The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, known locally as “HARD” is an independent special district created in 1944 by public vote to provide park and recreation services. The District encompasses over 100 square-miles, and serves 290,000 residents in the City of Hayward and the unincorporated communities of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo.
Today, HARD has become the largest recreation district in California with over 600 employees and 140 parks and facilities. The District provides residents with two golf courses and many beautiful facilities and parks that have received national and state recognition for their design, innovation and beauty, as well as hundreds of educational and recreational classes and programs.
Operating under the Board/Manager form of government, the five Board Members are directly elected for alternating four-year terms. The General Manager is appointed by the Board and is responsible for carrying out the policy directions of the Board.
In November 2016 voters of the District overwhelming passed Measure F1 to issue $250 million in General Obligation Bonds for park and facility improvements.