Support NPC Through Your Community

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

We know that our park advocates support their parks in many ways. This is why NPC provides several ways for you to support our efforts, helping new park groups form and existing groups work to improve their recreation and open space.

Supporters can give through a donation or through community giving opportunities with our partners like My Broker Donates, Cole Hardware and Community Thrift.

No matter how you support NPC’s work, your contribution will be put to use right away to make our parks clean, green and fun!

My Broker Donates

NPC is proud to announce

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its newest community fundraising partner, My Broker Donates (MBD). Donations are generated by tapping real estate commissions when you buy or sell a home. They do this by connecting our supporters with best-in-market real estate brokers who donate 15% of their fee to the Parks Council.

The best part? It costs the S.F. Parks Council and its supporters nothing.

If you or someone you know is considering selling their home, connect with the great people at My Broker Donates and give back to your new neighborhood park!

Cole Hardware
Cole Hardware gives us 10% of purchases made by you, whenever you make a purchase! Earn money for Neighborhood Parks Council while shopping for your hardware needs at any Cole Hardware location. The more you spend, the more they donate to us! Just ask the cashier to post your purchase to Neighborhood Parks Council (account #783). It’s that simple!

Cole Hardware logo Four Cole Hardware locations in San Francisco:
Cole Valley: 956 Cole Street at Parnassus
Mission District: 3312 Mission Street at 29th Street
Downtown: 70 Fourth Street near Market
Russian Hill: 2254 Polk Street at Green


Community Thrift Store
You can make a contribution to NPC by donating unwanted items to Community Thrift Store.

Community Thrift is located at 623 Valencia Street in the Mission (click here for a map).
Donation hours are 10 AM-5 PM every day.Unsure if you should donate? Call Community Thrift Store for details on acceptable donation items (415.861.4910) or click here to read more.
Make sure to note NPC’s charity code is #142.



Open Space Task Force Materials

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Task Force Binder Materials:




General Open Space Information

SF’s Open Space Policies and Codes
(For a copy of ROSE, click here)

Best Practices: Learning From Other Cities




Gardens in San Francisco: Vibrant Centers of Neighborhood Life

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

San Franciscans NEED Gardens!

Quesada Gardens

“In September 2004, the Recreation and Park Department released its Recreation Assessment Report which indicated that a whopping 47% of households have “need” for more community gardens. This beats out tennis courts (38%), recreation centers (37%), children’s playgrounds (32%), and dog play areas (26%).

Only walking and biking trails (76%) and pools (52%) obtained higher rankings. The results of the assessment report are an indicator of an increasing need for adult recreation opportunities, as the City continues to support youth programs. Community gardens uniquely appeal equally to both adults for nutritional and recreational fulfillment, and to youth as an environment for education and park stewardship, regardless of cultural, social or economic background.” -RPD website

Here is a list of community gardens in San Francisco:
CLICK HERE for the list provided by SFGRO, San Francisco Garden Resource Organization.

There are some amazing gardeners in this community.
One of them is
Pam Peirce. Visit her excellent blog: CLICK HERE

Another amazing figure in the community garden world is Jeffrey Betcher. Check out his work: CLICK HERE.

Gardens are Educational
Ever heard of Garden for the Environment? CLICK HERE to check out this amazing garden and outdoor living classroom.

The Green Schoolyard Green Schoolyard Alliance Alliance is a incredible San Francisco model for transforming our educational environments. Nan Mcguire, Arden Bucklin-Sporer, and many other dedicated and visionary activists support this effort. CLICK HERE to check out their incredible website.

And whooaa! How about Bonnie Sherk’s Living Library? Amazing work! CLICK HERE

Rec and Park Community Gardens
The Recreation and Park Department supports and manages a program of 40 community gardens (and growing) on City-owned property.

CLICK HERE to check out the RPD information about this program.

CLICK HERE to view the RPD policies on community gardens.

School Gardens
Urban Sprouts
The Green Schoolyard Alliance: CLICK HERE
Directory of Green Schoolyards in the SF / Bay Area: CLICK HERE
The Edible Schoolyard Initiative: CLICK HERE

San Francisco Food Systems
San Francisco Food Systems was formed as a private-public partnership in order to address food systems issues within the City and County of San Francisco through action research projects, policy planning and recommendations: CLICK HERE

Other Resources
Check out the American Community Gardening Association:

Park Information Kiosks

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007


ParkKiosk is a web portal that offers City residents a web page dedicated to their local park or playground. Users will be able to contribute park histories, photos, event listings, etc. to their ParkKiosk page, thus creating what is essentially an online community bulletin board for all parks and playgrounds in San Francisco.

Find your park’s kiosk in the A-Z list located in the left sidebar!


Duboce Park KioskPark Users Need Information
Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC)’s coalition of park groups has been advocating for physically placing community bulletin boards (kiosks) in the city’s parks since NPC was founded in 1996. Park groups need a location to post their schedules of workdays and community events, contact information, and park histories. Kiosks can provide important information and promote stewardship and public support for the park.

The Duboce Park kiosk (shown in the picture to the left) is an excellent example of how a kiosk provides a central location for community members to post relevant information and thereby create an active, vibrant park space. Kiosks can also provide an opportunity for the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) to comply with Prop C standards, which require RPD to post gardener schedules, park maintenance standards, and park audits for the public. The kiosks allow this information to be prominently displayed to communities and create a higher standard of transparency and accountability for RPD.

Unfortunately, the process of getting the kiosks approved and built is burdened with bureaucratic obstacles and significant cost (currently estimated at $5,000 per kiosk). NPC will continue to fundraise and advocate for physical kiosks to be placed in as many of the 200+ parks in the city as is desired by neighborhood park groups. Clearly, this will be a long term process.

Park Kiosk — The Web 2.0 Version
Alternatively, we now offer an exciting new web-based solution called ParkKiosk. Many of the neighborhood advocates and organized park groups in the city have expressed an urgent need for conveying important information about their treasured neighborhood park. Building on the overwhelming success of ParkScan, a web-based tool for gathering, analyzing, and reporting maintenance issues in city parks and playgrounds, NPC is now developing an online kiosk, called ParkKiosk, available to every neighborhood park and playground group in the City of San Francisco. ParkKiosk essentially provides a user-friendly portal through which park advocates and stewards can promote their parks and playgrounds, offering a dedicated web page with many user-friendly features that park advocates can control and contribute to.

ParkKiosk can offer:
•Park/playground description
•Facts, features, & facilities
•Park/playground history
•Volunteer opportunities
•Current activities and events
•Recreation & Park Department links, including gardener schedules
•Send a post card of your park to a friend!
•Quick links to existing web sites (Friends of XYZ Park, The XYZ Playground Committee, etc.)
•Support your neighborhood park/playground: donate, sponsor, etc.
•Link to Park & Playground standards (Prop C)
•Healthy park activities
•Park photos and art
•Link to Parkpedia (online park encyclopedia)

Sponsorship Opportunities are available for citywide sponsorship of ParkKiosk as well as local sponsorship of individual (neighborhood park) ParkKiosk pages.

For more information, please contact:

Matt Silva, Outreach Coordinator
Neighborhood Parks Council

Park Promotion in Tourist Outreach

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Parks are not even included on the city’s ‘visitor’ webpage, or on the homepage of Chicago, in contrast, makes parks prominent on their home page. We also only promote the ‘highlights’ of the park world (i.e. Golden Gate Park, Union Square) and yet many visitors go to Alamo Square, Chrissy Field, and Twin Peaks and would happily go to others if there was good information about what experience they could expect and how to get there on public transit.

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Physical Infrastructure and Job Creation for Parks

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

The City needs jobs for high-school grads and even non-English speakers according to the City of SF Economic plan; we also need improved maintenance services to keep up our parks and civic squares.  There is an obvious connection here with job creation and maintaining our park infrastructure and landscapes. We are convinced that parks can provide a very important job opportunity for those with less education while also contributing to expanding a key component in the neighborhood experiences sector —attractive neighborhood parks.

Open Space Additions Increase Tax Revenues

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Studies in other cities indicate that properties around parks are more valuable generally and therefore generate more taxes.  We have gaps in SF and we also have new areas being developed, but there are no specific strategies (i.e. Including specific acquisition targets in these gap areas in proposed bonds— as Seattle does) here in SF to expand our park resources as an economic development concept. This should be a top city priority; in the past, many cities used this strategy specifically to build their tax base.
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Local Park Financing Options — TPL Primer

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

“When people think about local taxes, property taxes generally come to mind. But tools for raising park and open space revenues at the local level are actually quite diverse and continually expanding”…read more at the Trust for Public Land’s website:

Leon Younger Considers Four Types of Opportunities to Fund Parks

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

In order to identify resources other than ever-strained municipal budgets, Leon Younger considers four types of opportunities:Efficiency
How much does each use of a facility cost? Facilities must change to reflect how people use them. Perhaps 400 eager visits to a new family aquatic center beats 40 visits to your vintage-1975 Olympic-sized pool.

Earned Income
Give them something they want to use, and most of the people can probably pay for it. So set benefit-based pricing levels – but keep a sliding scale.

Strive for equity in partnerships. Are you getting anything out of your partnerships?

Outsource what others can do more efficiently (e.g. golf, pools, mowing, recreation centers, tree management, programs, custodians, concessions, restaurants). Assess the advantages and disadvantages.


Between the abstract and the meadow…EDIBLE PARKS?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Tonight, I met a man named Mr. Tree. He is a driving force behind the All in Common Community Garden. He has some really creative, yet very practical ideas about planting edible trees and other edible plants in City Parks. Crazy? Check out Emma Prusch Park Farm at, located in nearby San Jose. Ok, I’m a little biased here; I started an edible landscaping business in Los Angeles around 25 years ago, called the Victory Garden Service. I was a little ahead of my time, and most people thought I had gone off the deep end. Did you know the original Victory Garden movement was led by the U.S. military? They provided detailed plans to win the war by gardening in city parks, in front of city hall, etc. Now this would give those green army uniforms new meaning! So, Mr. Tree’s ideas aren’t so crazy, just wild. Maybe he is ahead of his time. Or maybe he is asking us to remember times when a walk in the park might have meant grabbing some low hanging fruit along the path of life.

I know another original soul named Bonnie Sherk. First job interview I had in San Francisco! Among her many efforts to make the city wilder, Bonnie Sherk founded the Crossroads Community (The Farm) in San Francisco, circa 1974-1980. The Farm included a farmhouse with “earthy, funky and elegant environments; a theater and rehearsal space for different art forms; a school without walls; a library; a darkroom; a pre-school; unusual gardens—all providing an indoor/outdoor environment for humans and other animals.” Bonnie states on her website that “The time is now to transform our derelict parks, schools, communities, and cities into healthy and vibrant environments by reconnecting our fragmented local resources: human, ecological, economic, historic, technological, and aesthetic. We can use nature as a model and design elegant site and situation – specific indoor/outdoor culture-ecology arks and gardens that involve us meaningfully in their creation, use, maintenance, and communication.”

Between the abstract and the meadow hurls the chaos.
Between the Diaspora and the crinoline sits the poem.

—Bonnie Sherk