Groundbreaking Ceremony for David Brower Center Today in Berkeley

| Publication: Oakland Tribune

BERKELEY – A groundbreaking ceremony for the David Brower Center, a place where educators and environmental activists will meet and exchange ideas, will be held today in downtown Berkeley.

Construction has begun on the landmark development, and city and community leaders will come together from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today at the corner of Allston Way and Oxford Street to celebrate and talk about the center that will be integral to Berkeley’s downtown renaissance. It is slated to be completed in January 2009.

Contractors started laying the groundwork for the center in April, but the official “groundbreaking” is today. The Center for Ecoliteracy and Earth Island Institute are among the center’s anchor tenants, but at least 30 other nonprofits want to occupy space there.

David Brower, a pioneer in the environmental movement, was the

Sierra Club’s first executive director and founded the League of Conservation Voters, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Island Institute. Brower, who was also a leader in campaigns to establish 10 new national parks, died in 2000 at the age of 88.

More than 50,000 square feet of office space for mainly nonprofit organizations, a restaurant serving organic fare, an art gallery, a 175-seat auditorium and conference rooms will occupy the building on Oxford Street between Kittridge Street and Allston Way.

A second-floor courtyard will allow tenants to collaborate on environmental projects, and long community tables in the eatery will encourage interaction among regulars and visitors.