In forgotten spaces, DSAL sees the potential for a thriving community.
DSAL continually takes on projects that revitalize vacant and dilapidated spaces with community centers, urban farms, safe spaces to play and cultural projects. Each project provides a vital community service that creates economic opportunity and enriches the lives of the Ashland and Cherryland areas.
CANCHITAS SOCCER PARK
DSAL’s most ambitious project to date created a multi-purpose urban village on East 14th Street. Downtown Ashland Station combines a public market, play space, futsal courts, performance space, a Family Resource Center, and a substation for Crime Prevention Unit Deputies.
This space provides:
More safe public spaces for sports, recreation, family activities, the arts, and social gathering for children, older youth, and families
Parenting classes and resources for families who can then better support their children’s development
Jobs for youth and young adults in food service at the public market, as activity leaders for younger children, and as facility staff at community events
The Canchitas walling system has been relocated to the Ashland Sports Park space located behind REACH. This field is home to rec soccer programming and Sheriffs FC practices.
REVITALIZING HAYWARD ADULT SCHOOL
Hayward Adult School occupies a former comprehensive high school campus which has vast expanses of unused space, both indoor and outdoor.
With the staunch support of the Hayward Adult principal, DSAL built a boxing gym and a brand new Fitness Arena that provide ongoing fitness mentors, a menu of fitness classes, and a Spanish-speaking Residents’ Academy. HAS is also home to our Wrestling and Muevete programs. The Fitness Arena hosts self defense and kickboxing classes as well.
URBAN FARMS AND FOOD EQUITY
Healthy food is medicine.
Founded in 2010, Dig Deep Farms grows healthy vegetables in the Alameda County communities of Ashland, Cherryland, and San Leandro. Our mission is to improve health and wellbeing in the Eden Area by creating jobs, reducing recidivism through re-entry internships and making fresh, locally grown food accessible to all.
We currently have about 8 acres of urban farm space, with four urban farm parcels.
REACH COMMUNITY CENTER
REACH Youth Center is the product of 10 years of community input that began with the FYI (Furthering Youth Inspiration), a youth group of ages 11-18 that met weekly to discuss challenges facing Ashland and Cherryland. After thousands of interviews the biggest requests were a youth/community center, and safe, productive activities for everyone.
Up until REACH's doors opened, youth in the community drove the development, planning and programmatic offerings to ensure the center refelcted the needs of Ashland and Cherryland.
The creation of the Neideffer Fields sports park was initiated during the pandemic by Alameda County Sheriff’s Sergeant Daniel Murphy, then a School Resource Officer. At the height of the pandemic, the area next to REACH was taken over at night by people drinking and tagging walls with graffiti. Instead of making arrests, Murphy reached out to other community agencies and nonprofit partners to develop solutions to increase the safety of the space.
Murphy and DSAL secured funds from the Sheriff’s Office to rehabilitate the blighted park, which is now a safe, fun, permanent home for DSAL’s free sports activities. This was all made possible through the support of the San Lorenzo Unified School District, HARD, REACH, ACSO, the Probation Department, and the Board of Supervisors.
HAS SUNSET FUTSAL PARK
Located at 300 Laurel Ave., on the Hayward Adult School campus, this free-to-play Futsal park consists of two, adult-size courts and four youth-size courts to provide space to serve soccer and futsal participants in DSAL's health and fitness programming, as well as drop-in play for community members.
Futsal is a variation of soccer popular throughout the world and growing rapidly in the US that teaches fitness, coordination, teamwork, and more.
DSAL currently provides soccer & futsal programming for approximately 2,000 youth, and the addition of the Sunset Futsal Park provides space for more participants to engage.