Mayor Lee Announces $15.5 Million in Playground Renovations
Park Bond Funds Complete Renovation of Six Playgrounds Selected in First Round by City & Community
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that six playgrounds throughout the City will be completely renovated with funds from the voter-approved 2012 San Francisco Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. The first six selected playgrounds are Alice Chalmers Playground, John McLaren Park Picnic Area and Playground, Merced Heights Playground, Panhandle Playground, Sgt. John Macaulay Park, and Washington Square Playground with more playground renovations to be included based on project cost savings.
“One of our City’s top priorities is to make sure children and families thrive in San Francisco and one of the ways we do that is by investing in clean and safe playgrounds,” said Mayor Lee. “The $15.5 million renovation of these six playgrounds will provide our children with the open space they need to get out and play.”
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance convened a Playground Task Force that included community members, child services providers, parks advocates and youth, including the Boys and Girls Club, The Trust for Public Land, Coleman Advocates, the Child Abuse Prevention Center, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, and the Parent Teacher Association. This Task Force analyzed and prioritized the $15.5 million called out in the Bond for Failing Playgrounds from the 2012 Parks Bond. To determine the list of selected playgrounds for renovation, the Task Force looked at several factors including low household income, high youth density, and low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings.
“We’re very proud of the work the task force has done,” said Parks Alliance Chief Executive Officer Matt O’Grady. “This diverse group of advocates and community leaders dug deeply into the sometimes controversial work of prioritizing our needs and has emerged with a broad, independent consensus on how to move forward on fixing our most dilapidated playgrounds. Co-chairing this group with the Recreation and Park Department has created a new level of partnership between park lovers and their park agency.”
With 72 percent approval, voters enthusiastically supported the 2012 Bond giving the department an additional $195 million to continue capital projects for the renewal and repair of the City’s parks, recreation, and open spaces. The Recreation and Park Department hopes to leverage the Parks Bond funds for grants and donations from local businesses, philanthropic individuals, and government agencies to continue this important mission of renovating all playgrounds in the park system.
“With the Parks Bond funding approved and provided by the San Francisco voters, the Rec and Park is now able to renovate playgrounds throughout the City so that everyone has the opportunity to play safely in the outdoors,” said Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “There is more to be done, but we are taking a great first step.”