The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.) and the H.A.R.D. Foundation are excited to announce the award of a $100,000 grant from the esteemed Fremont Bank Foundation. This grant is designed to address critical needs in our community and further the District’s mission to enrich the quality of life for all residents through recreation, education, and, specifically, the revitalization of the Sulphur Creek Nature Center.
H.A.R.D.’s upcoming project is the redesign and reimagining of the Sulphur Creek Nature Center, a beloved facility within our community. Construction is set to commence in late Fall of 2023, and the $100,000 Fremont Bank Foundation grant will assist with funding for the following key components:
Outdoor Classroom: A paved pavilion structure providing shade and shelter for interactive learning opportunities, camps, field trips, and community events.
Amphitheater: An open-air stadium with rustic log seating for lectures and performances.
Wayfinding Signage: Comprehensive messaging to orient visitors and provide educational materials about the center’s animal residents and native flora and fauna.
Grant funds will also support general construction costs, including earthwork, removal, grading, and landscaping to create a safe, inviting atmosphere for visitors.
The Groundbreaking for this project will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center.
H.A.R.D.’s mission is deeply rooted in providing a diverse range of recreational activities, parks, and facilities that promote health and wellness, learning, and fun for individuals of all ages and abilities within our community. The organization currently serves more than 309,000 residents across 110 sites, covering 1,369 acres, and offering a myriad of programs tailored to youth, teens, adults, seniors, and those with developmental disabilities.
Within our service area, there are several key demographic factors that highlight the critical importance of our mission:
68% of students in the Hayward Unified School District qualify for free or reduced-price meals, exceeding the state average of 60%.
9% of households within H.A.R.D.’s jurisdiction fall below the federal poverty level.
21% of households claim a member with a disability.
14% of the population is over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In light of these socioeconomic challenges, H.A.R.D. and the H.A.R.D. Foundation have played a vital role in ensuring that everyone in our community, regardless of financial status or ability, has access to enriching outdoor recreational facilities and programs. Of particular note, during the Fall of 2021 through the Summer of 2022, approximately 1,800 individuals paid no fees, and 4,729 paid less than $10 for H.A.R.D. classes. Our goal is to expand these opportunities even further.
“The Nature Center enhancements will make the facility more welcoming, accessible, and popular among Hayward community members, particularly students from diverse neighborhoods who will benefit from unique educational opportunities.” H.A.R.D. Board of Directors President Rick Hatcher.
The Fremont Bank Foundation’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all aligns perfectly with the mission and vision of H.A.R.D. and the H.A.R.D. Foundation.
“Easy access to parks and recreation are at the core of our Bay Area cities and neighborhoods,” said Brian Hughes, Executive Vice President at Fremont Bank and President/Executive Director at Fremont Bank Foundation. “Fremont Bank Foundation looks for ways to enrich and protect our natural resources, which opens up opportunities for everyone to share in the beauty. The rejuvenated Sulphur Creek Nature Center will be the ideal outdoor gathering place for future generations to come.”
This grant will be combined with the OEEF grant that provided $500,000 fund for the project.
For more information about the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, please visit www.HaywardRec.org; on H.A.R.D. Foundation visit https://thehardfoundation.org/ and on the Fremont Bank Foundation visit www.fremontbank.com