Linden Living Alley receives Innovation Award

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

11.27.2011 Linden Living Alley awarded Livable City’s 2011 Innovation Award!

San Francisco Parks Alliance’s Park Partner Linden Living Alley Project was awarded Livable City’s 2011 award for Innovation on November 14, 2011.

Livable City’s Complete Streets campaign is working to transform San Francisco’s streets and alleys, which account for a quarter of San Francisco’s total area, into safe, green, and attractive public places that support walking, cycling, and public transit, foster vital neighborhood-serving commerce, serve as community open spaces for meeting and play, and enhance air and water quality and biodiversity.

San Francisco’s small streets and alleyways – rights-of-way narrower than 40 feet – hold immense promise as neighborhood-serving public places, especially in the City’s denser neighborhoods where parks and yards are often scarce. Unfortunately, city engineering standards, which require wide roadways and strict segregation between roadways and sidewalks, make it difficult to realize the potential of these alleyways as complete streets. Linden Living Alleyway is a neighborhood initiative which transformed a section of Linden Street in Hayes Valley into San Francisco’s first modern ‘shared space’ street. Shared spaces soften the segregation of roadway and sidewalk to create safe, low-speed environments where walking, cycling, and automobile access coexist with greenery and space for socializing and play. The City has examples of shared spaces going back to the 1970s, but local standards, in particular the local interpretation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, had virtually precluded new shared space designs, despite the preference for shared space solutions for narrow streets an alleys in the City’s recently adopted Better Streets Plan. Linden Living Alley’s team, which included architect David Winslow, Loring Sagan and his colleagues from Build, Inc, and Meredith Thomas and her colleagues from the San Francisco Parks Alliance, spent many years working with City staff and disability advocates to develop the design to preserve accessibility while staying true to the shared space vision. The Linden Living Alley team have furthered the livability of San Francisco by creating an outstanding public space for all to enjoy, and by developing a prototype and set of standards that will open the way for reclaiming dozens of small streets and alleys across San Francisco.

10.1.2010 Linden Alley Opening!

Thank you for joining us! Hayes Valley’s exciting new addition to its open space Linden Living Alley was unveiled.

After nearly 4 years of work to green Linden Alley with support from the Community Challenge Grant Program and Supervisor Mirkarimi, the Linden Living Alley project is now a reality. Focused on a portion of Linden Alley at Gough Street, the project tabled the street to the level of the sidewalk, added trees and planted areas, along with seating and traffic calming. As a pilot for the city there were a number of complicated steps to work through, but through the hard work of dedicated volunteers and NPC staff, Linden Living Alley is ready to unveil. Read more about the project on their blog:

As always, Linden Living Alley appreciates your support

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and welcomes secure online gifts as well by clicking here.

To view pictures of the celebration please visit our Flickr page.

2011 Summer Social

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Come mingle with great people, enjoy delicious food, and celebrate park supporters and volunteers who continue to inspire the work of the Neighborhood Parks Council.

Join NPC on July 13th (Wednesday) from 6pm to 8pm at Linden Alley for our Summer Social!

This year we are hosting our Summer Social potluck style! Please bring a food or beverage item to share

with your fellow park lovers. NPC will showcase delicacies from local vendors from around the city.

If you have any questions about what to bring, please email

At the event NPC will recognize 11 volunteers, park group and coalition members for their tireless effort and determination in bringing their community together to revitalizing San Francisco’s open spaces. These outstanding individuals and organizations have contributed to collectively making our parks and playgrounds across San Francisco’s 11 districts clean, green and safe.

Thank you again to the outstanding volunteers chosen this year.

As a way to celebrate their achievements, these honorees received goodie bags, featuring items provided by Sports Basement and other NPC collectables.

To view photos from last year’s Summer Social Photos click here.

Tai Chi at Boeddeker Park 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011

The Boeddeker Tai Chi class this Summer started off extremely well.

On June 16th there were over a dozen students.  One student, a local neighbor, said she has waited for 20 years to start Tai Chi and now can do it weekly at Boeddeker Park.

For more information visit Friends of Boeddker Park at

Visitacion Valley Greenway Workday

Friday, June 3rd, 2011


The Greenway is in the heart of Visitacion Valley and serves as a community based recreation, meeting, relaxing, gardening and educational haven for neighborhood families and students.

Please help maintain and beautify the Greenway by becoming a volunteer!  Kaiser Permanente is generously donating funding that will directly go to maintaining the Greenway.  Largely supported by the work of volunteers, the Greenway is truly a community building and important project in the heart of Visitacion Valley.

What: Presentation & Community Gardening
Where: Visitacion Valley Greenway (enter on Leland Ave @ Peabody)
When: Saturday, June 18th at 11:00AM-2:00PM

Lite lunch will be provided.  Please dress casual, gardening supplies will be provided.  For more info & to RSVP contact:  Emily at or (415) 557-7857

To view the flyer for this event, please click here.


Dolores Park Playground’s Construction Begins

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The Friends of Dolores Park Playground in partnership with the Neighborhood Parks Council and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, are very pleased to announce that on April 21, 2011 the Recreation and Parks Commission awarded Bauman Landscape & Construction the contract to renovate the playground in Mission Dolores Park.

“This is a very exciting milestone, which means we are on the brink of realizing our  goal of creating a world-class playground at Dolores Park”, said Nancy  Gonzalez Madynski, Chair of the Friends of Dolores Park Playground.  The design for the new playground was developed with extensive input from the community.  The playground will have several unique and exciting features, including: a central play mound, that will have an ADA accessible suspension bridge, built-in slide and climbing nets; a custom-made ship wrecked boat; and a 36’ super slide built into the hillside behind the playground.

The new playground will be named the Helen Diller Playground at Dolores Park in recognition of $1.5 million donation to the project from the Mercer Fund, a donor-advised fund of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation.  Mrs. Diller and her family are long-time residents of the San Francisco Bay Area who are committed to the advancement of the education, science and the arts. “We had a couple of overarching goals – first, to create a truly unique, artisan playground and second, to help keep families living in and enjoying San Francisco”, said Jackie Safier, Helen Diller’s daughter.










We are thrilled to announce that on June 8th, 2011 we broke ground. Completion of the new Helen Diller Playground at Dolores Park is projected for next Spring. The estimated completion date is February 2012.  During construction, the playground will not be open for public use, but the rest of the park will be unaffected.

Nancy Gonzalez Madynski, Chair
PHONE: 828-5772

Panhandle Park Stewards Release Video Update

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The Panhandle Park Stewards are a group of volunteers who have been working to improve Panhandle Park. In 2010 the grPanhandle Videooup was awarded a Community Opportunity Fund (COF) grant for a capital project they proposed to the Recreation and Park Department.

The Panhandle Park Stewards recently created a video that explains to the public what exciting improvements will be taking place over the next year. Click here to watch!

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.

Washington Square Tree Management Update 2011

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

February 2011: The implementation of the 2008

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HortScience tree management plan commissioned by Friends of Washington Square, began in January with the long over-due pruning of the stand of Italian Stone Pines along Stockton Street. One pine that was determined to be vulnerable to failure, causing a potential safety hazard was removed.

It is hoped the pruning will not only extend the life span of these pines, but also reduce the likely-hood of future limb failure. Replacement species for the lost pines are currently being explored with the Friends’ arborist, landscape architect, Friends of the Urban Forest and with the Recreation and Park Department staff.

The next phase of the tree management plan, will be the removal and replacement of several small, unhealthy trees in the Square. In February, the Recreation and Park Department will plant 7 new replacement trees.

The department and Friends of Washington Square, will co-host a planting dedication during Chinese New Year celebrations (between Feb 3 and 20). Check for the event date and details.

Friends and the Department are dedicated to following general design concepts for the Square’s trees as formalized in the planting plan created by landscape architect Doug Baylis in 1957.

Friends of Washington Square received a tree planting grant from California ReLeaf to help fund replacement trees and to support community outreach and education regarding the trees in the historic, landmarked Square. The Department has provided matching support for the removals and replacements. Friends of the Urban Forest continues to donate their expertise, assisting the Friends in locating and designating replacement trees.

Submitted by:

Ken Maley
Friends of Washington Square
Tree Management Committee

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!

Lafayette Park Conceptual Plan Approved

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

On December 16, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission unanimously approved the Lafayette Park Conceptual Plan. The $10.2 million project will include, among other things, renovations to the park infrastructure, such as drainage and pathways; upgraded restrooms; a new gardener facility; an improved children’s play area; and new landscaping. Construction is expected to commence in May 2012 and finish in March 2013.

For more information on this project, including the slides from the planning meeting, visit the Friends of Lafayette Park (FoLP) Web site.

Conceptual Plan map. Click for larger image (opens in a new

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