Dracena Park is a repurposed quarry pit in lower Piedmont. The quarry was started in 1852 by Walter Blair, at the head of Pleasant Valley Creek (now culverted under east Grand Avenue), and supplied stone for Oakland’s first streets. After it was closed, the City of Piedmont used it as a maintenance yard, then converted it to a splendid park with an enchanting lawn surrounded by a walkway. At the entrance is a sturdy, attractive new play complex; to the north is a narrow ravine where the headwaters of the creek once flowed.
The stone appears to be a faulted mix of sandstone and basalt of the Novato Quarry Terrane of the Franciscan complex, like the rest of Piedmont and its surroundings. Here the two rock types are juxtaposed. I’m eager to come back and poke around these rocks some more — with my hammer left at home, of course.