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Vallejo Construction Project Sparks Protest Over Burial Grounds

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Ohlone tribe members protest a planned constuction project in Vallejo (CBS)

Ohlone tribe members protest a planned constuction project in Vallejo (CBS)

VALLEJO (CBS SF) – A Native American group in Vallejo is opposing the potential construction of a parking lot on their ancient burial site that could begin later this month.

Glen Cove Waterfront Park, a 15-acre stretch of land and water in the southern part of Vallejo, is slated to have its natural trails enhanced and receive a new parking lot sometime this year, according to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District.

But the area, which features a protected shoreline and groves of eucalyptus trees, is also the final resting place of many Native Americans dating back more than 3,500 years, according to Wounded Knee, a Vallejo resident and Native American opposing the park’s renovation.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“They have built swimming pools and condominiums, and now they want to build a parking lot,” Knee said. “We think enough is enough.”

GVRD’s master plan includes building a parking lot would service 15 cars, according to its website, www.gvrd.org. In addition, crews would construct a single restroom for the use of visitors who don’t live near the site.

The organization also plans to provide a small number of picnic tables and benches, mostly along the shoreline.

A GVRD spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the potential bulldozing.

Knee said he heard rumors that a local contractor may begin bulldozing as soon as Friday, so protesters planned a news conference and rally Wednesday afternoon.

“Everyone has the right to a final resting place,” Bay Area resident and Ohlone member Corrina Gould said in a statement. “Our ancestors deserve to have a resting place on their original land without the threat of being removed for the sake of a park.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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