Choose your favorite summer recreation and you will find it at Camp Mather in the High Sierra. In a setting unparalleled in the West, your family can take advantage of the many activities available at San Francisco’s own vacation land. Campfire entertainment, sport activities, supervised recreation programs for children, fine dining, all are yours at very reasonable rates.

Camp Mather is the San Francisco family camp that was built as a sawmill for the construction of the O'Shaughnessy Dam in the 1920's 150 miles east of San Francisco near the Hetch Hetchy Valley. The border of Yosemite National Park is a mile up the road and Yosemite Valley is 18 miles south. The camp is beloved by many as an off-the-grid refuge from city life and is a treasure for generations of SF families.
You can find all your favorite outdoor activities in this locale of spectacular beauty. Crystal clear lakes, surging streams and quiet mountain forests surround Mather and offer unlimited recreation to visitors. Water sports abound with swimming at Birch Lake and Pool. Fishing is plentiful in any of the nearby mountain streams and lakes. There are miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, all at their scenic best within these tranquil surroundings.

Fun-filled days are capped with entertaining nights of dances, campfire songs, skits and games. From dusk to dawn, an air of relaxation prevails throughout the Camp slowing down the quickened pace of modern life. An experience in dining awaits you as hearty home cooked meals are prepared and served to you three times daily, cafeteria style.

For more information, email or call (415) 831-2715.

Rec and Parks’2016 Community Report highlights the department’s accomplishments in 2016. Some of the impressive numbers are listed below. 

59,000 people registered for 4,147 classes or programs and there 76,938 hours of programming, including 475 summer camps. 7,004 scholarships were provided, representing $1 million in scholarship funds. 

Since 2010, Rec and Park has hired a total of 36 Gardener Apprentices as full-time gardeners for our 220 parks and open spaces. For the third year in a row, apprentices made up at least 50% of all new gardener hires. During their apprenticeships, participants commit to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as an academic component of 360 hours of course work in horticulture practice, plant identification, and other related curricula provided by City College of San Francisco. 

This past year, Rec and Park’s Youth Stewardship Program (YSP) served 60 schools and youth organizations, partnered with 87 teachers and led 2,670 students of 207 field trips in our parks, focusing on topics like restoration, wetland ecology and urban agriculture. 

Rec and Park’s partnership with the City Fields Foundation resulted in 21 field renovations at nine parks and has increased playtime on our fields by 90,000 hours per year. Rec and Park reduced potable irrigation by 38.6% from the 2013 baseline. Overall water conservation from all sources is down 37.3% from the 2014 baseline. The full report is available here.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day on Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m.-noon.  We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener and all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves will be provided.  

A special thanks to the volunteers who helped out at our November volunteer day, who removed a few trees in the playground and a bush in the planting triangle between the basketball court and children’s playground and replaced them with six new plants.

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. Volunteers gave more than 180,000 hours of their time and energy to improving our parks and programs in 2016.

New sod was put down near the Potomac Street benches. The area has been bare for years and is now fenced off to allow the sod to take hold. Another worn area just south of the new sod is also fenced off to allow the grass to grow back there. 

The large area in the Dog Play Area that was fenced off for months was reopened and the grass there appears healthy and green. However, the recent rain has made the area around it very mushy and muddy.
Using funds from our last Tag Sale, Friends of Duboce Park is working with Rec and Park to repaint the fading playground equipment and replace the two metal perforated staircases that are rusting, leaving sharp edges on the rusted areas.

Using funds from our last Tag Sale, Friends of Duboce Park is working with Rec and Park to repaint the fading playground equipment and replace the two metal perforated staircases that are rusting, leaving sharp edges on the rusted areas. 
A tree that was leaning and almost falling on the east Scott Street sidewalk was removed and replaced by Rec and 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. 

What exactly is encaustic painting? The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkausticos, which means to burn in. Heat and pigment infused beeswax are necessary for a painting to be called encaustic.

An Introduction to Encaustic Painting, a one-day course on Saturday, February 11 at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts, will cover a brief history of the medium, the diversity of encaustic painting, explanations of tools and materials, techniques used, visual references and a hands-on approach. Each student will complete two unique pieces of art. Students will need to bring collage materials including photographs and two dimensional personal keepsakes. All other materials will be provided. This workshop is open to all painting and art making skill levels. 

A complete listing of all courses offered by Rec and Park is available online at or in the 2017 Winter Activities Guide in the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts lobby. The catalogue offers course descriptions, times, and costs. 

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 831-2717 for information on how to qualify. 

The Harvey Milk Photo Center offers numerous introductory photography courses as part of their Winter 2017 class schedule. Two courses starting in February are featured below. The complete Winter class schedule and description of all courses are listed at

Liquid Emulsion, starting February 4, introduces students to the magical world of Liquid Emulsion. The focus will be on using non-traditional methods of making photographs in the darkroom, experimenting with wood, water-color paper, canvas and metal. The printing technique has a mixed media 
application that allows for your imagination to explore further possibilities beyond working on photographic paper. Silver gelatin and digital negatives, color slides and copy transparencies can all be used for this process. 

Understanding the Photographic Landscape, starting February 7, explores the relationship between the land and the photograph. Students will learn how to compose and photograph the landscape and will visit the Marin Headlands to create their own cohesive series of photographs. 

The opening reception for Nocturnes & Noir photo exhibit is Saturday, February 11, 5:30-8 p.m. The show is curated by Tim Baskerville, Director, The Nocturnes Night Photography Group and Dave Christensen, Director, Harvey Milk Photo Center. According to the Curator’s Statement, the title of the exhibit hopes to shine some light on two schools of thought regarding Night Photography (NPy). 

The first, a romanticized landscape photography of Nocturnes, traces its origins to the late 19th century, the Pictorialism movement, and later on, the efforts of the Photo-Secessionists. The second style of NPy – Noir – was heavily influenced by German Expressionism, Surrealism, and associated, as early as the 1920s and 1930s, with the newly formed cinema, which attained its apex in the Classic Film Noir period of the 1940s and 1950s. Photographers like Bill Brandt and Brassai echoed the dark vision of the Film Noir tradition with surrealistic content; punchy, “contrasty” scenes; and heavy darkroom manipulation. More information is available here.

Work has started on the Panhandle Pedestrian Safety Project. Pathways on the north side may be temporarily closed during construction but not during commute hours. The scope of the work includes: installing benches, trash receptacles, and surface mounted bike racks; installing way-finding signs; and, installing striping for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. 

The concept plan also depicts a future phase to repave the pedestrian-only south path. This future phase will move forward when funding is secured.
The Painted Ladies viewing area in Alamo Square Park along Steiner Street was relocated to Hayes Street on January 3. This new viewing area is further uphill than the previous one and offers even better views of the iconic Victorian homes with the San Francisco skyline in the background. Installation of the new water-saving irrigation system has begun in the closed viewing area, which will feature a new lawn and areas of drought tolerant shrubs and groundcover.  It is anticipated that the park will open in late winter, with the exception of the original viewing area, which will remain closed for lawn establishment until spring 2017.
The Parks Alliance, Excelsior Action Group and Friends of Kenny Alley celebrated the grand opening of the Kenny Alley mosaic stairs on December 10. The stairs look like a waterfall and are located in the Excelsior District at Kenny Alley near 4949 Mission Street.

Major improvements were made last year, including a new “Mountain” mural, security lighting, landscaping, tree planting, a vertical cactus garden, stair resurfacing, an all-new banister, and the mosaic tile installation on the stairs.

The Mansell Streetscape Improvement Project Opening Celebration & Ribbon Cutting in McLaren Park ttakes place on Saturday February 4 from 10 a.m.. to 1 p.m. The project is a first in San Francisco -- it converts two lanes of vehicle traffic into a permanent pedestrian and bicycle only 
pathway.  The new design brings a sense of unity for the park, with Mansell Street as a connection rather than a division between the north and south sides of McLaren Park.

Funding for the project came from vehicle registration fees, gasoline tax revenue, the city's half-cent for transportation funds,  transportation funds, grants from One Bay Area and the State's Urban Greening program as well as the 2012 parks bond
The National Park Service put a hold on the final rule for Dog Management at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, according to a news release issued on January 10. The decision comes in response to requests from members of Congress to extend the waiting period for the Final Environmental Impact Statement. This pause allows the National Park Service to conduct a review of certain records being released in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request related to the park’s Dog Management plan and rule. The move was met with praise from dog owners and other supporters of more off-leash areas within GGNRA. Park officials and dog owners have been fighting over the proposed rules for the last 14 years.


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, 79 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."


Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

Saturday, February 11, 5:30-8 p.m. Opening Reception: Nocturnes & Noir – A Juried Night Photography Exhibit. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit

Monday, February 13, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo, CMPC Davies Campus. Visit

Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370.
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