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Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category


New Lands End Lookout is a target for vandals

The Lands End Lookout just opened at the end of April, and already the new building – which includes exhibits and artifacts, interpretive merchandise, a café, and restrooms – is a target for vandals.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Greene of the Parks Conservancy sent an email out today detailing the latest offenses, and included photos of the damage.

“Vandals aggressively chipped out the skateboard cleats on several of the seating wall cubes in front of the Lands End Lookout this past weekend. This damage marks a new severity in destruction. Vandals also damaged the mirror in the men’s room at the Visitor Center, and destroyed a “Bus Only” sign, which marks the third time we have had to replace that sign due to vandalism,” she wrote.

The center is in the process of getting estimates for repairing the damage, and Greene says The National Park Service and Parks Conservancy are considering additional security measures for the building.

Greene also asked residents to be on the lookout for graffiti and vandalism, encouraging them to call the Park Service’s emergency number at 561-5656 if they witness any vandalism in progress. Non-emergency reports can be called into 561-5505.

Could this be the work of skateboarders? Vandals tore out a section of a handrail on 48th Avenue and Balboa in January. One neighbor had overheard some skateboarders complaining that it was impeding “their best jumps” ever since it had been rebuilt.

Perhaps tearing out the cleats at the Lookout was their way of thumbing their nose at anti-skateboard measures? Let’s hope not – there are plenty of other places to ride in the neighborhood.

Sarah B.

Skateboard cleats were chipped out of the wall at the Lands End Lookout

Skateboard cleats were chipped out of the wall at the Lands End Lookout

Graffiti in the men’s room at the Lands End Lookout

3:14 pm | Posted under Crime, Lands End, Parks | 24 comments

Vote for your favorite neighborhood park – it could win a big $ grant

Coca-Cola is sponsoring the third annual “America is your Park” campaign. People around the country can log on and vote for their favorite local parks. The three with the most votes win grants ranging from $25,000 up to $100,000, which can then be used to make improvements or additions.

We’re not clear how these particular parks in the Richmond District were chosen, but here are the ones that you can vote for:

Muriel Leff Mini Park (7th & Geary)
Lincoln Park (33rd Ave & Clement)
Lands End Trail
Sutro Heights Park

Golden Gate Park:
The Blue Playground/Park in Golden Gate Park (off Fulton near 10th Avenue)
Lindley Meadow
Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden
John McClaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell

There are two ways to vote: Visit the LivePositively.com/parks website and vote online. Or check in at one of the above parks using the Foursquare mobile app to give it a whopping 100 votes.

There’s also a “wildcard” $15,000 grant that will be randomly awarded to a park that ranks from 4th to 25th by the time voting ends on July 15.

Vote today – maybe one of our parks could get a nice makeover!

Sarah B.

5:16 pm | Posted under Parks | 3 comments

Groundbreaking celebration for the Cabrillo Playground renovation, Saturday

This Saturday, SF Rec & Park, SF Parks Alliance and residents will officially kick off the $4.5 million renovation of Cabrillo Playground.

On Saturday, the park will host a celebration for residents before it closes up for a year long overhaul. The renovation will include the renovation of the historic clubhouse – originally built in 1945 as a New Deal project – as well as a complete overhaul of the children’s play area, creating separate play areas for pre-school and school age children.

Work will also be done to the picnic area and sport courts, paths will be repaved, new lighting will be added, accessibility improved and new landscaping installed.

In October 2011, the City Arts Commission approved Colette Crutcher to create the public art for Cabrillo Playground. Crutcher is the artist behind the tiled sculptures at the 24th & York Mini Park, as well as the tiled steps on 16th Avenue at Moraga.

Construction begins this month, with plans to re-open the playground in June 2013. View the project fact sheet

Saturday’s celebration will include lots of fun for kids like face painting, a bouncy house, and a visit from a genuine SFFD fire truck.

To help raise funds for park programs, there will also be a cake sale, plus dahlias from Cabrillo Playground’s Dahlia Garden will also be available for purchase. Donors can also purchase name tiles that will be installed during the remodel.

The Friends of Cabrillo Playground group have a goal of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of capital improvements not covered by the SF Rec & Park budget.

Stop by Cabrillo Playground (38th & Cabrillo) on Saturday between 10am and 3pm for the celebration. The actual groundbreaking ceremony with city officials will take place at 11am.

Sarah B.

A vintage photo of the Cabrillo Playground Clubhouse, built in 1945. Courtesy of The Living New Deal

5:05 am | Posted under Parks | 5 comments

Public meeting on redesign of Mt. Lake Park playground, Thursday night

Tomorrow night, June 7, St. James Episcopal Church (4620 California) will host a public meeting about the preliminary draft design for the renovation of the playground in Mt. Lake Park.

The is the second public meeting about the design, hosted by the Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground (FMLPP). All ages are welcome to attend and give their input into the redesign of the playground.

The meeting runs from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. If you’re unable to make it, you can also provide your input via an online survey. FMLPP also has a Facebook page.

Sarah B.

6:25 pm | Posted under Events, Parks | 7 comments

Fulton Playground renovation moving along; Clubhouse put back in place

Photo by SFDPW

Fulton Playground closed in November 2011 to undergo a $4.2 million renovation that will include a completely new playground, resurfacing of the basketball and tennis courts, and upgrades to the park’s Clubhouse. The park will also showcase a unique, kinetic sculpture from artist Moto Ohtake.

Yesterday, SFDPW shared these photos of the playground’s historic Clubhouse being put back into place, on top of a brand new foundation.

We’re still several months away from the playground re-opening, which according to the project website will be in early 2013.

Sarah B.

Photo by SFDPW

Photo by SFDPW

3:17 pm | Posted under Parks | 1 comment

Volunteer to help clean up the neighborhood or Mt. Lake Park, May 19

Next Saturday there are two volunteer opportunities for those looking to give back to the neighborhood. Both of these events are suitable for the whole family to chip in and help.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is hosting a Community Clean Team event in the Richmond District from 9am until 12noon. Volunteers of all ages can help out with cleaning and greening the neighborhood including landscaping, painting over graffiti, cleaning tree basins, weeding, picking up litter, etc.

This is a great chance to get your whole family involved in helping take care of the neighborhood. The event kicks off at George Washington High School at 9am (600 32nd Ave at Cabrillo). Lunch will be served to volunteers at the end. To participate, be sure to sign up by emailing dpw@sfdpw.org or calling 641-2600.

Also on Saturday, as part of a city-wide “Love Your Parks Day”, the Friends of Mountain Lake Park and SF Parks Alliance are hosting a clean-up event and nature walk at Mountain Lake Park (Lake Street at 12th Avenue) from 10am until 1pm. Help with new plantings and cleaning the beach, followed by a “kid-friendly nature walk to learn about the lake’s history, habitat and resident critters.”

Volunteers will receive a free “Love Your Parks” t-shirt and lunch afterwards. Register online in advance to participate.

Sarah B.

10:06 am | Posted under Kids, Parks, Volunteer | 1 comment

Local links: Plant sale, OL tunes, tree tour, Foggy Notion, Danube photo show

Photo by Max Spring

Happy Wednesday to all! Here’s some local links to make Friday get here even sooner…

  • 7×7 is already warming up for Outside Lands 2012 with a Rdio playlist featuring songs from the festival’s bands “to get you psyched!” Tune in here
  • The new Cajun House restaurant on 5th Avenue near Clement we told you about earlier this week will open up tomorrow, May 3.
  • This Saturday is the 45th Annual Plant Sale at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park from 10am until 2pm. “Choose from over 4,000 different kinds of plants that thrive in the Bay Area’s frost-free fog belt – many plants not found at other regional plant sales or commercial nurseries.” Special to the sale this time around: unique, hard-to-find edible plants.
  • Do meatballs make your heart sing? 7×7 loves the Lion’s Head meatballs at Shanghai House (3641 Balboa), calling them “impossibly moist” when they arrive in their hot clay pot with bamboo and mushrooms.
  • This one’s for you, tree-huggers: On June 3, Naomi LeBeau of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will lead a walking tour of the trees of Lands End and Sutro Heights Park. RSVP to Sarah Campbell at sarah@fuf.net.
  • Speaking of Sutro Heights Park… Check out the Architecture Spotlight: Sutro Heights Park over at UntappedSF. Creator Adolph Sutro tried to “recreate a European garden, dotted with statues, planters, and fountains.” Cool photos too.
  • SFStation paid a visit to the new Foggy Notion boutique and gallery on 6th Avenue, where owner and artist Alissa Anderson offers handmade, organic and environmentally conscious products made by her, as well as other designers and artists. “Alissa is gracious and charming, and a visit to her store is essentially a warm welcome into a working artist’s studio. It’s worth a visit to this little nook of creativity.”
  • Next time you’re near the Blue Danube Cafe on Clement, pop in to see a new photo exhibit by Spanish photographer Jose Ángel González. His New Life for Old Frames exhibition is his first in SF, and features his photos encased on old frames that he recovered from thrift stores and garage sales. “I can’t imagine a higher honor for a photograph than to be able to reside in a space destined to preserve treasured memories.”

Sarah B.

10:30 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, Green, Ocean Beach, Parks | 3 comments

Opening celebration for the new Lands End Lookout visitor center, Saturday

This Saturday, the Parks Conservancy will host a celebration for the grand opening of the new Lands End Lookout visitor center.

The new visitor center – located just above Sutro Baths in a corner of the Merrie Way parking lot – features “exhibits and artifacts, interpretive merchandise, a café, restrooms, and “green” features throughout”. Also newly built is a 1,000 square foot building for restrooms (no more porta-potties!).

Saturday’s celebration kicks off at 11am with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. From 12noon until 2pm, the center will be open to visitors and there will be live music performances. Beginning at 1pm, you can join guided walks on the area’s Ohlone heritage, wildflowers, history or archeology.

The construction of the Lands End Lookout was made possible through a $5 million donation from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldsmith Foundation. Additional funds were provided by the National Park Service and Parks Conservancy members.

In early community meetings, the architectural firm on the project, Esherick, Homsey, Dodge & Davis (EHDD), said they envisioned the Lands End Lookout as “a touchstone for a network of places along the edge”, a starting point for visitors to begin their exploration of Lands End. And visitors don’t just mean tourists – according to a surveys conducted for the project, 80% of visitors to Lands End are local to San Francisco.

To help guide the design process, the Park Service developed five themes for the project: Lands End’s history of recreation (think Sutro Baths, Camera Obscura, rides along Merrie Way, the Cliff House and its Sky Tram), the cultural landscape (who’s been part of the history of Lands End and the archaeology that has evolved), the natural landscape, the Native American presence of the Ohlone/Costonoa tribes that visited seasonally for nearly 3,500 years, and finally, Lands End’s identity as a National Park.

EHDD summed up their design goal for the center as “a place that reflects the past, represents the present, and provides opportunities for future use of Lands End, its protection and enjoyment.”

Come out Saturday and see if they accomplished it!

Sarah B.

10:50 am | Posted under Events, Lands End, Parks, Recreation | 9 comments