San Francisco has the fifth best park system in the country, according to The Trust for Public Land’s 5th annual Park Score Index, which was released on May 26. The Trust rates parks systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Minneapolis has the best park system, narrowly edged out Saint Paul for the top spot after the cross-town rivals tied for first in 2015. Washington, DC, placed third, finishing one spot ahead of neighboring Arlington, Virginia. San Francisco, Portland, New York, Irvine, Boston, Cincinnati and Madison rounded out the top 10.

ParkScores are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation & senior centers. 

Among the cities evaluated by ParkScore in 2016, San Francisco provides the greatest park access, with 99 percent of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park. Overall, San Francisco’s score was hurt by the relatively small size of its’ parks. An average park in our city is 1.8 acres, less than a national median of 5.1 acres. Duboce Park is about four acres. 
The May 19 SF Weekly had their annual Best of San Francisco issue and many parks made the list. Golden Gate Park collected three titles, including: Best Park; Best Workout Using Depression-Era Facilities (handball courts); and, Best Way to Attract Foreign Tourists (volleyball courts near the Conservatory of Flowers).

Dolores Park also got three mentions: Best People Watching Park; Best Place to Pee in Public: Dolores Park Pissoir, Church and 20th Streets; and, Best Sunday Funday. 
Here are the rest. Best Hike: Land’s End; Best Park Without the Crowds: Mountain Lake Park, 12th Avenue and Lake Street; Best Dog Park: Upper Douglass Dog Park, Douglass and 27th Streets; Best Newly Renovated Hoops Spot: Joe DiMaggio Playground, 651 Lombard Street; Best Old-School Stroll: India Basin Park, Hunters Point Boulevard and Hawes Street.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day Saturday, July 9, 10 a.m.-noon.  The June volunteer day has been cancelled since our gardener Rich is on vacation.We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener with all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves provided. A special thanks to the volunteers who did some planting and spread mulch behind the Scott Street Labyrinth at our May volunteer day. 

Contact rose@friendsofdubocepark.org 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.

The fabulous Janelle Monáe brings her futuristic funky sound to kick off Stern Grove Festival’s 79th Season at The Big Picnic on Sunday June 19 at 2 p.m. in Stern Grove at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. A true performer, Monáe is recognized for her powerhouse R&B tunes, commanding stage presence, and a dynamic fashion sense defined by black and white power suits.

Local nine-piece soul and funk band Midtown Social opens the show with danceable grooves and will premiere a new work as part of the Festival's local artist commission series, "Interplay: Artists in Concert with Nature."
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic performs a week later on Sunday June 26. George Clinton was a major player in the evolution of R&B in the 1970s with his bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Clinton’s iconic soul-turned-funk sound lives on today with influences from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.

Bayonics opens with their unique blend of hip-hop, reggae, Latin, and funk music, delivering fresh tunes and energetic shows. The dynamic 11-piece band mirrors the diversity of Bay Area culture, blending a mix of musical styles, lyrics, and artists to create a sound as unique as the city they call home.

There is no public parking area at Stern Grove on concert Sundays and parking in the area is extremely limited. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation: the M Ocean View, K Ingleside, 23 Monterey, and 29 – 19th Avenue lines all stop nearby.

Bicycles can be stored with the Festival's free bike valet at the main entrance to the park at 19th and Sloat. The valet service will open at 10:00 a.m. and close one hour after the concert ends. Bikes are not allowed in the Concert Meadow or Esplanade area of Stern Grove.

All of the performances are free. Limited reserved seating are available by joining Friends of Stern Grove Festival. More information and the complete 2016 summer lineup of performers are available at sterngrove.org. 

Rec and Park repainted new stencils on park paths over the fading informational stencils that designate the status of dogs in various areas of the park. This happened shortly after street artist fnnch stenciled humorous versions of the official dog-on-leash logo, as we reported in last month’s newsletter. While fnnch’s stencils are technically illegal graffiti, they provide humorous reminders to dog owners to keep their dogs on leash on the park’s pathways. However, Rec and Park did not repaint the No Bicycles No Skating stencils on the paths and they remain faded and difficult to read. 
The three little dog houses near the Dog Play Area that are used as dog poop bag dispensers are looking a little sad these days – they seem to be structurally sound but could use a fresh coat of paint. Park users and dog owners are very good about refilling the little houses with their excess plastic bags. 
The most heavily used areas of the Dog Play Area near the benches at the Potomac Street entrance and towards the middle of the DPA remain so bare and rutted that grass may not grow back in those areas, according to our gardener, Richard Hernandez. He said he plans on adding top soil and fertilizer to the center section and rototilling the area near the benches and then adding seed and fertilizer. Hernandez pointed out 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.

The middle areas of the DPA still have numerous ruts, depressions, and worn spots.
Hernandez will be spending more time in Duboce Park since Rec and Park is moving him out of one of his other responsibilities in a park in the Mission.
You may not have noticed, but 12 of the original bollards (and chains) that were placed along the pathway near the Potomac benches when the Dog Play Area was first installed have been removed. The usual cause was the failure of the bollards to hold up under heavy use and/or vandalism. It doesn’t seem to have made much difference to the dogs. The bollard and cable system has held up along other parts of the pedestrian paths.
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.

The passage of Prop B in Tuesday’s election provides just over $1 billion in new, sustainable park funding for 30 years, without raising taxes. The measure will draw an annual increase of $3 million for park repairs over the first 10 years and parallel the city’s percentage revenue growth after that. 60% of the voters supported the measure.

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 ensures 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.

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. 

LGBTQ Chronicled: 1933-2016, a photography exhibit and gala event celebrating Pride 2016, opens with a reception on Saturday, June 18, 4-9 p.m. Famous drag performer Peaches Christ will host the party, which includes music, performance, and more. The exhibit will focus on a historic body of exciting and iconic photographs from both Bay Area LGBT Youth and LGBT Seniors. 

The next Photo Lecture is on Thursday June 30, 6:30-8 p.m. and showcases HMPC instructor Tim Baskerville’s Light of Ireland – 30 Years. Tim will exhibit and talk on the work he has produced the past 30 years of shooting while in Ireland. 

The Photo Center’s regular Photo Lecture Series, showcasing three local photographer’s work in a show and tell format, continues on July 14 and features the work of Ally Legato, Andria Lo, and RE Casper. Each photographer shares their body of work, as well as their approach in creating the work. The lectures are usually on the third Thursday of each month, from 6:30-8 p.m. If you are interested in presenting your work, please email Monique.islam@sfgov.org.
All of these special events are free and open to the public. More information available here.

National Night Out is the country’s united effort to promote neighborhood involvement to help stem crime and create safer neighborhoods.  This is accomplished through strengthening police-community relations and encouraging neighborhood camaraderie by hosting neighborhood events.

SFPD will again sponsor the annual National Night Out Against Crime events in San Francisco on Tuesday, August 2, from 5-8 p.m. with all ten district police stations participating. The community event is free and everyone is welcome.

Park Station will host the event for the Duboce Triangle and the Park District at the Harvey Milk Photo Center Exhibition Room and the upper lawn area and patio just outside the room. There will be face painting, arts and crafts for children, dance performances and dance lessons, hula hoop lessons and demonstrations, a magic performance, basketball, and more. Park Station will be bringing their robot, a talking police car, and a police dog. SAFE and other safety organizations will also be there to provide information and tips on health and safety.

It’s a great chance to meet and interact with Capt. Sanford and other officers from Park Station who patrol the Duboce Triangle and Duboce Park. They have been very responsive to our concerns and we now have a dedicated foot patrol that goes through the park on a regular basis. 

Learn how to print and frame your photos at the Harvey Milk Photo Center. Matting, Framing, and Presenting Your Photos on Saturday June 18, 12-3:30 p.m. will teach you the easy methods and tools for matting, mounting, and framing your work, including preparing your photos for presentation and finding affordable ways to enhance your images. The instructor, Grant Rusk, has experience in conservation and preservation practice and will recommend the use of archival materials. 

Summer Registration for all of the classes at the Harvey Milk Photo Center continues. 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 harveymilkphotocenter.org.
The new summer hours for the Photo Center are: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and, Sunday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Closed Mondays and Fridays. 
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:  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.

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 Melissa.kessor@sfgov.org or call (415) 361-3174 with any questions about these classes. 

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

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.

Given the recent debate regarding the reservation of specified lawn areas for large group picnics, weddings and birthday parties in our beloved Dolores Park, the Recreation and Park Department, in consultation with Supervisor Scott Wiener, suspended the issuance of permits for this use. Rec and Park wants to take a step back to have more open public dialogue regarding their long-standing reservation policies at Dolores Park that are designed to provide accountability for the use of our public parks by larger gatherings. The picnic table areas at Dolores park primarily used for children and family parties will continue to be permitted during this time. Over 18,000 supporters signed a change.org petition to protest renting out large chunks of Dolores Park’s lawn area.
Gilman Playground in the Bayview neighborhood celebrated the completion of a $1.8 million renovation on June 3, thanks to the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. The entirely new play area includes two composite play structures connected by a 40 ft. net climber. In addition, the new playground features numerous swings and apparatuses including a zip line, net spinner, and independent spinners. New trees provide much-needed shade. A separate tot area with imaginative play panels are set up at a nearby picnic area. The arbor with picnic tables has been replaced, site lighting upgraded, existing pathways have been repaved for wheelchair access, and the clubhouse restrooms were modified for exterior access.
This year marks the 134th anniversary of the Golden Gate Park Band, which presents free concerts at the Spreckels Temple of Music (aka Bandshell) in the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. They are one of the last big-city outdoor bands to present a full season of entertainment in the outdoors. The band has presented a large variety of music over the years, which includes classical transcriptions, original works for concert band, Broadway show selections, as well as opera and marches. The free concerts started in April and continue until early October and usually start at 1 p.m. The June lineup includes: June 11-12, Battle of the Bands (11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day); June 19, The Circus, with Circus Bella; and June 26, Scottish Dancing with the Dunsmuir Dancers. For more information, go the band’s website www.GoldenGateBand.org.
The Chronicle’s Native Son, Carl Nolte, had two nice articles about two of our parks and open spaces. On May 29, he wrote about Christopher Park near the Diamond Heights shopping center leading into Glen Canyon Park, “a bit of wild country in the middle of the city.” The article included mention of the protest efforts made by three neighborhood women, the Gum Tree Girls, to stop a freeway proposed to run through part of Glen Canyon and a tunnel under Twin Peaks. The freeway was never built.

On June 5, Nolte wrote about “San Francisco’s Municipal Pier, one of the scenic treasures of the city, crumbling away.” The Aquatic Park pier curves out into the bay from the end of Van Ness Avenue. The price tag to replace the pier was $68 million seven years ago. Kevin Hendricks, superintendent of the SF Maritime National Historic Park, the body that owns the pier, says that if nothing happens and the pier continues to deteriorate, the Park Service may have to close it to the public.


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 doug@friendsofdubocepark.org.

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, June 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day CANCELLED.
Monday, June 13, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting.  Gazebo at CPMC Davies.  Visit dtna.org.

Saturday, June 18m 4-9 p.m. Opening and Reception - LGBTQ Chronicles: 1933-2016. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.

Thursday, June 20, 6:30-8 p.m. Photo Lecture with HMPC Instructor Tim Baskerville. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.

Saturday, July 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

Thursday, July 14, 6-8 p.m. July Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org. 

Tuesday, August 2, 5-8 p.m. National Night Out. Harvey Milk Photo Center Exhibition Room and Upper Lawn Area. 

Monday, August 8, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo at CPMC Davies.  Visit dtna.org.

Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

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