South Hayward picnic connects neighbors

Louis LaVenture & Kali Persall,
Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor

On Sunday, South Hayward residents will have the opportunity to get to know their neighbors better at a community picnic at Garin Regional Park.

A flier for the event invites residents of Fairway Park and surrounding neighborhoods to meet from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Picnic Area in Garin Regional Park, located at 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward. Those hoping to attend are urged to RSVP through community social network Nextdoor, in advance and bring games and other entertainment, food, drinks, utensils and folding chairs.

According to six-year Hayward resident Renee Ferrantino, her family are long-time residents of Hayward and her grandmother has owned a house in the Fairway Park neighborhood since it was built.

Recently, Ferrantino has noticed an increase in crime in the area and hopes the event will strengthen the relationships between neighbors and establish a type of informal neighborhood watch.

“I noticed the neighborhood was starting to go downhill,” said Ferrantino. “A lot of car break-ins and crazy car activity.”

According to, a crime-tracking database that operates in collaboration with law enforcement, in the last month there were 29 reported crimes in Fairway Park, including 4 vehicle thefts, two burglaries and two robberies.

“Somebody tried to break in our neighbor’s house,” said Ferrantino. “Our dog was going crazy, it was scary. We knew then we needed security cameras.”

This is the second community picnic that Ferrantino has organized within the last year. The first took place in October and attracted around 40-55 people, including Hayward General Plan Update Task Force member Daniel Goldstein and Hayward City Council member Al Mendall, according to Ferrantino.

Ferrantino said she envisions the event progressing into regular neighborhood activities and trips in the future. “We have to look out for each other as neighbors, that’s what these are all about,” she said.