The Shadelands Scene
Community news, updates, and insights
Shadelands is home to 13 restaurants and food service businesses, including two taprooms, offering a wide and delicious selection of dishes and drinks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after hours. Each establishment has felt the sting of the pandemic as it has been forced to close, allowed to open with minimum service, and then close again in unsettled times.

Mindful of the devastating economic effects the health crisis has had on all restaurants, the City of Walnut Creek has implemented a $1 million Restaurant Grant Program to help the local restaurant community with expenses related to business operations changes due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders.

Full service restaurants are eligible for up to $10,000 in grant funds, and limited service restaurants and bars are eligible for up to $5,000 in funds. The goal is to get help to as many Walnut Creek restaurants and food service businesses as possible.

Applicants must be independently owned with a physical brick-and-mortar location in incorporated Walnut Creek, and in business since June 2019. Grants are distributed on a first come/first served basis, with applicants required to meet general eligibility criteria.

"It is important to move forward to support our businesses in a truly meaningful way," says Teri Killgore, Assistant City Manager.

Collette Hanna
Economic Development Manager
1666 North Main Street, City Hall
Walnut Creek

While this may not save every restaurant, grant monies will help those who are struggling with operations changes associated with COVID, says Teri.

She lists rent, payroll, PPE, interior and exterior improvements mandated by pandemic protocols, outdoor dining winterization, and take-out window construction and improvements as examples of expenses covered by grants.

Visit Restaurant Grant Program for more information, eligibility criteria, and the online application.
The Center for Community Arts has been inspiring creativity through the arts for more than 50 years, welcoming more than 10,000 adults and young people every year to learn from experienced teaching artists and create art in city-wide classrooms and studios—and now in their own homes.

Community Arts offers quarterly classes and one-day workshops in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, fiber arts, jewelry, dance, music, photography, digital media, and theater. Preschool enrichment programs and camps give children ages 2-14 years the time and space to play, develop, and learn through the arts.
In March 2020 with the onset of the pandemic, Community Arts quickly shifted from in-person classes to virtual classes through Zoom and outdoor classes with masks and social distancing when weather permits.

Through creative approaches to virtual learning, classes are as popular as ever and many people who had previously been unable to attend in person are now able to enjoy online arts instruction.
“We’ve also been able to offer pre-school classes and youth camps as these programs are essential services for working families,” says Program Manager Maile Ogasawara. “Our preschool teachers have been back in the classroom since July 2020, with all health and safety rules and protocols in place. This has been a valuable service for parents and a much-needed outlet and learning experience for children.”

Spring 2021 art classes, camps, and pre-school programs are viewable online and registration begins February 24.
111 N. Wiget Lane
Walnut Creek
Early Bird discounts and scholarships are available for classes and camps.

For scholarships, click on the website tab “Financial Aid,” or e-mail
It is never too early to learn water safety and swimming skills—steps that can save a life in the blink of an eye. The Aqua babies Program at American Swim Academy (ASA), in the Shadelands SportsMall, demonstrates that babies and toddlers, ages 4 to 35 months, are ready and eager to learn how to be safe and comfortable in water—and how to enjoy waterplay with their parents and fellow swimmers.

“We have purpose and goals in our teaching,” says Linda Bailey, Director of Training and Development for ASA. “We build on the parent/child bond, creating fun time for parents and children, while teaching swimming and water safety skills—hiding the learning in the play.”

Aqua babies classes are limited to four swimmers and four parents per 30-minute class, with the instructor in the water guiding parents in techniques for holding their children comfortably, calmly, and safely so babies feel relaxed and at ease in the water, learning to swim through the water and float on their backs for safety.

COVID regulations are in place. Sanitized face shields are available to borrow, while many parents wear their own masks. Class size has been reduced to allow for social distancing among parents and instructor.

“We set goals for the class, and goals for the individual swimmer,” says Linda. “Instruction is developmentally based, which allows us to balance the challenging moments of the baby or toddler, knowing when to press on or back off, acknowledging the young child as an individual and giving them their independence and chance to learn at a comfortable pace—always teaching from love.”

Starting children young allows their relationship with water to become second nature to them.

"They’re in the water, playing and laughing and splashing, learning to swim and feel safe and confident before they have time to fear the water,” says Linda, who was, herself, one of the organization’s first infant/toddler swimmers when ASA, then known as Fremont Swim School, opened in 1973. “Being in water becomes a part of their physical abilities and life experiences before they can remember not being in water."
2650 Shadelands Drive
Walnut Creek
30-minute classes, Mon–Sun
Morning, afternoons, evenings
Register by phone: 925.452.7946
Winter classes still available

Spring classes begin March 7
Priority given to current members
Open Enrollment begins February 7
What is 211? An easy-to-remember three-digit number that serves as our community’s comprehensive and confidential resource hotline, 24/7.

Every year, National 211 Day is celebrated on February 11, to recognize the more than 200 211s located throughout the United States and to increase awareness of this vital service that connects people with essential health and human services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Used by millions of people every day, 211 offers access to free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling; disaster assistance; food, health care, and insurance assistance; stable housing and utilities payment assistance; employment services; veteran services; COVID-19 resources, and childcare and family services.

In 2019, U.S. 211s answered more than 11 million calls and close to 450,000 texts, chats, and emails, making more than 14 million connections to life-changing support and resources.
307 Lennon Lane
Walnut Creek
Call 211 or 800.833.2900
Locally, 211 services are provided by the Contra Costa Crisis Center, available by phone and text 24/7.

Do you need help, or do you know someone who needs help?

Call 211 today or text HOPE to 20121 to speak to a trained specialist. Help is available in multiple languages.
Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) has gone virtual with its popular Paws and Relax "Paint Your Pet" class.

Capture the essence of your pet while exploring your inner artist through one of ARF's most popular fundraising activities.

No talent? No problem. Canvasses are pre-sketched with your pet's portrait, drawn from a high-res digital image of your pet that you provide upon registering. An experienced artist guides you through the painting process with step-by-step instructions via Zoom.

A portion of the proceeds allow ARF to save dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and support programs that bring people and animals together to enrich each other's lives.

Paws and Relax classes:

• Sat, March 20, 10am & 2:30pm
• Sat, June 26, 10am & 2:30 pm
• Sat, August 14, 10am & 2:30pm
• Sat, November 6, 10am & 2:30pm
2890 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek
Updated since last month's story:

Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) will be hosting its 30th annual musical extravaganza, Stars to the Rescue, in Spring 2021, with an all-new online format featuring headliner Gloria Estefan.

Estefan and a soon-to-be-announced line-up of performers are donating their time for an evening of music and entertainment to help raise awareness and critical funds for ARF's lifesaving programs.
2890 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek
More details coming soon! Check ARF's website for news and updates about the event date, celebrity performers, and gala activities.
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IN 2021
Generally 2nd & 4th Tuesday
9–10am, via Zoom

Visit Walnut Creek Chamber for details and registration for upcoming webinars. Topics, agendas, and dates are subject to change.
Visit the intersection of Oak Grove Road and Shadelands Drive, and you'll see construction progress at the northwest corner. The 1.19-acre parcel will be the site of an approximately 9,000-SF facility that will house financial services. The Shadelands Scene Team is researching details and hopes to share news soon.

Construction also continues on the Trellis Skilled Nursing facility on Mitchell Drive, located next to the John Muir Health Ultimate Fieldhouse and across the street from the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts. Still no word on construction timeline or expected open date, but The Shadelands Scene Team is on it and hopes to share updates soon.
Oak Grove Road & Shadelands Drive,
1.19-acre parcel under construction
Trellis Skilled Nursing, Mitchell Drive,
under construction
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