Rec & Park Department News: August 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.

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