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About Us


Friends of Dimond Park began as a small group of neighbors and park users advocating for improved accessibility at Dimond Park. We officially organized as a group in 2015 to continue that work and expand our efforts to maintain, improve and preserve the best of this beloved community resource for current and future generations.

Check out our recent newsletter that reviews our accomplishments in 2023 and looks at our goals for 2024.


Mission Statement

To ensure that the diverse recreation needs
of the community for an accessible, safe, well-maintained park are met.

Mission Statement

Board of Directors

​The Friends of Dimond Park Board are all volunteers who donate their time, sweat and sleepless nights to Dimond Park. We are always thinking about how to negotiate more resources for our Park, how to utilize volunteers' energy to beautify and maintain it, and how we can preserve the best of this historic open space for future generations. Here's a little about us and what motivates our efforts: 

  • Opie Bellas (founding member) - Board Chair. Opie serves as Board Chair for Friends of Dimond Park. In a previous life, Opie was a  professional singer with 5 recordings to her credit. She has been a long-time volunteer with Daily Bread, a non-profit whose mission is to redirect excess food from local vendors to places that could make good use of the food. As a competitive tennis player she has made it her mission to see the Dimond Tennis court renovation to completion. “I would like to thank District 4 Councilmember Sheng Thao for her can-do attitude and commitment to the Dimond neighborhood. Dimond Park is a jewel worth caring for.”

  • Kathy Kenworthy (2021) (Vice Chair) - Kathy has been a Dimond resident for about 40 years.  Her kids grew up playing in Dimond Park and going up and down the trails in Dimond Canyon.  She has recently retired and is happy to be able to give back to a place where her family had so many fun adventures. She hopes we can maintain and improve the Park so that it is a go-to place for many more years.

  • Laurie Umeh (founding member) - Secretary/Treasurer. Laurie lives in the Melrose neighborhood. She grew up across the street from a Minneapolis city park.  She swims at Lions Pool and is a proud member of the Really Terrible String Orchestra of Berkeley (cello).  

  • Marilyn Miller (founding member) - Marilyn was in traffic court to request community service as an alternative to paying a fine. The judge agreed and granted her request to serve in Dimond Park.  Those 18 hours of service produced an indelible delight in the promise of the Park and, many years later, joining with other volunteers known today as Friends of Dimond Park.  Working with various volunteer groups early on and into the present has been/is a source of camaraderie and community, precious commodities in these times.

  • Marion Mills (member at-large) - Marion has lived in the Dimond District for 35 years, close to Dimond Park.  She walks the park and Dimond Canyon every day and swim in the Lions pool three days a week.  She, and a group of volunteers, do a litter walk every Monday at 8 AM as an Oakland Adopt A Spot member.  The community loves the park and it is a much used playground, with tennis courts, picnic area, and places to rest for the community.

  • Suzanne Drolet (2021) (member at-large) Suzanne has lived on Lyman Road with her husband, Alex, and dogs since 2011. Some of her earliest and favorite memories of her childhood happened at parks, and she enjoys helping keep this special neighborhood park a place to make fond memories for kids of all ages. When not working at Dimond Park, you can find her walking her dogs, working in her garden, or practicing yoga in her home studio. 

Board of Directors


FODP Board of Directors currently meets the first Tuesday of every month, at 11:30 a.m. Meeting locations vary, so please let us know if you'd like to know where the next meeting takes place. Minutes for past meetings are available for review upon request. 


Ongoing Priorities

  • Completing the bathroom mural project - we are so close on fundraising! 

  • Continue work parties on the third Saturday of the month - bring your family and friends!

  • Increase our volunteer base to expand park maintenance and planting (especially reviving the native plant area)

  • Target projects to expand ADA access as proposed. 

  • Build connections to local schools and organizations for work parties and special project days.  Students become our next volunteers!

  • Expand our Advisory Board - We Want YOU!  We’re looking for new members to support and guide our work keeping Dimond Park sparkling and accessible!  There are many ways you can help! 



FODP celebrates the following recent achievements:


General Park Maintenance and Beautification

  • Our dedicated volunteers clocked over 1,000 hours, picking up 2,700 gallons of green waste and nearly 2,000 gallons of trash. 

  • Completed 12 Monthly Workdays with over 1,000 volunteer hours

  • Regular walking path cleanup and tennis court sweeping and signage installation

  • Monday Morning Litter Crew logged nearly 500 hours

  • Secured permanent trash receptacles throughout the table areas

  • Purchased and maintained tools, eco-trash bags and sponsored public tool sharpening day

  • Coordinated picnic table repair and prep by the City, then FODP team painted them - on the hottest day of the year!!

  • Bathroom mural project designed and nearly funded


 Planting and Vegetation Management

  • Planted 50 daffodil bulbs for spring color by the restrooms 

  • Planted 7 new trees (oaks and elms) in the picnic areas and set up regular watering crews. Thank you Trees for Oakland! 

  • Cleared TONS of invasive French broom and ivy on hillside

Advocacy and Access

  • Worked with City of Oakland to add ADA compliant bench to the women’s shower at Dimond Pool

  • Collaborated with City of Oakland to install rail for stairs leading to the upper parking lot

  • Manned an Oaktoberfest table for community outreach and fundraising


  • Community work days with the Renaissance International School & Oakland Student Services for cleaning picnic tables in preparation for painting, new sand to south sand box, French broom removal 

  • Work day with corporate volunteers from Zymergen to paint Redwood BBQ area group tables and Scout Hut

  • FODP volunteers painted tables by basketball courts and Sequoia BBQ area

  • Successful online petition drive resulting in repair of broken playground equipment & new safety surfacing for north playground

  • Nine 3rd Saturday work days for routine park maintenance for weeding and planting at native plant beds, sweeping paths, litter pickup

  • Longstanding Monday morning litter pickup group merged with Friends of Dimond Park

  • Expanded advocacy efforts toward improving ADA access at Dimond Park

  • Initiated campaign for repainting public bathrooms with art/mural to improve their appearance and deter graffiti

  • Twice weekly clearing of tennis courts (ongoing)

  • Removing overgrown vegetation behind the upper parking lot, adjacent to private property (ongoing)

Kudos to the Oakland Dept. of Public Works & Park, Recreation & Youth Development for the following improvements to Dimond Park in 2022:

  • New signage

  • New LED light for tennis courts

  • Repairing broken playground equipment & new safety surfacing for north playground

  • Repairing damaged bbq grills & installing new drinking fountains with water bottle fillers

  • Replacing missing board for pergola at Scout Hut

2020 & 2021

Replacement of two tennis courts, benches and fencing

  • Security Gates installed at  Dimond & Hanly Avenues

  • Sequoia Grove picnic area rehabilitated (thanks to a grant from Dimond Improvement Association)

  • Planted daffodils supplied by Keep Oakland Beautiful

  • Received Dimond Improvement Association grant for picnic table renovations

  • PR - positive write-up in FOSC's November 2020 "Friend of the Month"

  • Major flammable vegetation removal from upper parking lot

  • Over 100 native plants installed in creek-side planting beds

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