCS Engineers. “We enjoy supporting the City, which has taken the concept and value of a sustainable post-closure operations program to heart allowing citizens a safer environment with better air and water quality.”

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