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A Word from City Council | Friends of the Morcom Rose Garden

A Word from City Council

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A Word from District 2 Council member Patricia Kernighan.
Crews of dedicated volunteers, augmenting the work of the City’s gardening staff, have transformed the Morcom Rose Garden. If you can join a crew it would be a great service to your city, and here’s why:

Back in the day, decades ago, 12 City gardeners tended the Morcom Rose Garden. Those days are long gone and won’t ever return. Smaller gardening staffs, which are dictated by the budget constraints faced by the City, makes maintaining the Morcom a challenge. So how is it that the garden looks as good today as it ever has?  According to Bruce Cobbledick, whose father designed the garden which was constructed in 1932, the secret is a large number of volunteers. Big numbers of them turn out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday and Earth Day to tackle the weeds fed by winter rains. Regular crews work every month on the first Wednesday morning and the second Saturday morning. What do they do? They weed, spread mulch, remove spent blossoms and complete other tasks assigned by the City’s staff. All together, they have transformed the Morcom Rose Garden, which achieved the designation of AARS All-America Rose Selection Public Garden in 2009.

What do people do at the Morcom?:

  • See the first blooms in May
  • Join in the Oakland Mother of the Year Ceremony in the Garden.
  • Perhaps you and your spouse can renew your vows on the Wedding Terrace [where you were married?]
  • Include beauty with your exercise regime up and down the steps.
  • Cherish the renewal of spirit this special place offers.

There is so much the Garden offers its visitors. In return, what each of us can do is join in tending it by volunteering.


Measure WW


November 2008 saw the passage of Measure WW, the East Bay Regional Park District’s extension of its Regional Open Space, Wildlife, Shoreline and Parks Bond, initially passed in 1988.  Of the $500 million to be raised by Measure WW, $125 million (25%) of the proceeds will go to fund local park and recreation area projects. Oakland will receive $19.2 million for a handful of specific capital improvement projects.  The Morcom Rose Garden is slated to receive $1.7 million in CIP improvements.

In late 2009 community review of a preliminary plan of improvements will take place. Possible improvements will increase ADA accessibility to the garden’s features and renovations to its WPA-era construction, among others. If you are interested in being notified of a future meeting, please contact Jennie Gerard in Councilmember Patricia Kernighan’s office at jgerard@oaklandnet.com.