The F.M. Smith Recreation Center serves youth, teens, and seniors in downtown Oakland and surrounding communities. Bilingual staff members speak various languages, including English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish. The center features a basketball court, two play structures, a picnic area, fully-equipped computer lab, multipurpose room, and a renovated kitchen. Some of the activities and programs offered include: After School Program, Table Tennis, Kids Gardening Program, Karate Class, Girl Scouts, Summer Day Camp and Mini-Day Camp, Tai Chi and Soul Line Dancing.
As with so many other things in Oakland, a story hides here in plain sight. The “Park Boulevard Recreation Center” already existed for decades by the time it finally occurred to Oakland that renaming it after the donor of the land on which it sat not only made sense, but would finally represent an official (albeit belated) attempt to recognize a truly great civic benefactor. This public rededication took place on June 15, 1969 when both the Center and the small park became known by their current name … [rant continues here]