Aquatic Park in Berkeley is an odd sliver of wetlands and groomed meadows flanked by the rushing cars of I-80 to the west and railroad tracks to the east. A 68-acre lake is the centerpiece of the park; incredibly, the lake's east bank was once the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.
Bird watchers will be pleased to find a diversity of species in the lagoon habitat. Aquatic Park boasts a children’s playground, an 18-hole disc golf course, and day use picnic areas. The area is also host to a bevy of watersports. Rowboats and kayaks can be rented on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for use in the estuary. Local rowing and waterski clubs also utilize the lake’s still waters, which were cut off from the bay by the construction of the freeway.
Like many urban green spaces, Aquatic Park is a bit rough around the edges. Community groups and the City of Berkeley are working to eradicate illicit activities in the park, but it is a work in progress. Car break-ins and unruly dogs are persistent issues, though businesses and community workshops opening on the north end have helped to revitalize the area and bring families back to the park.