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In forgotten spaces, DSAL sees the potential for a thriving community. 

As part of our mission to improve the lives of residents,  past projects have included revitalizing vacant and dilapidated spaces with the creation of community centers, safe spaces to play and cultural projects. Each project provides a vital community service that creates economic opportunity and enriches the lives of those living in the Ashland and Cherryland areas. 


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.


The Boxing and Fitness Pathways program provides a safe, inclusive space for young people each week to develop healthy habits.

Murals of boxing greats adorn the front of the boxing adult school.jpg


We first began to grow vegetables on the Firehouse parcel, located next to Alameda County Firehouse #24, at 1432 164th Avenue, in Ashland as a result of the partnership with the Alameda County Fire Department.

The impact of the Firehouse parcel cascaded into the creation of five additional DSAL farms which provided free food for the community during the Covid pandemic as well as providing food for the Food as Medicine program.

Today the Firehouse parcel is a garden oasis, bringing beauty and vibrance to the city.

Crops grow in the sun at the firehouse farm


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.

Participants gather on the lawn in the sun in front of REACH


Our Greenhouse Garden, located in Ashland behind the Pacific Apparel Clothing Store located on East 14th Street at the corner of 163rd Avenue started out as a forgotten gravel-filled piece of land, covered with tall weeds.


With the help of the Hayward Area Recreation District, we turned the uninhabitable area into a thriving vegetable garden complete with raised beds. We used the space to propagate starter plants for populating our other farm locations in the past.

Today it is a green, garden oasis in an area that largely lacks nature and green spaces for residents.

Youth experience the pleasure of an urban farm amidst the rows of crops at Greenhouse Farm


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. 

Community gathers in front of the opening banner for Neideffer Fields


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.

The new bright blue Sunset Futsal Courts under a cloudy blue sky
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