Current Initiatives

NPC’s Gala & Tribute to Isabel Wade: September 11, 2009

Friday, June 19th, 2009

 NPC’s annual gala on September 11th was a befitting tribute to NPC’s founding executive director, Isabel Wade.  Thanks to Grey Goose cocktails, Cameron Hughes Wine, and the delicious food and dessert of Melons Catering, guests enjoyed a fabulous and festive sit-down dinner.

After the presentation, which included toasts from Isabel’s friends and colleagues, a wonderful video tribute produced by Rick Bacigalupi (watch it below), and remarks by Isabel herself, everyone danced the night away.  Christine Krieg generously donated her time and talent to photograph the event–check out her photos here.

“We appreciate the loyal support that our coalition has given to Isabel over the years, and we are so grateful that they continue to support the organization through the transition in leadership,” says NPC’s new Executive Director, Meredith Thomas.  The gala was an apt celebration of Isabel’s inspiring work, and of the community of park groups and partner organizations that made her myriad accomplishments possible.



Park Benefactor:

Park Pioneer:
James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen

MJM Management Group

Park Steward:
Casa Buena Vista
Boris Dramov and Bonnie Fisher
Dana and Bob Emery
Robert and Chandra Friese
Anne Halsted and Dr. Wells Whitney
Local 261
Marjorie S. Munson

Pacific Waterfront Partners, LLC
Julie and Will Parish
Patty and Mike Phleger
San Francisco Apartment Association
The Sutton Law Firm
Jerry Tone and Martha Wyckoff
Diane Wilsey

Park Partner:
Alvin Baum and Robert Holgate
Bionic- Landscape Architecture and Planning
Golden Gate Disposal/Sunset Scavenger, Co.
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
, Inc.

Park Host:
Emerald Fund/Oz Erickson
Hanley Chan Solutions
Henry N. How III and Jennifer Ruddock How
Landis Communications
Jane and Larry Manning
Miriam Philips and Charles Eley
Webcor Builders
Barbara and Chris Wilson

Party Supporters:
Barbary Coast
Friends of Ina Coolbrith Park
Friends of Redwood Park
Thomas Harrison
Port of San Francisco
Russian Hill Neighbors
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department
Mike Sullivan and Paul Loeffler

A note of gratitude:

Grey Goose
Cameron Hughes Wine
1 Fort Mason
Christine Krieg Photography
Video by Rick Bacigalupi



Mayor Gavin Newsom – Co-chair
Alice Russell-Shapiro – Co-chair
Hon. Michela Alioto-Pier
Hon. John Avalos
Adah Bakalinsky
Jared Blumenfeld
Gloria Bonilla
Hon. Willie Brown
Jan Chernoff
Hon. David Chiu
Hon. Carmen Chu
Hon. José Cisneros
Hon. David Campos
Nancy Conner

Hon. Bevan Dufty
Hon. Sean Elsbernd
Mike Farrah
Bob Friese
Phil Ginsburg
Chris Guillard
Anne Halsted
Ed Harrington
Tom Harrison
John Hart
Daniel Homsey
Hon. Frank Jordan
Mindelle Kershner
Jim Lazarus
David Lee
Ed Lee
Hon. Mark Leno
Meagan Levitan
Hon. Fiona Ma
Bill Maher
Hon. Eric Mar
Larry Martin
Hon. Sophie Maxwell
Amy Meyer
Hon. Ross Mirkarimi
Monique Moyer
Janan New
Lynne Newhouse Segal
Alfredo Pedroza
Patty Phleger
Kelly Quirke
Patty-Jo Rutland
Mike Sullivan
Jim Sutton
Greg Syler
Isabel Wade
DeeDee Workman

Help RPD’s New GM Get Off To A Running Start!

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

 Do you have an idea to improve our parks? Phil Ginsburg, Rec and Park’s new General Manager who starts his job on July 7th, is soliciting the public’s ideas and support for 100 simple things he can do to make an important difference in our parks. The top three winning ideas will receive a Running Start Grant, and winners will have a private meeting with Phil.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO AUGUST 15th! A panel of park advocates and RPD staff will select the winning ideas.  Submit your ideas today to

Phil ran the SF Marathon on July 26th to raise money for this project, and is inviting the community to pledge any amount to the Running Start Fund for each mile that he ran.  Help Phil get a running start by clicking the Donate Now button below to make your donation today!

TO DONATE ONLINE: Please sponsor Phil’s marathon to benefit the Running Start Fund by clicking below.


Please send a check to Running Start Fund, C/O Neighborhood Parks Council, 451 Hayes Street, 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94102.  Please write “Running Start Fund” in the check memo.

Note: All proceeds from the Running Start Fund will go directly to approved projects. Neighborhood Parks Council will hold funds until projects are funded, and will disperse them at the request of the General Manager. Only the direct costs of managing the fund (i.e. Network For Good’s administrative charges and bookkeeping) by will be deducted by NPC, and this cost will be reported on our website.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (415) 621-3260.  Click here to download a flier.


Here’s an example of a simple suggestion from Peter Vaernet of Brooks Park: Install concrete ping pong tables–this is a fun family recreation for all ages (tables are durable, not challenging to produce, each table costs approximately $3000) Park groups can contact if you want one for your park.
Photo credit: Discount Bling via

Support the Isabel Wade Advocacy Fund

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

 After 13 years of dedicated and passionate service, Isabel Wade will step down as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Parks Council on July 1st. Isabel’s energy has propelled NPC to a leadership role in park advocacy in San Francisco.  Most notably she worked to pass two parks bonds as well as Proposition C, which ensures park maintenance standards.

In her honor, NPC staff has established the Isabel Wade Advocacy Fund to support our advocacy work which currently goes largely unfunded. Through this special fund, NPC will be able to continue advocating for a superior, equitable and sustainable park and recreation system. Please consider making a donation to support our important advocacy work, and to help us honor Isabel’s legacy.

To make a donation by check:

Please mail checks to: Neighborhood Parks Council, 451 Hayes Street, 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94102.  Please write “Isabel Wade Advocacy Fund” on the check memo.

To make an online donation with a credit card:

Click here

NPC Welcomes Donations for 10K Fundraising Walk

Friday, May 1st, 2009

 On June 6th, friend of NPC Adah Bakalinsky (author of Stairway Walks in San Francisco) led, along with NPC, a 10k walk along the San Francisco waterfront.  The walk serves a dual purpose: it is a fundraiser for NPC and is also a symbolic event to welcome Adah’s great-grandson, Austin, to the world.

Adah has generously offered to donate any pledges made for the walk to NPC. We cordially invite you to help us celebrate the arrival of Adah’s great grandson by donating online or writing a check. NPC will accept donations for Adah’s walk until one month after the event.


MAIL: To donate, please mail a check to the NPC office: 451 Hayes Street, 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94102. IMPORTANT: Please make check payable to Neighborhood Parks Council, and write “Adah’s Walk” on the check memo.

ONLINE: You can donate online by clicking here. BE SURE TO SCROLL HALFWAY DOWN the donation page and click the check box next to Adah Bakalinsky’s 10K Hidden Waterfront Walk: 6/6/09. Fill out the rest of the form and your donation is complete.

Starting at Rincon Park Promenade (Embarcadero between Howard and Folsom), a group of walkers and park enthusiasts joined Adah on June 6th and discovered hidden parks and open spaces along the planned Blue Greenway, the portion of the waterfront from China Basin to Candlestick Point that will complete San Francisco’s last portion of the Bay Trail.


NPC was established in 1996 to promote a sustainable and equitable park system in San Francisco through community involvement. Representing more than 120 park groups and more than 4000 park volunteers, NPC has become the leading park advocacy voice in San Francisco. Their energetic agenda is committed to restoring and building parks and playgrounds in neighborhoods–ensuring that children can play safely and enjoy greenery around them. Their method is to engage community residents in all aspects of the program(s), from advocacy to stewardship.

Adah Bakalinsky, with Mayor Newsom

NPC Gala 2008

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The NPC 2008 Gala took place on September 17th from 6-9 PM at Duboce Park.  More than 300 people attended  and enjoyed great food donated by local restaurants, cocktails and wine, a fabulous silent auction, and hot music by Edo Castro and E. “Doc” Smith.  Thanks to the generous donations of guests, sponsors and auction winners, more than $125,000 was raised.  To see photos from the evening, click here.


Corporate Sponsors | Individual Sponsors |Restaurant Sponsors | Auction Item Donors

Special thanks to Gala Co-Chairs Jay Shaffer and Doug Woo

Gala Corporate Sponsors:

MJM logo

CMG Landscape Architects

Fashion House, Inc. – Japanese Tea Garden and Coit Tower
Casa Buena Vista Rentals
Citywide Management
Committee on Jobs
Emerald Fund International
Hill & Co. Real Estate
Jeffrey Stephens Insurance/Associates
Kenwood Investments/Platinum Advisors
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
South Park Improvement Association
SWA Group
The Page Bar
The Sutton Law Firm
Thomas and Eva Fong Foundation

Individual & Foundation Contributors:

Chris & Barbara Wilson
Jay Shaffer
James Hormel
Jerry Tone and Martha Wycoff
Anne Halsted
Bob and Chandra Friese
Boris Dramov & Bonnie Fisher
Marcel & Jennifer Wilson
Tom Rosenberg
Al Baum
Amanda Hamilton
Carol Caspe
Chris Guillard
Commissioner Michael Sullivan
Commissioners Jim & Anne Lazarus
Doug Woo
Edwin Lee
Isabel Wade & Jan Chernoff
Jimmy and Kathy Hormel
John & Amanda Conomos
Lara Witter
Laura Spanjian
Lynne Newhouse-Segal
Natalie Diggins & David Wood
Patty-Jo Rutland
Thom Lynch
Todd Trippany
Arthur Chang
Kirby Sack
Larry Dwyer Sr.
Roderick Freebairn-Smith
Alex Dalessio
Amy Meyer
Catherine Dompe
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association
Friends of South Park Improvement
Friends of Esprit Park
Friends of Ina Coolbrith Park
David and Sylvia Weisz Family Foundation

Restaurant Sponsors:

Anchor Oyster Bar
Beard Papa
BiRite Market
Café Flore
Caffé Delle Stelle
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine
Duboce Park Café
Green Cili Kitchen and Market
Gray Goose
Have Cheese, Will Travel
Hot Cookie
India Oven
La Mediterranee
Larkin Express
Little Star Pizza
Martha & Bros. Coffee
Patxi’s Pizza
Wait Cellars

Auction Item Donors

2223 Restaurant & Bar
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
Amoeba Music
Aquarium of the Bay
Arch Drafting Supplies
Arden Bucklin-Sporer/Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Vineyard
Arrowood Vineyards & Winery
Assemblymember Mark Leno
Babies pet store
Bambuddha Lounge
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Beach Blanket Babylon
Beach Chalet
Benziger Family Winery
Berkeley Repertory Theater
Blue & Gold Fleet
Café Tartine
California Academy of Sciences
Cameron Chernoff
Casa Buena Vista
Chris Guillard
Christine Krieg Photography
City CarShare
Cole Hardware
Doug Woo
Due Maternity
Edo Salon & Gallery
Electronic Arts
EVA Enoteca Restaurant
Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association
Firefly Restaurant
Flora Grubb
Flowers Claire Marie
Frey Vineyards Organic & Biodynamic Wines
Funky Door Yoga Haight
Givens and Company
Goat Hill Pizza
Harris’ Restaurant
Hayes & Kebab
Hon. Bevan Dufty
Hon. Camen Chu
Hon. Michela Alioto-Pier
Hon. Sean Elsbernd
Hon. Sophie Maxwell
Hon. Tom Ammiano
Hotel Kabuki
Image Orthodontics
Isabel Wade & Jan Chernoff
James Rosenheim
Jan Chernoff & Isabel Wade
Jay Shaffer
Jewish Community Center of SF
Jim & Ann Lazarus
Johanna Uribes
John Rothmann
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Lovejoy’s Tea Room
Magic Theatre
Marin Shakespeare Company & Cal Shakes
Mark Anthony Calderon
Mark Johnson
Matt Tabak
Mayor Gavin Newsom
Meredith Thomas
Mike Sullivan & Paul Loeffler
Mojo Bicycle Café’
Mr. Rick Cooley & Dr. Julie Schwengels
Paxton Gate
Peet’s Coffee and Tea
Pegasus Voyages
Peter Balogh
Pinkies Nail Salons
Presidio Bowling Center
Preston Butcher
Punch Line Comedy Club
Ravenswood Winery
Recreation and Parks Department
Rubicon Restaurant
San Francisco Playhouse
San Francisco Zoological Society
Sani Lodge
Savage Photo
Scentsy Wickless Candles
Scheuer Linens
Sean McGrew
SF Jazz
SF Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA & the Asian Art Museum
Shopping! The Musical – AWAT Productions
Slide Ranch
Sports Basement
Squat & Gobble Café
Teatro Zinzanni
The Cellar
The Garden Project
The LookOut
The Urban Farmer
The Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf
Tommy Toy’s Cuisine Chinoise Restaurant
West Sunset Rec Connect Steel Pan Drum Band
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Zuni Café

Shop in San Francisco to Help City Funding for Parks!

Friday, February 6th, 2009

 We all know that we’ve hit rough economic times. But there is a way to help parks while you shop for groceries and other essentials! If you shop for everything you need in the City and County of San Francisco, the sales tax generated will go toward the City’s General Fund, which in turn, funds our parks.

As you know, the City must have a balanced budget. The Recreation and Parks Department is largely funded by the General Fund of the City’s budget (as is the Department of Public Heath, the Department of Children Youth and their Families, etc.) The General Fund is usually about $1.5 billion of the overall $6 billion that the City spends every year. The other approximately $4.5 billion are obligated to be spent on set-asides that cannot be touched. More detailed budget information can be found here.

This is going to be a rough period for the Recreation and Parks Department. In addition to all the volunteer and advocacy work you do, please make a special effort to stay local with your spending. For more information about special retail discounts for San Francisco residents, visit

Become an NPC Monthly Donor This Year

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving, and show thanks to the city you love by supporting your neighborhood parks and playgrounds. A gift of as little as $10 a month can make a real difference towards supporting NPC’s work and improving the city’s green spaces.

Please show your thanks and share your passion for parks and playgrounds by becoming a monthly donor to NPC. Your support today allows us to continue our work, and for that, we thank you. We invite you to click the red button below to donate today!

Gala Tickets: Duboce Park Neighbor Discount

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

The gala is guaranteed to be a fabulous event for the whole city—and if you live near Duboce Park, it’s an extra special occasion to experience your park in all its splendor, and share it with your neighbors. Duboce Park neighbors can get $100 discounted tickets (regular price = $150), so please click on the button below to get your tickets today!

IMPORTANT: To get the neighbor discount, on the donation page, under Donation amount, choose “Other” and fill in $100. We will confirm that you are a neighbor through your address!

2008 Gala Auction Items

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Below are a few of the exciting items we will be auctioning off at our gala on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 (6-9 PM.) Click here for more information about the event.

Spend a few days in glorious Maui. Simply the most luxurious condo in the complex. Our second floor ocean view condo is as nice as a luxury resort for a fraction of the price.  Visit for more info

Condo features:

  • Bamboo ceiling fans blow soft trade winds through classic island decorated rooms.
  • Slate floors throughout. Chef’s kitchen with state of the art stainless steel appliances, granite counters.
  • Counter bar has seating for three.
  • Dine on lanai with views of ocean, the lovely grounds of the Luana Kai and volcano, Haileakala Stunning bathroom with Walker Zanger glass tiled Walk-in shower and designer fixtures.
  • Bedroom features Queen sized bed. Sofa sleeper provides additional sleeping arrangements.

Dine at Zuni Restaurant – a gift certificate for you and your guest to enjoy!  Read more about Zuni at

Enjoy a beautiful organic garden in your backyard — and find a box of your own edibles on your doorstep each week. MyFarm will analyze your garden site and offer ideas for your own personal garden delight!  Learn more about MyFarm at

A trip of a lifetime – enjoy a stay at Sani Lodge, an ecotourism experience in Ecuador! Wildlife, nature activities, and lovely accommodations make this an ideal way to see one of South America’s most glorious countries.  Visit

Get a great night’s sleep in the lap of luxury at Hotel Kabuki. Two guests can enjoy a wester style room with a Japanese deep tub bath. A “staycation” for us locals!  Check out

4 tickets to Dodger vs Giants – Friday, September 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm with a parking pass. Club Level section 204 Row 1 Seats 5 -8.

2 tickets to the 26th Annual SF Jazz Festival – Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm.  For details about the festival, visit

Whale watching for 2 in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  More info at

$400 toward your membership. Launched in 2001, City CarShare serves the Bay Area with top of the class fuel efficient vehicles. It’s perfect for people who want to pick-up and go whenever and wherever they need a car without worrying.  The City CarShare website is

Sail the Bay on a Pegasus – Pegasus Voyages – Gather up to 10 of your friends and family for a 3-4 hour sail on the San Francisco Bay.  Experience a voyage you will never forget!  Read about Pegasus at

Enjoy a two night stay in beautiful Geyserville.  Spend the weekend overlooking the Alexander Valley vineyards and the Russian River in a charming house nestled in wine country – value $1,150.

Make a bid on a private tour for 4 and a bottle of wine.  More about Arrowood at

Tennis coaching/lessons – one on one coaching for an hour with professional coach

Enjoy 4 passes to the new California Academy of Sciences and see one of the worlds most diverse collections of aquatic life in the world and its thousands of inhabitants.

4 Family Gallery Passes to this SF landmark of contemporary art!  If you have never been there, check out their website:

NPC’s Stewardship Luncheon/Friendraiser: Wednesday, May 14th

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Our 4th Annual Stewardship Awards Luncheon and Friendraiser on Wednesday, May 14th was our most successful ever! Thank you so much to everyone who attended and donated.

Special thanks to the winning park groups for their tireless dedication throughout the year. Thanks also to Supervisor Chu, for joining us at our annual awards luncheon, and to Mike Farrah, Director of the Office of Neighborhood Services, for presenting the awards. We are also grateful to our distinguished panel of judges for their hard work to select the winners:

ERICK ARGUELLO, President, Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighborhood Association
CATHY MERRILL, President of Merrill Morris Partners, Inc., Landscape Architects and Planners
MARK SCHEUER, Friends of Duboce Park
KELLY QUIRKE, Executive Director, Friends of the Urban Forest
DEE DEE WORKMAN, Executive Director, San Francisco Beautiful

We also wish to thank our sponsors for funding the prizes and supporting this event. Special appreciation also goes out to our table captains for inviting new friends into our circle.

Click here for more photos from the event! Click here to download the program.


Park groups and volunteers from around the City were nominated to be recognized for their outstanding achievement; they are all, of course, doing magnificent work in our parks- from leading walking tours and hosting themed park work days and events to undertaking major capital improvements. Decision-making was extremely difficult as all of the applicants love their parks, are deserving of recognition, and bring tremendous value to San Francisco’s neighborhood parks.

The award review panel comprised of community leaders, former award winners and philanthropy professionals evaluated all of the applicants on the following merits:
1. Organizing efforts
2. Advocacy work
3. Fundraising skill
4. Participation in park maintenance and beautifications
5. Sustainability of the group and broad community support
6. Creative approaches to their work


First Place: $2,500 – Friends of Balboa Park Playground
Friends of Balboa Park Playground began with two parents collecting signatures at the Excelsior Festival in Fall 2006 and a few more distributing flyers in trick-or-treat bags on Halloween. Local residents – including parents who had played on the same structures when they were children – were inspired at the potential for a new, safe place in their neighborhood for families to play.

Balboa Park has great open space, but the only playground within walking distance was built in the 60’s and had rusty and sharp edges, protruding nails, broken equipment and no play space for smaller kids. The playground received a “D” in NPC’s 2006 Playground Report Card but was not made a priority for renovation by the City.

Through the hard work of the group and a generous playground donation, Balboa Park now has a new playground. The new playground was the ultimate accomplishment, but getting there was just as important. The group made new friends, their kids got to know each other and together they experienced a civics lesson in action. Their work continues as they received a $75,000 grant to provide safe access to the playground from the Community Challenge Grant Program.

Second Place: $1,500- Friends of Cabrillo Playground
Playgrounds build community. Cabrillo Playground has suffered from broken glass in the sandboxes, overgrown shrubbery, litter, plumbing problems and graffiti, made those who frequent it feel frustrated. This group brought the community together through work parties organized to sift sandboxes and remove litter. Working with City gardeners, shrubbery and plantings have been pruned, and Rec/Park is quickly apprised of need to remove graffiti or repair damaged equipment. The play structures got a fresh coat of paint, the broken tire swing was replaced and the huge metal container box was removed to give children back their space. There is a revitalized attitude at Cabrillo playground as neighbors get together for clean-up days and meetings. It is no longer a neglected playground and parents feel better taking their children there.

Third Place: $1000- Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park
Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park transformed a scraggly, un-loved looking space into a community centerpiece. By organizing innovative and spirited fundraising events such as Dogtoberfest and large-scale self-care programs, the park group brings together a broad range of stakeholders. The group is thankful not only for great volunteers and park users who make the space a great place for dogs and people, but also for the way in which they have received feedback and cooperation from the community. They enjoy the excellent relationship they have forged with both NPC and the Rec and Park staff who guide and assist them in achieving their goals.

The final recognition goes to an organization without whom are parks simply would not have the artistic beauty they help the community provide.

Honorable Mention: Precita Eyes: Mosaic Tile Project with the Friends and Advocates of Crocker Amazon and the Excelsior
In the summer of 2007, Precita Eyes, a Mission-based community mural arts organization, led three design workshops in the community for children youth and adults to craft mosaic tile designs for four cement benches and one cement boat at Crocker Amazon Playground. Precita Eyes founded, Susan Cervantes, helped the Friends and Advocates of Crocker Amazon (FACE) and the Excelsior realize their dream of creating a lasting art piece that all members of their community to help to create regardless of age, ability or language. The result of months upon months of tireless oversight by Susan and her team and hundreds of volunteer hours by FACE’s Linda, Linda and Grace has been not only a set of magnificent, glittering gems in the playground, but a renewed sense of attachment to the neighborhood park.


We are excited to report that we had more guests donate than ever before, and that we have raised more than $12,000 during the one-hour event! We are grateful to everyone who gave and who helped to spread the word about NPC’s work in our city’s parks.


Thank you to all of the nominated groups for the effort, love and support they pour into their parks. The following groups will receive a Certificate of Recognition for their work:

1. Alemany Farms
2. Friends of Dolores Park Playground
3. Fallen Bridges Mini Park/ MUNA
4. Friends of Fay Park
5. Friends of Fillmore Turk Mini-Park
6. Friends of Franklin Square
7. Big Year Volunteers for GGNRA
8. Friends of Mountain Lake Park
9. Mount Sutro Stewardship Award Panel Park Presidio Neighbors
10. Friends of Parque Ninos Unidos
11. Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group
12. Plant S*F*
13. Randall Museum Friends
14. Sunnyside Park Families & Neighbors


Kenwood Investments Group