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Friends of Duboce Park - http://www.friendsofdubocepark.org/

The Controller’s office released their 50-page Park Maintenance Standards: Fiscal Year 2014-15 Annual Report on November 25. This report contains a summary and analysis of park evaluations performed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and recommendations for improving the park evaluation and maintenance program. This is tenth annual report on the condition of the City’s parks, but this is the first year that the Controller’s Office and Rec and Park staff evaluated parks based on new park standards, which build on the previous standards to provide greater clarity, reduce evaluator interpretation, and allow for deeper analysis of the results.

The citywide annual park evaluation score was 85.2 percent. Most parks scored between 80 and 90 percent with 43 parks scoring above 90 percent and only 4 parks scoring below 70 percent. In general, a score of 85 percent means a park is well maintained and in good condition.ses and challenges in a variety of park features and provide more complete information to the public. Features considered include restrooms, trees, table seating areas, outdoor courts, ornamental beds, dog play areas, green space, athletic fields, lawns, hardscape, buildings and general amenities, and children’s play areas.

District 8 had the third lowest score among San Francisco districts with an 84.5% score, ahead of only District 11 at 78.1% and District 10 at 82.2%. Duboce Park scored 85.8%. Other scores for parks in our area:  Corona Heights 93.6%, Alamo Square 85.0%, Buena Vista Park 81.6%, Dolores Park 79.5%. But D8’s Children’s Play Area Scores were third highest at 83.7% and D8 scores also were third highest in Cleanliness and Litter & Debris with a 93.5% score.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, December 12, 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 did some planting in two of the beds near the main entrance to the Photo Studio at our November 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 2014 in volunteer service in San Francisco parks.  

City departments, state and federal agencies, community partners, local businesses, philanthropic foundations and individuals, have helped Rec and Park make much needed renovations to city facilities and provided more than 7,000 program scholarships valued at over $1 to San Francisco residents.
The huge bare area in the Dog Play area is once again fenced off to allow grass to grow. Nearby areas were also fenced off recently and the grass did grow, but heavy use by dogs makes it difficult to keep the areas green. The corner of the playground that was planted by families and kids in March is also fenced off to allow growth in that area. 

The west end of the Youth Play Area remains dark at night since a tree is blocking light that would normally illuminate that end of the YPA. That dark area, combined with the undulating soft blue rubber surface, has made that area attractive to late night partiers and drug users. We are working with Rec and Park to get additional lighting and with Park Station to get additional police coverage of that area at night.
Some of the grassy areas that were brown are now showing signs of green after the recent rains. Some of most heavily-used areas, around benches and in the middle of the Dog Play Area, are down to dirt. This is partly the result of state and city mandated water cutbacks and also part of Rec and Park’s “Brown is the New Green” campaign to remind park users of the very good reason for the dry, brown areas. Rec and Park cut water use by 25% last year through a variety of measures that include a shorter sprinkler schedule, improved irrigation, planting drought-tolerant vegetation and using recycled water on golf courses. On “Water Free Wednesdays,” irrigation is shut off completely. The predicted wet winter season will return most of the brown areas back to green.
After the most recent work on the Sunset Tunnel Trackway Improvement Project  on the weekend of November 21-23, the construction will pause now for the holidays. SFMTA have performed 13 weekend shutdowns so far and completed over 70% of the work. There will be four more weekend shutdowns scheduled for January and February of 2016.

Sand from the playground sandbox continues to spill onto the pedestrian pathway and MUNI boarding area sidewalk. Part of the problem is sand collects and builds up around the plants near the sand box and benches and eventually settles at a higher level than the top of the barrier at the bottom of the fence.

Graffiti remains a constant problem and Rec and Park does a good job of removing it within 24-48 hours of receiving a report…new graffiti that regularly appears on the MTA construction barriers and equipment along Duboce Avenue is also usually removed within a few days of being reported.  

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. 

Three local artists show their work at the Harvey Milk Photo Center’s monthly Lecture Series, 6:30- 8 p.m., on the second Thursday of each month. Tonight’s lecture features local Brian Dean, Ari Salomo, and Tony Dike. Each photographer presents for about 30 minutes, shows approximately 25-35 images each, and discusses their approach. The event is free and open to the public.
The Harvey Milk Photo Center invites you to the Panama-Pacific 1915 Centennial Photography Exhibit, which opened with an Opening Reception on November 12 and continues through December 23. Images contributed from the SFMTA collections were selected from the work of John Henry Mentz, the company photographer for the private, for-profit transit company United Railroads/Market Street Railway, and from San Francisco Board of Public Works photographer Horace Chaffee. They are from 6.5”x 8.5″ and 5”x7″ glass plate negatives, which have been scanned and printed digitally.
Current SFMTA Photographer Jeremy Menzies and Photo Archives Aide Katy Guyon collaborated on this project. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts working in analog motion picture and still photography and has worked in various media archives with traditional photographic and film materials. Katy is an Academy Certified Archivist with a background in cultural heritage and preservation. 

The SFMTA Photo Dept. & Archive holds over 100,000 prints, negatives, and digital images depicting transportation on the streets of San Francisco from 1903 to present day. The historic collections include negatives on glass of San Francisco’s earliest streetcars and pre-1906 Earthquake network of cable cars, as well as large format film documentation of the development of America’s first publicly operated transportation network—the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni—starting in 1912. Visit the SFMTA Photo Archive online at SFMTA.com/photo, as well as on Twitter @sfmtaphoto and a Flickr photo stream at SFMTA Photo Archives to see pictures. More information is available here

Ever wonder what it would be like to develop your own prints in a darkroom? The Harvey Milk Photo Center Winter 2016 is offering includes basic courses in Darkroom & Hand Made Printing: Film & Darkroom Basics, starting January 13; Intro to Black & White Printing – Darkroom, beginning January 25, and Photo Darkroom for High School Students, starting on February 9.

There are lots of Winter 2016 Classes being offered at the Photo Center starting in January. Besides the classes in Darkroom & Hand Made Printing, there are courses in: Digital Shooting & Printing, Lighting & Technique, and Artistic Development.  Classes and workshops are taught by working professionals within the industry in both fine arts and commercial photography.
Winter 2016 Registration begins this Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Harvey Milk Photo Center, 11 other recreation centers, and McLaren Lodge or online at SfRecOnline.org.

Information on courses, times, or costs is available in the catalogue of classes available at the Photo Center or you can visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.  The one-hour Photography Center Orientation is a required course for all potential members of the Photo Center but is not required to take other classes or courses. The next Orientations will be offered from 1-2 p.m. on the following Saturdays: January 9, February 20, and March 5.  

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.


Rec and Park began construction on November 10 at South Park, one of San Francisco's oldest parks. The $2.8 million renovation is funded by both 2012 and 2008 Parks Bonds, as well as Eastern Neighborhoods Impact Fees and a generous donation from the South Park Improvement Association. The design plan for the renovated South Park is a contemporary interpretation of the classic picturesque park with park amenities and programming spaces along a widened pathway that meanders through the park's trees and landscaped area.

The Randall Museum, one of San Francisco's most beloved locations for youth art and science education, is getting a much-needed facelift. Elected officials including Assemblyman David Chiu, Supervisor Scott Wiener and City College Trustee Alex Randolph were on hand with Rec and Park GM Phil Ginsburg and Randall Museum Friends on November 17 to help break ground on the museum's new digs.

The renovation project will include new geology and zoology exhibits, a new science lab, a new elevator, as well as the renovation of the live animal exhibit, classroom, restrooms, and first floor lobby. The project is a partnership between Rec and Park and the Randall Museum Friends, and is funded primarily by a $5.5 million of grant from the California State Parks' Nature Education Facilities Program.  Additional funding comes from The City's General Fund and nearly $800,000 from a Friends fundraising effort. The Museum will be closed during constriction and has been temporarily relocated to Mission Arts Center at Treat and 21st Street.
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department hosted the 86th Holiday Tree Lighting on December 3rd at John McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park.  There were many free activities including carnival rides, a cookie factory, arts and crafts for kids, music, and live entrainment.  Santa arrived at the Lodge, followed by the official Tree Lighting ceremony which began at 6:00PM.  At the end of the event, kids and families headed to Off-the-Grid Food Trucks that were located near the Lodge where everyone enjoyed creative and gourmet meals outdoors.

The 130-year-old official City Tree, adorned with more than 550 multi-colored lights surrounded by a decorated train, is a Monterey Cypress that was planted by the City’s first park superintendent, John McLaren. “In 1929, John McLaren began the tradition of lighting trees along a mile stretch of Fell Street leading to the City Tree in front of his home, McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager.  “We are proud to continue this heartwarming family tradition and celebrate the holiday season with our fellow San Franciscans.”
The $1 billion 5M development at Fifth and Mission that was approved by the Board of Supervisors recently includes a community benefit package with $1.5 million designated for the Gene Friend Recreation Center and $1 million for Victoria Manalo Draves Park (picture left). This brand new, 2-acre Manalo Draves Park is a welcome addition to the SOMA neighborhood, next to Bessie Carmichael School. With a softball field, basketball court, dual-level playground, picnic area, community garden and large, grassy field, there’s enough space for everyone to come out and play. The park is named for local diving champion Vicki Manalo Draves, the first Filipina-American to compete in the Olympic games. In 1948, she won two gold medals, in springboard and platform diving.
The NY Times' Travel Section usually features an article on how to spend 36 hours in great cities around the world. The October 28 article on 36 Hours in San Francisco included recommendations to visit the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park and have a picnic at Dolores Park.
Come party yourself into shape with free Zumba® classes. Zumba® is a latin-inspired, easy-to-follow calorie-burning dance-fitness party. You will get a great workout while enjoying San Francisco’s wonderful weather, parks, and recreation centers.  No Registration Required. Just show up and dance away. For weekly updates click here.

Joe DiMaggio Playground, at 105 years old, in North Beach reopened with a celebration event on November 14, marking the completion of a $7.3 million renovation project under the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond.  The new playground, adjacent to the recently constructed North Beach Library, includes an expanded and improved children's play area, new landscaping and resurfaced sports courts.  The new park will seamlessly connect the library, pool and clubhouse with an attractive outdoor recreation space to create a wonderful community facility at the heart of North Beach. Over 50 trees and lots of planted areas have been added, with more places to set and more shade. Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground partnered with other neighborhood groups to help raise the last $498,000 needed.
A week later on November 21, the much anticipated reopening celebration of Larsen Playground at 19th Avenue and Vicente occurred on November 21 with a special unveiling of the park's new jet plane, which replaces the old decommissioned jet planes that served as play structures at the park from 1959 through 1993. The $1 million project features a preschool play structure, disk swing and spinners, and the star attraction will be a sculpted replica of the old F-8 Crusader jet that delighted neighborhood kids for many years. The playground will also connect closely to a brand new restroom.
Be sure and check out the Garden Railway Exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers: 1917 Pan-Pacific International Expo that opened on November 12. 
In an enchanting display landscaped with hundreds of dwarf plants and several water features, model trains wend their way through the festive fairgrounds, zipping past whimsical recreations of the fair's most dazzling monuments and amusements, including the Tower of Jewels, Palace of Fine Arts, and more. Interpretive signs, memorabilia and interactive activities throughout help visitors to understand the colorful history of the grand fair that signaled San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake.
The highly anticipated opening of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park is scheduled for Saturday, December 12, from 1 to 4 p.m.  There will be family fun and athletic activities.  
The Fields had a “soft” opening last week. There are four Astroturf fields, great views of the windmills, a walking path around the entire facility, a playground, and easy access to the beach and Great Highway. Before the renovations, the fields could host 4,738 hours of annual play. The new fields will add 9,582 hours of play each year for both soccer and lacrosse players. Built more than 75 years ago, the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields were last renovated in 1998. The old fields were unsafe and in poor condition due to heavy use, abundant gopher holes and seasonal, wet conditions.

Registration for Winter 2016 Activities, programs, and classes begins this Saturday, December 12 for classes starting in January.  There are more than 1,300 classes for you and your family--- everything from Zumba and fitness classes to art and science courses.
You can register online at sfreconline.org or in person at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center or 12 other sites around the city.  Click here to browse the catalog of offerings and get ready to get out and play with Rec and Park! 

You can also pickup the 104-page 2016 Winter Activities Guide in the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts lobby. The catalogue offers course descriptions, times, and costs. There are courses for all ages:  tots;  youth;  tweens & teens; adults; and, adults 55 and older. 

Courses being offered at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center include art courses for tots and youth; dance classes for tots, youth, and adults; courses in digital arts and new media; music lessons; sewing and knitting for youth and adults;  theater and performing arts for youth; tot space and yoga.
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.

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."


Thursday, December 10, 6:30-8 p.m. December 2015 Photo Lecture Series. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.
Saturday,  December  12, 10 a.m.-noon.  Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day.  Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-55-8370. 

Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Winter 2016 Registration Opens. Visit sfreconline.org.

Monday, December 14, 7-19 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting and Special Christmas Social. Swedish-American Hall, 2174 Market St.  Visit dtna.org.

Saturday,  January 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-55-8370. 

79 Scott St. | San Francisco, CA 94117 | www.friendsofdubocepark.org

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