PLEASANTON -- A small, little-used city park will get a $420,000 upgrade and a new name to become a more visible northern gateway to the downtown.

The City Council has agreed to rename the 0.75-acre Main Street Green Park as Rotary Park in recognition of three local Rotary clubs' contributions to the park and to an upcoming renovation.

The $420,000 overhaul, to begin in the fall, will redo landscaping and add a plaza, paths, benches, game tables, two bocce ball courts, a shade trellis, space for public art and an 11-space parking lot.

Rotary clubs will donate $25,000 for an illuminated 12-foot-tall vintage clock to mark the entrance of the park at the corner of Main Street and Vervais Avenue and just north of Arroyo Del Valle.

"This park will serve as a northern gateway to the downtown," said Susan Andrade-Wax, Pleasanton's director of community services. "This is a significant improvement at this entrance to the downtown."

She said she expects the old-style clock to become a distinct Pleasanton landmark similar to the iconic archway sign over Main Street. To be sure, the Main Street Green Park has had a low-profile.

"I would guess most people in Pleasanton don't know its name," said Brad Hirst, a local Rotary Club leader. "It doesn't even have a sign."


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Local Rotarians want that to change, providing a plaza for people to relax, eat lunch, play bocce ball or begin hikes on a trail along the arroyo. The park renovations will be done in two phases, the first to be completed by April in time for a May 1 Rotary celebration of 50 years of service in Pleasanton. The second phase -- with the bocce courts -- will be done later, possibly in 2015, Andrade-Wax said.

The landscaping will include no-mow grass and other low-water-using plants. Rotary sought the name change because it has made improvements to the park in the past, in addition to its contribution of some $25,000 to buy the vintage clock.Three clubs joined forces on this project -- Rotary Club of Pleasanton, Rotary Club of Pleasanton North and Tri-Valley Evening Rotary. Under Pleasanton's policy, a park can be named after a service club if it has ties to that park and the club has made contributions to the community.

Another Pleasanton park -- the Lions Wayside Park -- was renamed to recognize the Lions Club's contributions to that park and the community. The Main Street Green Park site was used as the city's corporation yard several decades ago before the city outgrew the small site.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.