NPC Reports and Publications

Seeking Green: Funding public parks in a challenging financial climate

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This past year, NPC Executive Director Meredith Thomas, joined other civic leaders to tackle park financing at a policy and planning level. Led by SPUR, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, the RPD Revenue Task Force recently released their findings in the month publication, the Urbanist. Download and read the full report, Seeking Green, here.

“San Francisco’s parks are among the city’s most treasured assets — but they’re also in serious financial trouble. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) has lost more than 25 percent of its General Fund revenue in just five years. Meanwhile, labor costs have gone up 34 percent. This mix of factors has forced the

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department to make dramatic cuts. The RPD has lost 150 staff positions in the past seven years, and deferred maintenance costs have reached $1.4 billion.

The RPD’s current annual budget is $127.9 million. SPUR’s task force found that the department needs an additional $30 to $35 million each year in order to retain 24-hour safety patrols, maintain the health of park trees and plants, and keep facilities open and programs operating. In this SPUR Report, we offer 11 recommendations to stabilize current funding and fill the additional need using three key strategies: strengthen public financing, develop philanthropy into a more robust resource, and explore new ways to generate revenue through park activities.”*

About The Authors

SPUR Staff: Corey Marshall

SPUR RPD Revenue Task Force: Mark Buell (Chair), Katie Albright, London Breed, Jim Chappell, Michael Cohen, Vince Courtney, Gia Daniller, Kim Drew, Robert Gamble, Dave Hartley, Dave Holland, Karen Kidwell, Jim Lazarus, John Madden, Richard Magary, Larry McNesby, Gabriel Metcalf, Greg Moore, Kelly Quirke, Jonathan Rewers, Loring Sagan, Glenn Snyder, Dan Safier and

Meredith Thomas

This report was made possible by the generous support of the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation. Special thanks to the staff of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

*Text from SPUR website:, 9/16/2011

Update on the Formation of the San Francisco Parks Alliance

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

July 13, 2011

Dear Park Lover,

I am pleased to announce that on July 12, 2011 the members of the San Francisco Parks Trust (SFPT) voted in favor of forming a new, bigger and more effective park-serving organization for San Francisco in conjunction with the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC). The cialis daily dosage new organization will be called the San Francisco Parks Alliance and I am asking for your help in ensuring its success as an advocacy, support and leadership entity for San Francisco parks and park users.

I hope that you have been tracking NPC’s updates about our efforts to form the San Francisco Parks Alliance (Parks Alliance) but if not, now is an excellent time to get involved. Here is an overview and next steps, cheap viagra online please keep reading.

NPC turns 15 this year. It is absolutely essential to managing an effective, efficient and vibrant non-profit that we step back from the day-to-day every so often and take a broader look at our efforts. As a part of examining our work, our mission, and our role in serving parks and open space in San Francisco, we took a deep look at how we conduct business as a non-profit and at our partners. We spent time talking with the Board and staff of the San Francisco Parks Trust and noticed that over the years, our two organizations began to serve park users in similar ways through programs such as fiscal sponsorship. We also noted that NPC’s vigorous advocacy was leading to a greater philanthropic investment in our parks and SFPT’s philanthropic contributions were leading to more park advocacy. As organizations, we asked ourselves- is there a need to create a new model for serving San Francisco parks and park users? In this depressed economic environment should we do all we can to reduce duplication of efforts and provide a stronger and united voice for parks?

By January of 2011, the Boards and staff of NPC and SFPT concluded that there was merit to the idea of exploring a new organization. We spent more time working with each other to develop a draft vision for a new park organization. We spoke with the Recreation and Park Department and park organization leaders from around the state to float our ideas and seek input.

In February of 2011, I began talking with NPC’s Coalition Steering Committee about how much does viagra cost the notion of joining forces with SFPT not simply as a merger of two organizations, but to form a brand new park-serving organization. The Steering Committee expressed that NPC’s strong connections to every neighborhood in San Francisco and informed advocacy must remain a corner stone of any new effort. They offered their help and guidance to craft the new organization, should we move forward with the idea. The Steering Committee’s feedback was brought to the NPC Board and to the joint working group of NPC and SFPT Board and Executive Directors that was now meeting on a regular basis.

By March of 2011 NPC and

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SFPT released the Green Paper (download it here:, our joint vision for the new parks organization we now call the San Francisco Parks Alliance. NPC featured the Green viagra men Paper at our Annual Meeting with the Mayor and began to have it on hand at each of our meetings and events since.

In April, NPC and SFPT held a joint stakeholder meeting at SPUR to get feedback on our vision and we worked to continue to refine our plans. We featured the cialis 5 mg idea in our enews and on Facebook, called our elected officials and various city park managers, and continued to use the input sent to us at, or by any other means, to build the concept.

In May, bolstered by the broad support we received for this idea, both the NPC and SFPT Boards voted to form a new park-serving organization, the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

On July 12, 2011, at the SFPT Annual Member Meeting, the final endorsement to form the San Francisco Parks Alliance was given.

The mission of the San Francisco Parks Alliance is to inspire and promote civic engagement and philanthropy to protect, sustain, and enrich San Francisco parks and green open spaces.

The Parks Alliance will launch this fall, and I would like your help. Please read the Green Paper, please send us your ideas, hopes, concerns, and dreams to or by calling our office at 415-621-3260. We will provide regular updates on our website, buy generic viagra canada

In order to craft an organization that I believe will become a national model we will need to build upon the strong community support both organizations bring viagra buy bangkok to our efforts. Please stay tuned and stay connected.

Thank you for your dedication to our parks and to NPC. I look forward to jumping into this new adventure with you!

For our parks,


Meredith Thomas
Executive Director
Neighborhood Parks Council

ParkScan Annual Report Released

Monday, February 28th, 2011

ParkScan Annual Report is a website that enables San Francisco residents to easily report park maintenance issues and improvements they observe to the City agencies. ParkScan is a project of Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) and San Francisco’s 311 customer service center.

There were a total of 3,335 park observations submitted to ParkScan and 311 in 2010 that were related to RPD managed property or recreation programming. Graffiti reports made up the largest percentage (29%) of observations in 2010. The second

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largest category was Cleanliness (16%) which includes littering, illegal dumping, dangerous debris, etc. Water issues (13%) were also frequently reported in 2010.

Click here to read the full report!

2010 Park User Survey Report

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Park Survey Background

Founded in 1996, NPC has 15 years of experience advocating for our public parks and open spaces. Transparency, accountability and open communication in park system management have always been among our organization’s core values. This ethic prompts us to continually ask park stakeholders for feedback so that we can best align our advocacy and policy work directly with park users’ needs.

In October of 2010, NPC released our 2010 Park User Survey with the goal of collecting as much constructive feedback as possible from those who care about parks the most, San Francisco park users. Over 1400 individuals responded, helping us to quantify the current successes and challenges of our park and recreation system.

Park User Survey Report

Each section of the report highlights the ways in which park users feel the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) could strengthen its work. NPC has added section-specific recommendations based on respondent feedback. We are very pleased that RPD staff was able to spend a great deal of time with

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the draft report, digesting feedback and responding to the data as well as to our recommendations. Written RPD responses have been included in each section as submitted to NPC. These RPD responses were added to the report to help complete the communication loop between survey takers and decision makers.

The complete report is now available here.

Download the presentation given to the Recreation & Park Commission on February 17, 2011 here.

Thanks to all who took our 2010 Park User Survey!

Read the newest publications from NPC

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Click here to read the Summer 2009 issue of NPC’s quarterly newsletter, Parks Report. Highlights include a history of Corona Heights Park, and an editorial by Executive Director Isabel Wade: Changing Times Require New Open Space Strategies.

NPC’s June electronic newsletter can be read here. Find updates about NPC’s programs, stewardship activities and park group news, and upcoming events.

2008 Year-End Park Advocacy Survey Results

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

NPC’s annual survey aims to gather feedback on NPC’s programs and advocacy work from our park group members. Thank you to all our respondents for taking the time to provide feedback to help NPC improve our programs! Here are some highlights from NPC’s 2008 Park Advocate Survey:

• More park staff and improved park safety are the top two improvements that respondents would like to see in their parks in 2009.
• 35.8% of respondents ranked their park conditions “Improved” since last year
• Top 3 advocacy issues, according to respondents:

1. Better staffing levels to maintain parks (52.7%)
2. Holding public agencies accountable for park maintenance standards (36.4%)
3. Playground safety and renovation (34.5%)

To read the complete survey results, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Matthew Silva, Outreach Coordinator at or (415) 621-3260.
Thank you!

San Francisco Playground Reassessment Reports

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

2009 Reassessment Report: 8 Upgraded Playgrounds in 2009

Playground Initiative staff reassessed all playgrounds where volunteer workdays were held in 2009 for safety and maintenance.

The  2009 San Francisco Playground Reassessment Report shows that 8 facilities were upgraded in 2009 thanks to community volunteer workdays organized by the Playground Initiative. The improved sites include McCoppin Square, Buena Vista, Kimbell, Palega, Stern Grove, Silver Terrace, Glen Canyon, and Christopher playgrounds.

Click here to read the report.

2008 Reassessment Report: 7 Playgrounds Upgraded Through Community Volunteerism

The 2008 phase of the Playground Initiative focused on upgrading 11 of the 26 playgrounds that were identified as “failing” in the 2008 NPC Playground Report  Card. The Reassessment Report discusses the results of playground improvements conducted at 11 sites identified as failing in April of 2008 and includes the grades for the 11 sites as reassessed in November of 2008. Of the 11 playgrounds, 7 improved in grade.

2008 Playground Initiative Workday: Cayuga Playground

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

On Saturday, November 15th, 2008 NPC, RPD, and the Friends of Cayuga Park held a Playground Initiative workday at Cayuga Playground.

The workday addressed the fact that Cayuga Playground received a grade of D in NPC’s 2008 Playground Report Card.

Over 20 volunteers came together to sift playground sand, pick up trash and debris, plant and weed garden areas. See more photos of the workday here! Interested in the Friends of Cayuga Park? Visit or email group President Josie Porter at

ParkScan 2006 Report Cites Vandalism at 60%

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

This year over 60% of all observations were reports linked to vandalism, which puts a tremendous strain on our Recreation and Parks Department’s already-limited resources. Imagine what RPD could do with all the time, money, and volunteer efforts if we could reduce illegal dumping, graffiti, theft of property, damage to irrigation systems, destruction of restrooms and littering in our parks. Read the whole 2006 ParkScan report here: