OAKLAND, Calif. - An Oakland park with the largest remaining natural grove of coast redwoods in the East Bay has been renamed in honor of a woman who worked to acquire the park property.
Redwood Regional Park is now known as Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in honor of an Oakland woman whose contributions played a role in forming the East Bay Regional Park District in 1934.
The park district’s Board of Directors approved the name change last month.
Redwood Regional Park is now Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in honor of an Oakland woman whose contributions played a role in forming the East Bay Regional Park District in 1934. (EBRPD)
Reinhardt was one of five original board members _ and the only woman _ elected to represent the newly-founded park district.
During her tenure, the park district negotiated its' first land purchase, which created the first three parks: Tilden, Temescal, and Sibley parks.
Reinhardt was a lover of redwood trees and later worked to acquire property that would become Redwood Regional Park. The park’s redwood grove, Aurelia Reinhardt Redwoods, already bears her name.
The park in East Oakland is one of the districts' most popular parks and receives 1.4 million visitors each year.
“Aurelia had a long history of public service and advocacy for human and environmental rights,” said Park District Director Dee Rosario in a statement. “She was an amazing woman whose legacy is still alive today in the Park District’s 73 regional parks and 125,000 acres of preserved open space.”
Reinhardt was born in 1877 in San Francisco and graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1898. She earned a Ph.D from Yale in 1905 and studied as a fellow at Oxford. Reinhardt was elected president of Mills College in Oakland, the first west coast women’s college, in 1916. She held the position until 1943.
She was also a delegate at the first meeting of the United Nations in 1945.
She died in Palo Alto in 1948 at the age of 70.
A public recognition ceremony to celebrate the name change will be held at a later date.