Niven Park Improvement Project

PICNIC AREA CONSTRUCTION STARTING SOON 

Improvements of the picnic area across from the fire station on Drakes Landing Road will start soon.  New concrete surfacing will replace the grass and the picnic tables will be replaced with a variety of seating options. Also coming are a new dog friendly drinking fountain; new benches and bike racks; replacement trash & recycle bins; and a bevy of new shade trees. 

Community Build Event being planned for November

Speaking of new tables and benches, we could have hired a contractor to do the assembly (yawn) or have way more fun with a community build event! Once the delivery date has been confirmed, we will set a Friday morning date. 

Niven Park Community Build Preview

PARK ENTRANCE REPLANTING COMPLETE (August 2022)

The landscaping of the park entrance planting area at Barry Way & Drakes Landing Road has been completed.  The plant selections are drought tolerant, California-native species.  They are colorful and pollinator-friendly!  By next year, they will be close to fully mature and will beautifully welcome park users for years to come.

Completed Niven Park Planter Area

Niven Planting Area B

Planting List

Wondering what plants are here?  Here is the full planting plan.

montage of plants in planting area

Entrance Sign Coming Soon!

A new park sign is being fabricated and will be installed soon.  Here is a preview of what it will look like.  Thank you for your patience!

Entrance Sign sketch
Entrance Sign mockup

PLAYGROUND PROJECT RECEIVES DONATION (November 2021)

A private Greenbrae family has generously donated substantial funding for the playground project.  This significant influx of funds has allowed the playground area will be expanded, adding several new pieces of play equipment; a cozy family picnic area; a short perimeter safety fence; and lots unique landscaping, pathways, shade trees and visual elements.  The theme is nature-based and discovery-zoned, with a mindfulness toward universal accessibility.

Interesting side note -- the stunning centerpiece of the playground will be the "Forest Hut" by Eathscape. Stately standing at 21-feet, its slender, slatted design is diaphanous yet whimsical.  You can see a smaller version of this structure at the new Presidio Tunnel Tops park in San Francisco.

"Forest Hut" play structure

Forest_Hut_earthscape
Niven Playground prelim design

SCOPE OF WORK CULLED FROM COMMUNITY OUTREACH SURVEYS (October 2021)

Based on community input from the public survey conducted in August 2021, the areas of Niven Park that will be upgraded are:

  • Landscaping area at the park entrance 
  • Picnic area on Drakes Landing Road
  • Playground - new equipment and small enlargement
  • Park-wide upgrades to lighting, benches, and drinking fountains

Funding 

This project will use funding from: 

  • County of Marin Park's Measure A program
  • Donation by private citizen (anonymous)
  • Donation by the Larkspur Community Foundation
  • State of California CalRecycle program
Project Zones

PROJECT BACKGROUND (July 2020)

Improvements for Niven Park were identified in the 2015 Mini-Parks Action Plan.  Area of improvements included mandatory accessibility and safety code compliance upgrades needed as well as discretionary aesthetic and usability improvements.

In February 2020, City staff conducted two community meetings, inviting residents from the neighborhood adjacent to Niven Park as well as members of the general public. 

Approximately 60 people attended the meetings. City staff encouraged a two-way discussion to solicit community feedback about what upgrades were and weren't desired at Niven Park. 

The feedback from these in-person meetings formed the basis of a follow-up online survey, the results of which was used to develop the Preliminary Concept Design.

Park overview small

Public Outreach - Round 1

Two community meetings were held in February 2020 as information gathering sessions.  Concepts and ideas were presented by City staff,, then the public was given an opportunity to comment and provide feedback. In attendance were:

  • Residents from Cape Marin and Drakes Landing Circle invited via email and by postcards sent by USPS. 
  • Park users invited by noticing posted throughout the park.
  • General public by notices posted at the three designated City community boards.
Niven Park Project - invite to community meeting

Public Outreach - Round 2 

Based on the feedback from the community meetings held in February, City staff created an on-line survey and invitations to participate were sent to the same list from the first round of public outreach during April thru June 2020. 

Staff posed a series various park upgrade scenarios and asked survey takers to rank their desire to see these improvements made.  The results were then used to develop a preliminary scope of work and design concept.

invite-survey-zone B FRONT

PROJECT MANAGER

Questions? More info? Please contact: Rita Schoch, Larkspur Public Works, 415-927-5784, rschoch@cityoflarkspur.org.