NPC and the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) partnered with the Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground to host a community sand replacement workday on Saturday, August 16th. The workday addressed the fact that the Joe DiMaggio Playground in North Beach received a failing grade of “D” in NPC’s the 2008 Playground Report Card. All told, over 20 volunteers came to spread 10 tons of sand underneath the play structures making the fall surfaces softer, safer, and cleaner. This important community work at Joe DiMaggio Playground contributed to the Playground Initiative’s goal of upgrading the city’s worst playgrounds, ensuring safe play and exercise space for all children in San Francisco.
To see the flier from the event click here . To see photos click here .
Joe DiMaggio Playground Master Planning
The playground is currently in the master planning process. Click here to read more.
September 2008: Joe DiMaggio Playground Lover Named NPC Volunteer of the Month
This month, NPC honors Liz Diaz, a North Beach resident who has been working tirelessly for improvements at Joe DiMaggio Playground and for more open space in that park-deficient neighborhood.
What is your favorite aspect of volunteering in your neighborhood park?
I like working with people who believe like I do that we can make a difference for our kids and families by being active in our community.
When my friend Lizzy Hirsh asked me if I wanted to get involved in North Beach when they were trying to purchase the triangle, I jumped on the chance. Along with Jennifer Moerer, we reanimated Friends of Joe Dimaggio Playground, which at that time was lying dormant. Then I met Arthur Chang, who was very supportive of the vision that we had, and now we have a wonderful group that believes in the potential of the park and the library.
Why do you volunteer in your neighborhood park?
I volunteer because I love it and because I can–it’s as simple as that. I couldn’t do it if my husband didn’t support me, or if I wasn’t self employed.
Growing up, my neighborhood changed a lot through my parents’ activism. So I guess you could say my community involvement is hereditary–I do what I was raised to do. I work for the community because I find it gratifying, and because I saw my parents do it. “Having a vision” for the community was something we would talk about over dinner. I was raised to believe that success is a byproduct of doing what you like to do.
What inspired you to work in your community to improve the parks?
Volunteering for parks is something that I grew up with. I’m a second generation park activist from Portland, Oregon! My mother was on a committee that created Cathedral Park, which was a wrecking yard that they turned into a 17-acre waterfront park. After that park was completed, the committee liked working together so much that they founded the Cathedral Park Jazz festival. I am enjoying that same type of community and dedication through my work at Joe DiMaggio Playground and the North Beach Library.
What got you started volunteering for your neighborhood park?
About six years ago, the remodeling of the North Beach pool had reached a standstill halfway completed, and the general feeling in the neighborhood was that of hopelessness.
At the time I had a 3 year old that I wanted to take to the tot swim at the pool, and I knew then that I wanted to do something to make sure the project came to fruition.
Want to join Liz and the Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground as a volunteer?
Visit http://dimaggioplayground.org/ for more information!