East Bay Park District honors Congressman DeSaulnier with 2023 Radke Championing Advocacy Award

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (center with award) is joined by (L-R) Park District General Manager Sabrina Landreth, Board President Dennis Waespi, Board Members Colin Coffey and John Mercurio, and Regional Parks Foundation Immediate Past President Les Hausrath. Photo: EBRPD

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, East Bay Regional Park District

Friday, December 8, 2023 (Oakland, CA) – The East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation recognized U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier today with the 2023 Radke Championing Advocacy Award at a ceremony along the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek. U.S. Representative DeSaulnier has been a long-time supporter and avid user of Park District parks and trails. In 2022, he was instrumental in securing $3 million in federal funding for the District’s planned visitor center at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.

“U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier has been a great champion and supporter of the East Bay Regional Park District,” said Park District Board President Dennis Waespi. “The 2023 Radke Championing Advocacy Award recognizes the Representative for his many years of advocacy for the Park District, including as a Concord City Council Member, Contra Costa County Supervisor, State Legislator, and now as a U.S. Representative.”

Representative DeSaulnier is the first award recipient serving in Washington, D.C.

“The Park District thanks Representative Mark DeSaulnier for his leadership in obtaining critical funds in the Federal budget for expanding access to the outdoors and providing a welcoming space for visitors to learn the important history at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50,” said Park District General Manager Sabrina Landreth. “Representative DeSaunier has been a true partner and champion for the Park District throughout the years.”

Representative Mark DeSaulnier is known for championing policies that promote sustainability, environmental protection, and mitigate the consequential effects of climate change. He led the effort to secure a $3 million Community Benefit Project application for a future Visitor Center at Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50. The visitor center is envisioned as a joint facility with the National Park Service (NPS) to provide outdoor recreational opportunities, connect the public with the natural and human history of the park, and serve as a welcoming center for NPS to share the history of events commemorated by the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial.

“The East Bay Regional Park District provides invaluable service to our community by creating opportunities for outdoor activity that benefit our physical and mental health, protecting the environment, and hosting wildlife educational programs,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “I am proud to have called the Park District a partner over many years in our efforts to ensure public access to parklands, preserve habitats, and share the history of our East Bay lands, and am honored to be recognized with the 2023 Radke Championing Advocacy Award.” The Radke Championing Advocacy award is named for late Park District Board Member Ted Radke, who advanced state and federal support for park funding. Former Director Radke strengthened the Park District’s ties in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Radke served 36 years on the Park District Board of Directors and was the longest-serving Board member in its 89-year history.

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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