Parks in the News

Join us for SFPA’s Annual Holiday Open House – Friday, Dec 2!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

We at the San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA) hope you’re having a relaxing start to the holiday season. In the spirit of celebrating, we extend an invitation to you our park advocates and your families to join us on Friday, December 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Hayes Valley office for the SFPA Holiday Open House.

The Details…

Date: Friday, December 2, 2011

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Location: SFPA Hayes Street Office, 451 Hayes Street, 2nd Floor (b/w Gough and Octavia)

Our staff will be providing desserts and drinks for our guests – we hope you consider bringing along a savory appetizer to share with other park advocates, volunteers, staff and board. We’re proud to be partnering with Community Partners United (CPU) and the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) for this special Friday evening event. Both CPU and the HVNA will be hosting choral performances in Patricia’s Green, right next door to our building. Come and enjoy great music in our park and then join us at SFPA for community, light snacks and a warm beverage.

Beverages and holiday desserts will be provided so please bring a savory appetizer to share.

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

Rec & Park Department News: August 2011

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Provided by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department: The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department celebrated National Park and Recreation Month last month with a diverse range of events and programs in parks across the city, and boy, what a month it was.

In a fitting start to the celebration, Coca-Cola presented us with a generous gift of $250,000 on July 5 that will help provide much-needed recreation equipment that will serve all neighborhoods in the city.  A mobile sports/recreation van will travel around the City with equipment for exciting new alternative recreation programs such as mountain biking, kayaking, skateboarding and climbing.

On July 17, we hosted a live broadcast of the final match of the Women’s World Cup at Civic Center, during which, thousands of fans came to root on their favorite team.  It was one of three broadcasts we hosted and was a tremendous opportunity for the Recreation and Park Department to provide a free, family-friendly event and raise the profile of women and girls in sports.  We have a rich history of providing quality sports programs for girls, and seeing the world’s best women soccer players competing at such a high level was certainly an inspiration for budding athletes to get out and play.

Continuing our celebration of National Park and Recreation Month, we cut the ribbon on a new and improved Carrousel Plaza in Golden Gate Park on July 8 after a $1.25 million renovation project.  The project, supported in large part by $960,000 in Proposition 40 grants from the California Department of Parks, included the replacement of the previous large asphalt plaza with integrally colored concrete, stone walls and stairs, a secure and screened trash/recycling storage area, landscape irrigation and planting, and site furnishings.   Perhaps the showpiece of the entire project is the new colorful staircase on the west end of the plaza, which has been decorated by ceramic art tiles made by staff and patrons from the adjacent Sharon Art Studio.  I invite all of you to take the time to visit the plaza and see for yourself how much this area has been transformed.

On July 28, we took time out to celebrate what I believe is the hardest working group of employees in the city—the staff (and families) of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.  In the face of staff reductions and ever-shrinking resources, our parks have never been cleaner and our recreation programs are receiving rave reviews.  We owe a big round of applause to the men and women who work in our parks and recreation facilities each and every day.

As another successful summer season winds down, I want to thank all of you at the Neighborhood Parks Council for your continued support of, and advocacy for, our city’s parks and programs.  We are able to celebrate our accomplishments because of your leadership and passion to not only improve our park system but to be a part of it as well.

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

Marina Yacht Harbor Renovation Begins

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

A throng of boaters and city officials, including District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell and former District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, was on hand on Wednesday, June 8, to celebrate the start of a $25 million renovation of the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor’s west basin.  Salvageable wood from the old docks will be donated to the Crescent City (Calif.) Harbor, which was destroyed by tsunamis generated by the 9.0 earthquake in Japan in March.  Renovations in the West Harbor include:

  • Two new breakwater segments
  • Removal of one breakwater structure (mole) near the foot of Scott Street
  • Reconstruction of portions of the degraded riprap slopes around the interior shorelines
  • Replacement and reconfiguration of the floating docks and slips
  • Renovation of existing pump-out facility
  • Construction of a guest dock and hand boat launch
  • Maintenance dredging
  • Code upgrades to the harbor office, restrooms and boater showers
  • Landscaping, site and public access improvements

For more information on the renovation, click here.

Duboce Park Update 6.9.2011

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

June Update from Friends of Duboce Park:

A huge tree at the corner of Steiner Street and Duboce Avenue fell onto Noe Street on Saturday, May 7 at about 1 p.m. Another large tree fell two weeks later. There were no injuries in either incident and some damage to a few cars on Noe Street on May 7.

The whole root system came out of the ground on May 7 which allowed Recreation and Park officials to conduct a full inspection. Neighbors wondered if there was any chance of another tree falling. Here is report that Eric Andersen, Park Services Manager for our area, made after the first event:
“I consulted with Rec and Park’s chief arborist, Kelly Cornell, on the recent tree failure at Duboce Park. The chief arborist and I both were on site the day that the Monterey Cypress was uprooted and were able to inspect the situation. RPD’s arborist crew performed the cleanup buy cialis in uk online operation that day. We observed no apparent structural defects in the tree that could have been considered causal factors. The tree cialis online dubai was completely uprooted that day due to strong wind conditions. The chief arborist observed that the root system appeared to be quite healthy.”

“The canopy of the tree has always appeared to be quite healthy, with no apparent signs of disease, above or below ground. I also noted that the soil profile was quite dry in the area. The recent warm, dry weather had led to fairly dry soil conditions throughout the park. Wet soil conditions do not appear to have been a cause for the failure of the tree.
In short, the tree appears to have been quite healthy. We were unable to note any readily identifiable causal factors other than the weather conditions. I would note

that wind conditions that day were quite extreme. There were at least a few trees downed throughout the city.”

Then, on May 20, another huge tree fell near the Potomac Street entrance to the park. Supervisor Wiener was aware of these events and asked Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg to investigate. Another full review of all of the trees in the park was done a few days later. Here is a brief statement from Eric Andersen:
“Do to two recent tree failures, Rec and Park carried out a hazard inspection of the trees in Duboce Park. The main causal factor in the recent loss of trees appears to be a period of prolonged viagra i doser review high winds. The trees that fell were in otherwise healthy condition, with no major structural flaws. The recent inspection revealed that the majority of trees in the park are in good condition, although purchase cialis with paypal most require some degree of routine maintenance. The inspection found several trees that are a higher priority for pruning or removal. None of these trees were considered to present canadian approved pharmacy an immediate hazard. A more detailed report will be available shortly.”

Golden Gate Parks’ Murphy Windmill Renovation

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Through the next month, the 105-year-old Murphy Windmill will be going through construction to add three floors atop the old stub. Murphy Windmill is located at the west side of Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach and was initially built to pump water that irrigated the park, but after years of neglect, the windmill fell into disrepair. However, if all goes according to plan, the Holland cap and blades from the will be ready for assembly as early as mid-August.

For about 10 years Campaign to Save the Golden Gate Park Windmills has worked with The City to raise about $4 million for the restoration of the windmill.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner.

Dolores Park Winter Meet-up for 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011

On Thursday, February 24th, vipps certified online pharmacy canada

Dolores Park Works hosted generic viagra online the canadianpharmacy4bestlife Dolores Park Winter Meet-up. flushing and viagra At cheap viagra or cialis this pharmacyonline4better casual gathering, Dolores Park stakeholders and community leaders were able to voice their concerns about their beloved park. Among the community leaders was our Executive Director, Meredith Thomas, to premiere her presentation, “Dolores Park: 100mg viagra pfizer San Francisco’s Most Over-Loved Living Room.”

The event has been captured here.

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!

Friends of Kimbell Birthday Party and Renovation Planning Meeting

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Kimbell Park will soon be renovated using 2008 Bond funding. Don’t miss your chance to help design the new playground and lawn areas. This renovation will build upon the playfield project that was completed this year and made possible by the City Fields Foundation.

Have questions about the upcoming renovations to Kimbell Park? Have thoughts, concerns, or ideas you would like to share with the project team? Want to learn more about the capital project process? Want to know how you can get involved? Please join us in the first in a series of Public Meetings and share your ideas for a newly renovated Kimbell Park. Your input is very important! Pass the word around!

We will also be celebrating the 2nd birthday of Friends of Kimbell Park! Join us!

Saturday, January 8, 2011 | View Flyer

9:30 AM –10:00 AM Friends of Kimbell Birthday Celebration with FREE FOOD

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Community Planning Meeting

12:00 PM Birthday Cake!

LOCATION: Hamilton Recreation Center 1900 Geary Boulevard, SAN FRANCISCO

For additional information, please contact Project Manager Dan Mauer at 415.581.2542 or or visit