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The Berkeley Remix Podcast: Season 5

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Set in the parks of the East Bay hills, the Hidden Heroes podcast season is about people who have made a difference: fighting fires, breaking gender barriers, preserving the land. 

Listen to all of our podcast episodes on SoundCloud or search #TheBerkeleyRemix on iTunes.

Season Five: Hidden Heroes

Poppies on the hillsIn season 5 of the Berkeley Remix, we’re diving into the long history of the East Bay Regional Park District, which was founded in 1934. All of the episodes are set in the East Bay parks and are about people who’ve made a difference. Some are stories that you’re already familiar with, but haven’t heard like this. Over the course of three episodes, we’ll explore the park district’s integral role in fighting the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, of being on the forefront of gender equality in the workplace, and how the districts efforts to preserve land benefited the public — through the lens of the local equestrian community.

All episodes feature interviews from the East Bay Regional Park District Oral History Project. A special thank you to the East Bay Regional Park District, especially Beverly Ortiz and Brenda Montano. Photos taken by Bob Walker from the Bob Walker Collection of the Oakland Museum, courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District. All episodes produced by Shanna Farrell and Francesca Fenzi.

Episode 1: You Really Love Your Land, Don't You?

Expansion of the East Bay Regional Park District

The first episode of the season dives into public use of the park. Since the district was formed in 1934, it has acquired 125,000 acres that span 73 parks. The episode begins with the role that one special volunteer-turned-employee played in convincing ranchers and landowners to sell their property to be preserved by the park district. Without the work of this man, and others like him, the public would not have access to this land. This includes the local equestrian community, whom we hear from in the rest of the episode, exploring how the district became a haven for horse lovers. (Written version of You Really Love Your Land, Don't You?)

This episode includes interviews with Judy Irving, Don Staysa, Judi Bank, and Becky Carlson. All music by Blue Dot Sessions:“Dorica Theme” and “A Palace of Cedar.” 

Episode 2: There's No Crying in Carpentry

Gender Equality in the East Bay Regional Park District

The park district employs hundreds of people, many of whom are women. This episode digs into the history of gender equality at the EBRPD. It follows the stories of two women who worked in the Tilden Corp yard, which houses heavy machinery, and how they challenged traditional gender roles in the workplace. They each have their own stories of growing their careers during affirmative action, and the impact that their work had on equality for all district employees. (Written version of There's No Crying in Carpentry

This episode includes interviews with Julie Haselden, Rachel MacDonald, and Stephen Gehrett. All music by Blue Dot Sessions: “Dorica Theme” and “A Palace of Cedar.”

Episode 3:  (Once in a) Career Fire

The East Bay Regional Park District Fights the Tunnel Fire

This episode explores the role of the EBRPD Fire Department in fighting the historic blaze. It explores how the fire got so bad, and the early work that district employees did to prevent large wildfires. It features interviews with district employees who managed the land and, later, who fought on the frontlines of the fire, including two UC Berkeley alumni, Anne Rockwell and Paul Miller. (Written version of Once in a Career Fire)

This episode includes interviews with Anne Rockwell, Stephen Gehrett, Michael Avalos, Paul Miller, and John Nicoles. All music by Blue Dot Sessions: “Dorica Theme,” “A Palace of Cedar,” “Drone Birch,” and “Feather on the Crest.”