Successes; Playground Initiative

Playground Initiative meets its challenge match!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011


Earlier this year, we told you that you could help Neighborhood Parks Council improve playgrounds in San Francisco. Your gift to the Playground Initiative allowed NPC to identify and rehabilitate playgrounds in need of attention. For example, volunteers added ten tons of clean playground sand at Herz Playground in Visitacion Valley guaranteeing a safe and sanitary play area for neighborhood children. To read about our other successes, please visit the Playground Initiative Successes page.

Further, your contribution enabled NPC to release its match from the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, making our total funds raised $40,000!

To continue to follow NPC’s work on the Playground Initiative, please visit to learn about upcoming events, the Playground Report Card and other playground relevant news.

Once again, on the behalf of the staff and board at NPC and families throughout San Francisco, thank you for your support. We could not have done this without your generosity and dedication to the maintenance and care of our playgrounds.

San Francisco Named a “Playful City USA” for Fifth Time

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making Play a Priority: San Francisco Named a “Playful City USA” for Fifth Time

- Communities Fighting Play Deficit by Implementing Policies to Increase Play Opportunities for Children –

San Francisco – With only 1-in-5 children in the U.S. currently living within walking distance of a park or playground, 151 cities and towns, including San Francisco, earned recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as 2011 Playful City USA communities for their efforts to increase play opportunities for children. KaBOOM! created the award in 2007 to help local governments ensure their children have the time and space they need to play.

Hailing from 38 states and one territory, the 151 Playful City USA honorees range in size from five-time honorees such as Atlanta and San Francisco to first-time recipient Gypsum, Colorado. These Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community. In doing so, some of the most innovative concepts and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful free trial viagra sample City USA communities.

San Francisco, the five-time Playful City USA honoree, was recognized for developing its Playground Initiative, which works to ensure all children have safe and engaging play spaces in each neighborhood. The San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council, in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, also developed a Playground Report Card to survey the quality of the playgrounds every two years.

“Advocating for the needs of our youngest park users, who cannot speak up for themselves, is a core part of our work,” said Meredith Thomas, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Parks Council. “Each time our volunteers clean broken glass out of a sand box or paint over splintering wood, we know that we are making San Francisco a chinese herbal viagra better place for kids to grow, learn, and play.”

“We pride ourselves on providing clean, safe and fun park spaces for kids to get out and play,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. “Our partnerships with other city agencies and community organizations like the Neighborhood Parks Council help us to continually evaluate and improve our parks and facilities so that every kid in our city has a great place to play, learn and explore.”

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program visit

About Neighborhood Parks Council

NPC advocates for a superior, equitable and sustainable park and recreation system in San Francisco through community-driven stewardship, education, planning and research. Learn more at

About San Francisco’s Playground Initiative:

The Playground Initiative is a partnership between the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD). The Initiative works towards ensuring that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. By building strong partnerships with the community, elected officials and

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RPD, the Playground Initiative ensures that playgrounds are valued, protected, and improved citywide.

About San Francisco Recreation and Parks:

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes large, full-service recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small to medium-sized neighborhood parks. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, the Marina Yacht Harbor, Coit Tower, the Palace of Fine Arts and Candlestick Park stadium.

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**Read the USA Today article here:

2011 Playground Initiative Workdays

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The Playground Initiative is a partnership between the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD). The Initiative works towards ensuring that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. By building strong partnerships with the community, elected officials and RPD, the Playground Initiative ensures that playgrounds are valued, protected, and improved citywide.

Each year NPC works with the RPD Volunteer Program to host 10-15 playground focused volunteer workdays. In 2011, we have worked at the following sites:

May 6, 2011: Herz Playground (Play Day)

Play Day Workday

May 10, 2011: Sergeant John Macaulay Park

The Merrin Teen Professional Fellows, a fellows program of the JCC Association, joined us to revitalize this local Tenderloin neighborhood playground.

June 9, 2011: Buchanan St. Mall Playground (@ Fulton)

Managers from the San Francisco Federal Credit Union (SFFCU) joined forces to give this Western Addition playground a face-lift.

June 17, 2011: Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground

Volunteers of Genentech Gives Back banned together in Chinatown to clean up and restore the local playground.

June 30, 2011: Buchanan St.Mall Playground (@ Turk)

The generous employees of San Francisco Federal Credit Union (SFFCU) spent their Thursday morning cleaning up and revamping this neighborhood playground and pedestrian walkway. See the SFFCU press release here.

July 17, 2011: Christopher Playground

Approximately 20 volunteers recruited by the Jewish Federation joined NPC on Sunday, July 17th for a playground painting project. Volunteers were supervised by expert staff from RPD’s Paint Shop. Thanks to everyone who helped give Christopher Playground a facelift!

July 28, 2011: Portsmouth Square Playground

Thursday at 10am yielded energetic volunteers from Moody’s who gave back to the Chinatown community by cleaning up Portsmouth Square Playground. Led by expert gardener, Alan, the group cleaned and gardened with gusto. Check out the upper playground area that now has clean rubber tiles thanks to this wonderful group!

July 29, 2011: Miraloma Playground

NPC and Parks Trust staff joined together to paint Miraloma Playground with RPD painter Joe Padilla. We had a great time singing along to oldies and painting away. NPC was able to purchase the paint used at this workday thanks to generous donations to our Playground Initiative.

September 17, 2011:  Bernal Heights Rec. Center & Playground

On a beautiful Saturday morning, NPC and its partner Let’s Go Chipper hosted a workday/community social at Bernal heights Rec. Center & Playground to clean and redistribute sand in the playground.

New Baby Bucket Swings in Our Playgrounds

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Thanks to a $5,000 grant secured by NPC,  RPD was able to recently purchase 41 baby bucket swings and replacement parts.  Their structural maintenance crews are currently installing the swings at Julius Kahn Playground, Precita Park, Joseph Alioto Performing Arts Piazza (Civic Center), Mission Playground, St. Mary’s Rec Center, Mountain Lake Park, and Crocker Amazon Playground.  Be sure to check out these playgrounds and start putting them to good use! Click here to view photos of new swings being installed at Mountain Lake Park.

Mountain Lake Playground swings before replacement

Mountain Lake Playground swings after


Play Day 2011

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

On Friday May 6th, 2011 Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) hosted our annual generic cialis super active (tadalafil) 20mg event Play canada pharmacy online xanax Day at Herz Playground in Visitacion Valley. NPC partnered up with Let’s Go Chipper and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to revitalize the playground and host fun activities for local preschoolers. Financial support for Play Day 2011 was provided by Growing Up for Good.

At the event, volunteers added almost 10 tons of new, clean playground sand to the site. About 60 area preschoolers joined us after the clean-up and enjoyed the improved playground as well as give-aways from Let’s Go Chipper.

Click here for photos from the event!

Play Day was the kick-off to a series of summer Playground Initiative clean-up days at in-need playgrounds prioritized with RPD. Herz Playground received a D-grade in our cialis vrs viagra 2010 Playground Report Card.

Interested in setting up a playground workday for your group? cialis 10mg not working Contact NPC for more information at (415) 621-3260 or

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GUFG_LogoLGC_LogoPlay Day Workday

West Sunset Playground Renovated

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

September 1, 2011: Join us to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Ortega Branch Library and the West Sunset Playground (38th & Ortega).

Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, in the plaza with musical entertainment from San Francisco Beacon Center, Rec Connect and others.

Speeches begin at 11 a.m. with San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu, City Librarian Luis Herrera, Recreation and Park GM Phil Ginsburg, Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Neru, Neighborhood Parks Council Executive Director Meredith Thomas, Friends of West Sunset Playground, and other officials. There will be an official ribbon cutting and a lion dance performance by the Jing Mo Athletic Association.

Library access will begin at 12 noon and continue to 6 p.m.

Help us welcome back these neighborhood treasures!

February 8, 2011: The old West Sunset playground was demolished today. This means that the playground is on itOld West Sunset Playground Demolitions way to being rebuilt into the safe and inviting playground that NPC’s fiscal group Friends of West Sunset Playground and district 4 Supervisor Chu have been working so hard for these past few years!!

Construction is slated to take place over the next 5-6 months.

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

Round 1 Community Opportunity Fund Projects Selected

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
McLaren Park Peru Play Area

McLaren Park Peru Play Area

On December 2nd, members of the Recreation and Park Commission voted to accept the Community Opportunity Fund (COF) Project Selection Committee’s recommendations, pending environmental review, to approve design and fund projects. The Recreation and Park Department received 16 COF applications totaling $1.56 million in requests for this initial $500k ($350k Custom/$150k) round. The following were approved by the Commission:

  • Precita Park
    As a Menu project, this request for $24,450 includes improvements to playground equipment elements, playground surfacing, asphalt paths, and site furnishing.
  • John McLaren Park – Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
    As a Menu project, this $25,000 request to fund Informational/directional signage and kiosks will reinforce the identity of the Amphitheater and improve safety by providing improved wayfinding in McLaren Park.
  • John McLaren Park – Peru St. Playground
    This $239,182 request will replace a vacant playground space with a new playground and ADA- compliant route to playground. The project includes play equipment, rubber play surface, new site furnishing, paving, and drainage. The applicant worked with a volunteer landscape architect and convened several community meetings to develop the plans for the new playground design.
  • Geneva Community Garden
    A $234,764 request, this project funds the Phase 1 construction of the garden and improvements include: demolition, grading/drainage, paving, 21 community garden planters, and new fencing.
  • Sutro Dunes Natural Area
    This project will complement the existing boardwalk by adding interpretive signs,
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    benches and boardwalk extensions to accommodate the benches. The funding request for these improvements is $12,600.

  • Panhandle Park
    This project will have a significant impact on the area near the playground on the Panhandle. Proposed improvements include paving, planting, grading/drainage, and the installation of bike racks and seating. The funding request for this project is $88,920.
  • Pioneer Park
    This $35,000 addresses safety and maintenance concerns at the base of Coit Tower. The project scope includes a new section of fence and new lighting.

Click here to view the COF materials submitted to the Commission.

Background / Description:

As one of the citywide programs of the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, the Community Opportunity Fund (COF) program is a $5 million capital program that allows residents, neighborhood groups, and park advocates to initiate capital improvements in their parks by matching public funding with other private gifts and grants. In the six months since the Recreation and Park Commission approved the program guidelines, staff has managed the first round of program outreach, communication with applicants, selection and convening of the Project Selection Committee, and documentation of the Committee’s recommendations for project selection. Read more here.

San Francisco Receives “Playful City” Award for 4th Consecutive Year

Friday, August 20th, 2010


San Francisco Receives “Playful City” Award for 4th Consecutive Year

August 18, 2010, San Francisco: San Francisco’s Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) has been working with the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) since 1996 to ensure that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. To date, NPC and RPD’s joint Playground Initiative has attracted millions of dollars for playground renovation projects citywide. Thanks to the Playground Initiative’s efforts, San Francisco was honored as a Playful City by KaBOOM for the fourth year in a row.

Playful City USA is a national recognition program honoring cities and towns determined to prioritize play and ensure that children are healthy by providing the time and space for play. KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, recognized San Francisco as one of the 118 Playful City USA 2010 communities. San Francisco has been honored every year since the beginning of the Playful City program.

The San Francisco Playground Report Card has also been recognized by KaBOOM as a

national best practice. Every two years, NPC and RPD survey public playgrounds for safety and maintenance. Results are published in a Playground Report Card. The Report Card helps determine which playgrounds are in the worst condition and in need of the most attention. Through advocacy and community volunteerism, the Playground Initiative works to upgrade or replace these needy playgrounds.

In 2008 and 2009, NPC and RPD engaged volunteers for a

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three-hour workday at a total of 24 playgrounds. Already this year, Playground Initiative volunteers have cleaned up nine playgrounds in need of extra maintenance. This work represents over 1,500 hours of community service dedicated to the Initiative’s mission of creating safer playgrounds for San Francisco’s youth.

“The Neighborhood Parks Council has been a great partner in our effort to provide clean, safe and fun parks and playgrounds to the public,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. “In a time of diminishing resources we need the support of organizations and individuals who recognize the need and value of a world-class park system. We can’t do it alone.”

“We are honored to continue advocating for the needs of our youngest park users who cannot speak up for themselves,” said Meredith Thomas, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Parks Council. “Each time our volunteers clean broken glass out of a sand box or paint over splintering wood, we know that we are creating better places for our kids to play.”

Neighborhood Parks Council is currently looking for donors to contribute to its Playground Match Campaign. By donating to the match, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund will generously match your gift dollar-for-dollar. Your contribution will help the Playground Initiative continue to improve local playgrounds.

About the Playground Initiative

The Playground Initiative is a partnership between the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD). The Initiative works towards ensuring that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. By building strong partnerships with the community, elected officials and RPD, the Playground Initiative ensures that playgrounds are valued, protected, and improved citywide. For more information, visit

Another Failing Playground is Replaced!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Playground Opening 4.23.2010

Lincoln Park Playground received an F grade in NPC’s 2006 and 2008 Playground Report Card. The playground had simply lived out its lifespan. Swings chains were rusty, the metal slide bed was corroded, the wooden equipment was worn and the sand was dirty. The Playground Initiative and the Friends of Lincoln Park Playground held two workdays at the site in 2008 to keep the playground safe and clean until the Friends’ dream of a complete renovation could be realized.

Old Playground

Old Playground (2008)

On Friday, April 23rd, the newly renovated Lincoln Park Playground opened to the public. Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg and Supervisor Eric Mar joined the Friends of Lincoln Park Playground and hundreds of local children and parents for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Congratulations to all those who advocated for the playground and made this incredible transformation possible!