|Location||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Operated by||City of Vancouver|
Oppenheimer Park is located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Opened in 1902 as the Powell Street Grounds by Vancouver's second mayor, David Oppenheimer; it was later renamed in honour of the mayor. The park is bounded by Jackson Street, Dunlevy Street, Powell Street, and East Cordova. Oppenheimer Park's facilities include a softball field, a basketball court, a children's playground, and a community centre with bathrooms, meeting space, and public computer access. The park employs two full-time activity coordinators and several part-time staff.
The Asahi baseball team used Oppenheimer Park as its home field prior to World War II, although it is most notable historically as being the site of one of the large demonstrations of striking workers during the events of Bloody Sunday in 1938. The park remained a popular family destination until the late 1980s when crack cocaine trade and abuse began to dominate the park's usage. Since 2004, initiatives by the Vancouver Police and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association have attempted to return the park to its original image of safe recreation, with some success.
Vancouver's longest running community celebration, the annual Powell Street Festival takes place in and around Oppenheimer Park.
First Nations Protest
As of July of 2014, some First Nations people of Canada are occupying Oppenheimer Park in a tent city. They are protesting to the city of Vancouver's attempt to evict homeless people that had been living there. They are citing the fact that Vancouver, including its parkland, is unceded First Nations' land and that a B.C. Supreme Court decision in 2009 stated that homeless persons are allowed to camp in a public park if no alternative shelters are available. The protest is ongoing.
- Oppenheimer Park, Yahoo Travel.
- "Cops flag Oppenheimer", Vancouver Courier.
- Cheryl Chan, “Do tent cities work? A look at winners and losers in Vancouver's history of park protests”, 31 July 2014
- Duncan McCue, “Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park protest raises question of aboriginal title to urban centres”, CBC News 22 July, 2014
- Feature Article entitled "The New Oppenheimer Park" provides photographs and ideas behind the new design of the park.
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