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FAQs for LARPD Parks


FAQs for Springtown Open Space Master Plan

Fire Safety in Open Space Parks


Who operates Livermore parks and recreation?
The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) is an independent special district separate from the City of Livermore that was created by the vote of the public in 1947. It has its own, five-person Board of Directors that is elected by the citizens. LARPD operates many parks and recreation programs throughout the Livermore area.

Who does LARPD serve?
The district serves more than 115,000 people living in the 240 square miles bounded by Contra Costa County to the north, San Joaquin County to the east, Santa Clara County to the south and the cities of Pleasanton and Dublin to the west (the area once known as Murray Township).

Where is the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Office?
4444 East Ave., Livermore, CA 94550-5053.

How can I call LARPD?
Call 925-373-5700. Or go to our directory.

What is LARPD's budget?
The 2010-2011 operating budget is $16,077,567; the capital budget is $4,640,594.

Where does LARPD get its money?
From property taxes, fees, charges and grants.

What is ERAF (Education Revenue Augmentation Fund)?
Beginning in 1992, the State of California began taking money from local districts such as LARPD to patch a deficit in its own budget. The state continues to do this today, despite the fact that it has been solvent for many years. (Despite its name, ERAF has nothing to do with money going to schools.) For each year since 1992, LARPD has lost 48 percent of its property taxes to ERAF. To date, LARPD has lost more than $74.9 million (nearly one-half of its property taxes) in this manner. This affects every area of LARPD's operation.

What is the LARPD Foundation?
It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps Livermore park and recreation activities. Visit the foundation page for information on donating.

How do I get the LARPD Board of Directors to consider my ideas?
Either contact the Board (by letter, e-mail or phone) or contact LARPD staff and present your area of interest. You may also address the Board of Directors at a regular meeting.

When does the LARPD Board of Directors hold public meetings?
The Board of Directors meets at 7 p.m. on the second and last Wednesday of each month inside the Cresta Blanca Ballroom at the Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Ave.

Are you open for business on evenings and weekends?
The Community Center building is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and for programs and classes only on the weekend. The Recreation Building is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Various LARPD facilities are open evenings and weekends on an as-needed basis for programs, classes and rentals.

How do I learn about what’s new with LARPD?
Visit our online Newsroom for up-to-date information on special events, activities and news.

When do the Classes & Programs Brochures come out?
Three times a year: late December (Winter/Spring Brochure), early March (Summer Brochure) and late July (Fall Brochure). The Classes and Programs Brochure is available on our website at the same times.

Where can I get a Classes & Programs Brochure?
When they are first published, Classes and Programs Brochures are mailed to all Livermore addresses (including businesses, post office boxes and rural routes), and copies are inserted in Livermore subscriber issues of the Valley Times. Brochures are also available at most LARPD-operated buildings, Livermore City Hall, the three Livermore libraries and numerous businesses.

When can I register for classes?
Look in the activity brochure for the exact dates. The approximate times are early January, early April and early August.
Register online.  

How many facilities does LARPD operate?
LARPD operates 42 facilities, including neighborhood, special use, community and regional parks, a family campground at South Lake Tahoe, the Ravenswood Historic Site, The Barn, the Veterans Building, the Carnegie Building, the Bothwell Recreation Center and the new Robert Livermore Community Center. Please see facility map for details.

How much parkland does LARPD operate?
LARPD operates 1,842 acres, of which 1,434 acres are open space and 408 acres are developed.

How many miles of trails are there in Sycamore Grove/Veterans Park?
Sycamore Grove and Veterans parks have a total of 12 miles of trails, including 2.5 miles of paved trails. The five miles of trail in the upper area of the park are unpaved. View Sycamore Grove map here.

Can I visit Brushy Peak?
LARPD offers ranger-led tours of Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, including hikes to the top of the peak. Check the Classes & Programs Brochure for current details on upcoming trips or call 925-960-2400 for more information. In addition, a portion of Brushy Peak operated by the East Bay Regional Park District is open daily and can be accessed from the end of Laughlin Road.

Does LARPD operate Del Valle, Shadow Cliffs or the Carnegie Motorcycle Park?
No. The East Bay Regional Park District operates Del Valle and Shadow Cliffs parks. The State of California operates Carnegie Motorcycle Park, not to be confused with the Carnegie Building that LARPD manages.

Why can't bicycles use the skate park?
Bicycle pegs will damage the concrete surface, and the District’s insurance carrier will not insure them. LARPD now has a separate bicycle stunt course next to the skate park at Sunken Gardens Park.

Why are helmets required on the skate park and bicycle stunt course?
The California Health and Safety Code requires posting the requirement for helmets and pads at skate and bike parks in order to limit the District's liability for accidents. Our liability insurance carrier mandates this, as well.

Can LARPD build more lighted tennis courts?
In any of our most recent community-needs assessments, lighted tennis courts have not been identified as a priority. Four lighted tennis courts are available at the Robert Livermore Community Center.

Why aren't there restrooms in neighborhood parks?
District philosophy is that neighborhood parks are for their respective neighborhoods. Restrooms would encourage use by persons from farther away. Also, restrooms are extremely expensive to develop and maintain.

Why do LARPD athletic fields and facilities close during bad weather?
Using the fields during inclement weather may cause damage, which LARPD would rather prevent than try to repair at a higher cost.

Does LARPD sponsor Little League and soccer?
No, but email contacts for those sports and others are on our website under Youth Sport Organizations. We do help these organizations by providing facilities for some of their play. LARPD does offer a summertime Junior Giants coed baseball program for ages 5 to 10 as well as year-round baseball classes and camps. See the Brochure for details.

When are the swimming pools open?
May Nissen Swim Center is open mid-June through end of August. Recreational swim hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The pool is closed Sundays. May Nissen also offers an extensive lesson program in the mornings and evenings.

Robert Livermore Community Center Pool
is open year-round for lap swimming, water exercises and lessons. The following schedule is good from mid-June to the end of September:
Pool hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
The Activity Pool is open from 1 to 7 p.m. weekdays. The lap pool is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, visit the Aquatics page.

My child is in an LARPD day care program. What federal identification number do I use for tax purposes?
Call your site coordinator or the ESS main office at 925-960-2490.

How do I get my child into an LARPD preschool?
Call 925-960-2480 or visit the Preschool page for information.

Why do parents with children already in preschool and ESS/KZ (Extended Student Services/Kid Zone) classes get registration priority?
We have seen during the past 25 years that in order to provide a high-quality program for our students, we must provide continuity for them. For more information, call 925-960-2480 or visit the Preschool or School-aged Child Care pages on our site.

Does LARPD have a teen center?
The Elbow Room no longer operates as a teen center, however is available for party rentals for all ages. It offers a game room and lounge, two junior billiard tables, a foosball table, an air hockey table, Wii game console, sound system, 42-inch flat panel TV, refrigerator with freezer and microwave. Party food and nonalcoholic beverages may be served at the bar.

Why do senior citizens have to pay $2 for drop-in activities?
The money helps to provide staff and programs for the Senior Services Center.

Can we use LARPD buildings for free?
Buildings are expensive to operate, maintain and staff. LARPD is a strong community partner and nonprofit agency, wanting to ensure that tax dollars are used appropriately. To help cover expenses, it is District policy that everyone responsible for the expense and use of buildings should share part of the cost for their upkeep.

When can I see Ravenswood Historic Site?

Costumed docents provide free public tours at Ravenswood Historic Site from noon to 4 p.m. the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Site rental information tours are available from 4 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday from May through October and 3 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday from November through April.

Does LARPD hold a Fourth of July celebration?
Due to budget constraints, LARPD and the City of Livermore will not be holding the annual event in 2011, and do not have funds in the budget for the near future. The District and City hope to bring the event back one day, but in the meantime suggest alternative options that are listed on the Fourth of July information page.

How do I arrange for a booth at LARPD special events such as Children’s Fair?
Vendors may call 925-373-5700. Visit the Children's Fair information page.