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In Our Own Backyard

The Oakland Museum of California and East Bay Regional Park District present In Our Own Backyard: A Celebration of the East Bay Regional Parks, with more than 40 photographs from the museum’s Bob Walker archive, March 15- November 9, 2008.

The exhibition offers visitors a virtual journey through the East Bay’s most scenic parks and open spaces, following the flow of water from snow-capped Mt. Diablo downstream and eventually into the Bay.

Between 1982 and 1992, Bob Walker created one of the most remarkable portraits of the East Bay landscape ever captured on film. Walker planned to leave his archive-more than 40,000 35-mm slides and historical documents-to the Oakland Museum of California. It came to the museum after his death, in 1992.

The East Bay Regional Park District was created in 1934 by concerned citizens who wanted to protect surplus watershed land in the hills over Oakland and Berkeley from development.

"Bob Walker adopted the East Bay Regional Parks-his photography brought to life the beauty and unique features of our landscape," said Park District General Manager Pat O’Brien. "Through his insightful photographs and passion for preservation, he helped protect thousands of acres of treasured open space."

Nearly 75 years later, the East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park agency in the nation, with 65 parks, nearly 100,000 acres of protected space, and 1100 miles of trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

In Our Own Backyard was curated by Christopher Beaver, author of After the Storm: Bob Walker and the East Bay Regional Park District (Wilderness Press, 2007). He tracks the growth of the Park District via Walker’s images and documents, video, and audio.

After the Storm includes 80 of Walker’s magnificent photos. It is also an account of the photographer’s courageous efforts to document and help