Home > Areas of Focus > Beautification


The MSIC is working on the various beautification projects and blight issues throughout the Montclair area. The following project is one such successful effort that involved numerous volunteers from the MSIC and the community.

Short Line Pocket Park

Short Line RR.  Picture courtesy of Bay Area RailsThe MSIC created a mini-park with new landscaping and a "Welcome to Montclair Village" sign at the corner of Thornhill Drive and Moraga Avenue. The new Park is called Short Line Pocket Park because it is situated on a portion of the old Short Line railway tracks that used to feed Montclair Village from Oakland.

History of Short Line Pocket Park Location
What was first known as the Oakland, Antioch, and Eastern Railway in the early 1900s made its way down what is now Hwy 13 and came through Montclair at the 13 on-ramp at Thornhill and Moraga, then through Shepherd Canyon Valley eventually to Sacramento. When the railway was purchased by the Sacramento Railroad Company it was renamed Sacramento Short Line. It operated between 1912 and 1941. The last passenger train ran  through Montclair in February 1941. Freight trains continued until 1957 and the rails were removed shortly thereafter. When it shut down, the Railway granted the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) the 30 foot wide portion of land which separated the Montclair Elementary School from Montclair Park. What we see today as the corner of Moraga and Thornhill is the tip of this land grant. (Picture above is courtesy of Bay Area Rails.)

Shortline Park - Before

The Park Began..
The MSIC approached the (OUSD to see if we could adopt the land and turn it into a small park. The OUSD generously agreed to lease the land to MSIC for a token amount with the promise we would not only transform the area but would also maintain the area once converted. Vegetation was removed and work begun on building two stone walls that will form the foundation for the planting areas. Grading, irrigation, soil conditioning was next, and the the plants and mulch were installed. Now it's a matter of monthly maintenance, consisting of weeding and mulching. Additional plants are being installed as funds are available.

pocketpark1The park project was coordinated through the generous donation of plans and installation processes provided by Feyerabend & Madden Landscape Architects. Owner Bobbie Feyerabend and her assistant Jocelyn Broduer spent a great deal of time working with MSIC to develop the look of the Park and select native plants that will be attractive as well as draught-resistant.

Creating the Park was only the start. We are committed to maintaining it through drip irrigation and regular weed maintenance.