The leadership of NPC has reached an important moment of transition. As our founding Executive Director, Isabel Wade, moves on and passes the torch to Meredith Thomas, both of these remarkable leaders have messages for our coalition.
Dear NPC Coalition,
As most of you know, I will be starting my summer gardening stint and life in the slow lane (at least for the short-term) on July 1st. After 13 years at the helm of NPC, it is very satisfying to look back and see all that we have accomplished together as a force for parks and open space in the City.
The largest satisfaction, however, has been the privilege of working with so many fantastic, dedicated, savvy San Franciscans who care so deeply about our neighborhood parks. My hat is off to you all and I look forward to being part of the ongoing effort to create great and sustainable parks in San Francisco as a member of NPC’s Board of Directors.
I also hope that you will join me today in supporting NPC with your most generous contribution to the Isabel Wade Advocacy Fund, which will help Meredith get off to a great start. I am confident that I am leaving you in great hands. See you all at the Summer Social on July 8th!
Warm regards, Isabel Wade
Click here to read a July 6th article in the SF Examiner about Isabel’s departure.
I am both excited and deeply motivated to step in as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC). Running NPC programs over the last few years has allowed me to work closely with many of you and develop a huge amount of respect and admiration for the dedication you have for your neighborhood parks expressed through your volunteerism, philanthropy and advocacy. Without a doubt, your efforts help to ensure our neighborhood parks are loved and that San Francisco remains one of the world’s most beautiful places to spend time outdoors.
Over the past 13 years, our coalition has worked tirelessly to identify and solve major challenges within San Francisco’s park system. Excitingly, we are making progress toward addressing some of the most difficult park issues, such as scarcity of resources, by leveraging opportunities to improve volunteer access, simplifying the process for communities to conduct park improvements and make capital gifts, and identifying new funding tools and exploring best practices for maintenance of our existing facilities. Your continued involvement is needed to take your individual successes forward and apply them to all of our neighborhood parks.
Currently, I am excited that we can partner with the Recreation and Parks Department to implement projects associated with the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. It is good news that there is dedicated funding to improve our parks, from large-scale renovations at several facilities, to system-wide improvements to restrooms, park forests and trails. NPC is especially excited by the $5 Million Community Opportunity Fund and is working hard to ensure that this portion of the bond will empower you to enact needed park improvements that will excite your neighbors into action and help sustain exciting volunteer efforts.
While the economic climate we find ourselves in is a definite challenge for the future of our neighborhood parks, it reinforces parks as an aspect of our lives and community that are most central to our happiness and well-being. Additionally, this opportunity fosters close collaboration among non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, elected officials and City departments. As a coalition, NPC is at the table to work with the Recreation and Parks Department and City officials to enhance how volunteers can help their parks and to identify new ways to ensure each park’s long-term health in every neighborhood of San Francisco.
NPC thrives because of our coalition. Each day our staff works hard to support community members and keep neighborhood parks high on the civic radar. I appreciate your active participation in San Francisco’s neighborhood parks and look forward to supporting your efforts for many years to come.
Sincerely, Meredith Thomas
Click here to see an interview with Meredith speaking about the work of NPC on Comcast Newsmakers. To read Meredith’s complete bio, click here.