The 9th Annual DogFest on Saturday, April 16th was another huge success, raising over $108,000 to benefit McKinley Elementary School, the K-5 public school at Castro and 14th Streets, as well as offering a festival of fun and entertainment for dogs, kids, and parents. 

There were the usual entertaining competitions for dogs and their human owners with celebrity judges picking winners in seven categories: Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, and Best Ears.  Perhaps the most amusing contest was for the Best Lap Dog. You might have expected small cute dogs to participate but there were a number of huge dogs that looked as though they weighed as much as their owners. 

The one contest not decided by the judges was the Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show. The audience voted for their favorite dog by putting donations into different buckets for the different dogs. At the end, the dog with the most donations was crowned Best-In-Show.

The very entertaining Daniel Handler, best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket, was once again the Master of Ceremonies and provided a humorous running commentary that was great standup comedy.  Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed, Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik, Eric Rasmussen from KTVU, Charly Kayle from KOIT, and (Three) Sister of Perpetual Indulgence were among the judges. 

Cheer San Francisco provided half-time entertainment and performed cutting-edge cheerleading routines. There was a raffle, a silent auction, a Chow Zone, a Rescue Zone, and a Kid Carnival featuring carnival games, bouncy houses, balloon animals, face painting, children’s activities, baked goods, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. 

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-noon.  We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener with all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves provided. A special thanks to the volunteers who helped clean up the area around the Scott Street Labyrinth on a damp day at our April volunteer day. 

Contact or 415-255-8370 for more information or with any questions or comments. Our volunteer day is always the second Saturday of every month. 30 minutes or an hour of your time makes a big difference in the appearance of our park. San Franciscan residents contributed more than 184,000 hours in 2015 in volunteer service in San Francisco parks.  

We reported in our December 2013 newsletter that a street artist had gone over Rec & Park’s standard stencils of a person walking a dog on leash with their own stencils of dogs of varying breeds. Rec and Park never removed them. The original stencils were designed to remind dog owners to keep their dogs on leash on the park’s pathways. 

That street artist is back in the park with some new humorous stencils, shown below, and include: Snoopy, poodle, balloon dog, dog on skateboard, Corgi, cat, and Haraing dog.  The artist identified himself on Hoodline as fnnch and also tweeted that he had “repainted all the dogs in Duboce Park” in a Facebook posting. He was interviewed in a November 2014 article in Hoodline and was featured in a June 1 Chronicle article.

While these stencils are technically illegal graffiti, they are humorous reminders to dog owners to keep their dogs on leash on the park’s pathways. Interestingly, a few neighbors have complained recently about official stencils that reference dogs on leash as being faded and difficult to read. The street artist’s work also appeared briefly in Alamo Square Park as a line of stenciled lady bugs but were removed after a few days. Other samples of his work can be seen on his Instagram page.

We still enjoying the mostly-green lawns resulting from the recent rainy season but notice that some areas are beginning to turn brown again without regular winter rain. The center section of the Dog Play Area that was roped off to allow grass to grow back was reopened in time for DogFest on April 16 (below left).

The most heavily used areas of the Dog Play Area near the benches at the Potomac Street entrance (below right) and towards the middle of the DPA (below middle) are so bare and rutted that grass may not grow back in those areas. Our gardener Richard Hernandez said he plans on adding top soil and fertilizer to the center section and rototilling the area near the Potomac Street benches and then adding seed and fertilizer. He also said that poor drainage next to the path and the downward slope of the hill make it very difficult for grass to take hold there, resulting in the bare, hard surface.

A few neighbors have contacted Rec and Park to complain about the fading stencils on park paths that designate the status of dogs in various areas of the park, resulting in confusion about the rules for off-leash dogs in the park.

Graffiti remains a constant problem and Rec and Park does a good job of removing it within 24-48 hours of receiving a report. All of the problems listed above were reported on the SF311 app or in an email report to Rec and Park. You can always also just dial 311 rather than using the app or email.

Park funding as a share of the City’s total budget has eroded over the years, leaving our parks in need of more stable funding to address park needs such as fixing broken playground equipment, replacing broken sprinklers, and keeping trails cleared and safe. In 2000, Rec and Park received 2.1 percent of the general fund but in 2015 received only 1.2 percent. Rec and Park spends 99 percent of its maintenance budget on emergency repairs and preventative maintenance is all but gone. 

Prop B provides just over $1 billion in new, sustainable park funding for 30 years, without raising taxes. The measure, which is on the June 7 ballot, would draw an annual increase of $3 million for park repairs over the first 10 years and would parallel the city’s percentage revenue growth after that. 

Prop B builds upon the Open Space Fund overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2000, fulfilling San Franciscans’ intent to provide a sustainable funding source for parks. Prop B extends the Open Space Fund – a property tax set-aside – for an additional 15 years through 2046. Prop B will ensure the City’s General Fund contribution to RPD gradually increases over time, cannot fall below 2015-16 funding levels, and ensures stable funding for the next 30 years.

Prop B requires Rec and Park to develop equity metrics and an analysis of funding and service levels in low-income neighborhoods and disadvantaged communities, and to submit annual recommendations on how to provide equitable and sustainable funding for parks, playgrounds, and open spaces in every neighborhood of the city.

Vote Yes on Proposition B on June 7.

Mark your calendars for the Harvey Milk Photo Center’s monthly Photo Lecture Series showcasing three local photographer’s work in a show and tell format. Each photographer shares their body of work, as well as their approach in creating the work. The lectures are on the third Thursday of each month, from 6:30-8 p.m.

The next lecture is tonight and features the work of Jim Watkins, Lorena Jiminez, and Stephanie Bouzard. Watkins seeks “to capture a candid portrait of daily urban life...My goal is to engage the viewer emotionally." Jimizez like to capture “life on the streets” and her photos explore the world around her and its characters. Bouzard says, "Photography became an extension of my internal self" her true vision is “people and environment” and “to tell the stories of others.”

The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here

The newest trees in Duboce Park have taken root and are beginning to grow and will soon provide much-need shade in the park as well adding additional visual interest. 

The four tulip poplar trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) were planted along Duboce Avenue (below left) about five years ago and are considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. They grow quickly and can reach a height of 70-90 feet and a spread of around 40 feet at maturity. They are the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. An example of a mature tulip tree can be found in the park next to the blue house at the end of Pierce Street.

The three cypress trees with the protective fence around them in the southeast corner of the park (below middle) will eventually form a small grove of huge trees that may grow to 50 to 80 feet tall with a spread of 20 to 30 feet. The fast-growing trees were planted about five years ago near the huge cypress at Steiner and Duboce.

The two flowering cherry trees that were planted next to the basketball court (below right) three years ago are doing well and we can expect to see vibrant pink blooms on them each spring. They replaced two dying trees that were removed during Youth Play Area construction.

Summer Registration for classes at the Harvey Milk Photo Center starts this Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. There are lots of great courses that cover Darkroom and Hand Made Printing, Digital Shooting & Printing, Lighting & Technique, and Artistic Development. For more information on courses, times, and costs, pickup the catalogue of classes available at the Photo Center or visit  

High school students can learn how to shoot, process and print film this summer in the Photo Center’s darkroom in a class designed just for them. Photo Darkroom for High School Students is on Wednesdays, 4-6:30 p.m., starting on June 8 for ages 11-17 years. This introductory class is designed for high school students. It’s a fun class that is kept small so students can really have time to learn and experiment. Students can practice their new skills at the facility while the course is in session. This course fills quickly so registration is recommended early.

The one-hour Photography Center Orientation is a required course for all potential members of the Photo Center but is not required to take classes or courses. The next Orientations will be offered from 1-2 p.m. on the following Saturdays:  June 4, July 2, July 16, July 30, and August 13. 

The Photo Center is looking for volunteers to help run their wet darkroom and digital lab. Contact the Center at 554-9522 to sign up. Established volunteers are welcome to take a complimentary course of their choosing each season.

Registration starts this Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. at the at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts or online. Not as many classes are offered during the summer months but Rec & Park still offers some great activities and classes. The complete catalogue of classes is available at the Rec Center or online. 

Four textile classes begin in July at the Rec Center, including the new Creative Embroidery class on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. starting July 13. Taking the traditional sampler as a point of departure, students will learn several classic and artistic hand embroidery stitches. You will be inspired to draw and write with thread, embellish garments, and create original works of art. You will learn to add new technical skills to samplers each week, explore text and shading, and build your embroidery skills.
The other textiles classes are: The Art of Crochet, starting July 12; Intermediate Sewing, July 12; and Introduction to Sewing, July 14. Email or call (415) 361-3174 with any questions about these classes. 

Recreation and Parks offers Recreation Scholarships to eligible individuals and families. More than $1 million in scholarships in Rec and Parks programs has been provided. Ongoing eligibility is dependent on attendance record. Please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify.

The annual unofficial 420 celebration in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadows on April 20 drew an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people. Another huge amount of trash was left behind, requiring park rangers, city workers, and volunteer to clean up the mess after the event and the next morning. The city estimated that 22,000 pounds of trash were hauled out of the park. “It was a mess,” said general manager Phil Ginsburg.

Police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said the gathering was pretty tame, with only eight arrests made during the event. The events cost the city $80,000 to $100,000 for extra police, firefighters, juvenile probation officers and Muni personnel. Many streets near the park were closed, creating congestion and backups and Muni trains and buses were packed throughout the afternoon.
“Chance,” an American television series starring Hugh Laurie, did some filming at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center on April 22. Shooting was also done nearby inside 66 Potomac Street. Laurie stars as Eldon Chance, a forensic neuropsychiatrist who reluctantly gets sucked into a violent and dangerous world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness. “Chance” is scheduled to premiere on Hulu in late 2016.
The Bar Area Reporter named Duboce Park the city’s best dog park for the second year in a row as part of its 2016 Bestie Awards. The B.A.R. said, “Users love its grassy fields and dogs can run around and get their exercise without bothering kids, sunbathers, and other users.” 
Alamo Square Park closed on Tuesday as part of a $4.3 million renovation to replace the antiquated irrigation system, build an ADA-accessible restroom, and landscape the entirety of the park. The outcome of the project will result in water savings through improved irrigation design, the installation of “smart” controllers, and the planting of lawn alternatives, including no-mow grasses that are native to the western U.S. An estimated 3,260,000 gallons of water per year (37%) is expected in water savings after completion.

The project is expected to take seven months. Duboce Park can expect to see an increase in dogs using our Dog Play Area, children using our, Playground, and and adults summing themselves on our lawns.
Improvements to the Buchanan Street Mall, a stretch of green spaces and courts on Buchanan Street between Grove and Turk streets in the Western Addition, were featured in a front page story in the April 21 Examiner. Supervisor London Breed said the idea is to get neighbors to stop and talk to each other in an area that has been deserted in recent years as a result of “being a war zone.” The revitalization project has received a number of grants that have been used for benches, colorful gates, community gardens, and an outreach process that will help bring in neighbors to form the Mall’s future.
The San Francisco Police Athletic League (SFPAL) and Rec and Park team up to host the Kids' Games at Kezar Stadium, Sunday May 22, featuring track and field events for boys and girls ages 8-13. For more information, call Jimmy Chin at (415) 624-5677.
Musician Janelle Monae will kick off the opening day of the 79th Stern Grove Festival on June 19 at 2 p.m. Local soul and funk band Midtown Social will be the opening act. Admission is free and seating is first-come, first-served.
The concerts continue every Sunday through August 21 and include performances by George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, the O’Jays, and The San Francisco Symphony. Details at
An anti-LGBT group based in Sacramento is suing San Francisco over the pissoir in Dolores Park, according to the April 21 Bar Area Reporter. The lawsuit, filed on April 14, says “Urine is nauseating and offensive when excreted in public places.” Park department spokesman Joey Kahn said in an email to B.A.R that the pissoir “was conceived…to address concerns of neighbors and park users frustrated by people relieving themselves on the train tracks and in bushes near homes.” The outdoor urinal is located near the southeast corner of the park at 20th and Church streets and is very easy to miss as you walk past unless you know it’s there.
Corona Heights Park has some of the best views in San Francisco, but don’t overlook the wonderful wildflower display that is there now. The pictures below were taken on the hillside on States Street and there are lots more at other locations in the park. 

Annual Membership dues for a Supporting Member are $25 per person and entitle you to voting privileges and participation in the governance of the organization. Your dues help cover the few costs we have, such as our website, newsletter, movie nights, and insurance. 

Your tax deductible membership is gratefully accepted and should be sent to Friends of Duboce Park, 71 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Friends of Duboce Park are a 501(c) (3) organization. General Membership is still available at no cost but does not carry any voting privileges. Another way to show your support is by getting involved. If you are interested, please contact President Doug Woo at

Our Mission Statement includes the following: "to organize and represent the collective interests regarding Duboce Park; to beautify and promote safety within Duboce Park; and, to initiate and/or support beneficial neighborhood projects on behalf of Duboce Park." 


Thursday, May 12, 6-8 p.m. May Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit 

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-55-8370. 

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Summer Program Registration Begins. Harvey Milk Recreation Center or 

Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-55-8370.
Monday, June 13, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo at CPMC Davies.  Visit

Save The Date. The 19th Annual Friends of Duboce Park Tag Sale is Saturday, September 10.
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