If you are looking for local, handmade gifts to give this holiday season, shop at the Holiday Craft Fair at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts on Sunday December 11 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. There will be a wonderful selection of unique gifts for all ages and interests. This a family event with live music, popcorn, interactive art demonstrations, and a holiday portrait photo booth. 

The event will feature 22 vendors with vendor acceptance juried by a panel that will determine the best fit of category and quality of merchandise. A vendor booth costs $50 ($5 table rental, chairs provided). If you are interested in hosting a vendor booth or selling your crafts, you will need to submit your application and fees are by November 15. Crafts from two vendors that have are shown below. 
For an application or more information about the event, please contact Robby Roller at 415-554-8742 or The HMCA Holiday Craft Fair is sponsored by one of the Center’s non-profit partners, the McKinley After School Enrichment Program (ASEP). The HMCA/ASEP collaboration provides quality after school enrichment for families within our community.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, November 12, 10 a.m.-noon. We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener with all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves provided.  The September 12 volunteer day was cancelled since it fell on the same day as our annu

A special thanks to the volunteers who helped out at our September volunteer day, including four students from Everett Middle School at 450 Church Street,  who did some weeding in the planted area on the hill behind the swings. Other volunteers did weeding and planting in the Pierce Street planting circle. 

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.

October 8 was a busy day in Duboce Park, starting with our monthly volunteer day at 10 a.m., followed by Fleet Week’s annual Bark at the Park: K9 Heroes at 11 a.m., and ending with our Outdoor Movie Night at 7:30 p.m. 

Using the lower section of the Dog Play Area for two hours, handlers showed working canines in action. Dogs from the San Francisco Police Dept., the San Francisco Fire Dept., U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Marine Corp, Department of Homeland Security, and Canine Companions for Independence. They showed that they were than just patrol dogs by demonstrating a few search and rescues, climbng ladders, matching humans to their scent, sniffing out explosives, and showing how they make everyday tasks easier for their owners with access and functional needs. 
About 300 people attended Outdoor Movie Night on one of the nicest nights of the year and completely filled the upper lawn with blankets and beach chairs. We showed the family-friendly animated Inside Out, which won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards held in 2016 and was named one of the best films of 2015 by over 100 critics and publications. 

Movie Bingo cards were distributed before the movie began and the first four people who correctly and completely filled out their bingo card with answers to questions about the movie won gift cards to Peet’s.  The winners were: Kenny Tran, Jorge Alvarado, Johnny McClymont, Eric Balut and Emmy Hartman.

Two worn areas in the Dog Play Area have been temporarily fenced after being aerated, seeded, and fertilized. The fence in the middle of the DPA (see right) will remain up for another month to allow new seed to grow and stabilize. Another fence was erected in the DPA near the pedestrian path to allow repair of a 4-inch water main pipe (see below left). The lower part of the DPA is very mushy and muddy (see below middle) after the recent rains while the area near the Potomac Street benches remains dry and bare.

The edge of the lawn area on the hill across from the water fountains (see below right) just had its fence removed after that brown area was also aerated, seeded, and fertilized. The area currently looks overrun with weeds now but will look more normal once it is mowed.
Friends of Duboce Park purchased a new bulletin board after the old one had been broken or cracked by vandals a number of times. Rec and Park staff repaired the old one twice but recent vandalism damaged it beyond repair.

Elena Norberg-Brown, Recreation Supervisor of the Cultural Arts Division, and Robby Roller, Facility Coordinator at the Harvey Milk Center, met with San Francisco police on Tuesday to discuss continuing problems with homeless individuals who has been leaving urine, feces, needles, cigarette butts, and other trash on the balcony at top of the stairs that face the park almost every night for the past two weeks and have at times intimidated Rec & Park staff. Rec & Park custodians are the ones who have to clean these messes up, a very unpleasant task. 
Registration for Winter 2017 Activities, programs, and classes begins on 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.  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.
A complete listing of all courses will be available online at or in the 2017 Winter Activities Guide available in the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts lobby. The catalogue offers course descriptions, times, and costs. You can register online at or in person at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center or 12 other sites around the city. 
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. 

Most of us love to take pictures with our iPhones or mobile devices. The average mobile phone user takes 150 new photos during a given month, according to Magisto, an online video editor. The average user has 630 photos and 24 videos stored on their mobile device. The average iOS user takes 65 percent more photos than their Android counterparts. Woman take on average 47 percent more photos than men.  Over one trillion photos were taken in 2015 and the number of photos stored will grow to 4.9 trillion in 2017. 

The Photo Center is offering three courses that will help you take and edit your pictures like a pro. Intro to iPhone Photography is a one-day course on December 6 from 6:30-9 p.m. There are two iPhone Photo Walks being offered: Lands End/Sutro Baths on Saturday November 19 and Yerba Buena Gardens on Saturday December 10, both from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 

In all three classes, you will learn the basic functionalities and hidden features of your iPhone camera, along with the tools and techniques necessary to improve your photos. All classes will conclude with a tutorial on how to edit your photos using a third party app.

Creative challenges and guidance are given throughout the Photo Walks and include a thirty minute critique session at a resting spot. If you want more information on the courses and times and costs, pick up the catalogue of classes at the Photo Center or visit

The Photo Center’s regular Photo Lecture Series, showcasing three local photographer’s work in a show and tell format, continues tonight, Thursday, November 10, 6:30-8 p.m. and features the work of J. Astra Brinkman, Ben Iliili, and Nishad Joshi. Each photographer will share their body of work as well as their approach in creating the work. 

J. Astra Brinkmann prefers film to digital, color to black and white, and medium format to 35 mm. She is currently completing her double-exposure “ghost girl” series. Ben Iliili specializes in high contrast black and white photos and specializes in combat sports and profile editorials. Nishad Joshi said, “This ability of photography to transform reality is what appeals to me most.” Brief biographies of the photographers are in the Photo Center’s newsletter.

The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here.
Rec & Park, in partnership with the Warriors Community Foundation and Good Tidings Foundation, reopened the Nate Thurmond Panhandle Basketball Courts on September 10 after court resurfacing. The courts were originally renovated in 2000 but were in need of repairs. Supervisor London Breed noted that these are the only basketball courts in Golden Gate Park. Rec & Park currently maintains 72 basketball courts throughout the City.
The court resurfacing is part of an overall effort to make improvements in the Panhandle. In October, Rec & Park began phase two of a pedestrian and bicyclist safety project. The popular walking and biking path will be restriped while benches, trash receptacles, and bike racks will be installed along the multi-use pathways. Previously, LED lights were installed along the pathways. 
Registration for the Jr. Warriors League opens tomorrow, November 11 with the season starting on January 4, 2017. The league will feature five divisions, along with two all-girls divisions, for kids in K through 8th grade. Team and individual registrations are accepted. For more info, contact Cortez Espinoza at (415) 695-5006 or To register, please visit
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square, a San Francisco holiday tradition, kicked off the holiday season on November 2. The ice rink will remain open daily through January 16, 2017  from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Ticket prices for regular admission are $12, $7 for children 8 and under. Figure skate and hockey skate rentals are $6.
The 87th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at McLaren Lodge is Thursday, December 1 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be carols, snow play, holiday lights and of course, Santa. The event is free.
Rec & Park and Residents for Noe Valley Town Square celebrated the grand opening of the Noe Valley Town Square, on 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets, on Thursday, October 27. The city’s newest park replaced an asphalt parking lot with a flexible, open plaza that will accommodate the weekly farmers’ market and other community events. The design also features a perimeter edge garden, children’s play area, seating and other site furnishings, landscaping, irrigation, and lighting. The site was a gas station from the 1930s to the early 1990s
Rec & Park is more than half way done with the $4.3 million Alamo Square Restroom and Irrigation Upgrade renovation project. The contractor has nearly completed the installation of the modern, water-efficient irrigation system that will save approximately 3.26 million gallons of water per year. Additional improvements include pathway repairs, new sod, and new native and drought-tolerant shrub and groundcover plantings. A temporary viewing area set up along Steiner Street (shown at right) is kept open during construction to accommodate tourists who come to the park to see the Painted Ladies right across the street.  The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association raised over $130,000 for a gift of 100 new trees to the park. The park is scheduled to reopen in March.
Nine speed humps and one raised walkway have been constructed in Golden Gate Park on JFK Drive, west of the Transverse Drive, a stretch notorious for speeding cars.  The goal is to reduce cars travelling at unsafe speeds. Speed bumps are different from speed bumps. A hump is a gradual slope upward, not the jarring speed bumps you find in parking lots.  Speed humps are a proven tool to reduce speeding.

The Controller's Office has issued the San Francisco Park Maintenance Standards Annual Report for fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 that includes a summary and analysis of park evaluations performed between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 as well as recommendations for improving the park evaluation and maintenance program.

This is the second year that the Controller’s Office and Recreation and Park Department (RPD) 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 overall citywide score was 85.6%, a .4 % increase from last year. The highest scoring district was District 3 (88.1%), while the lowest scoring was District 11 (81.3%). There is a 6.8 % spread between the highest and lowest scoring district, which is a 3% decrease from last year. District 8 scored 86.2%.

In general, a score of 85% means a park is well maintained and in good condition. Duboce Park scored 86.4%. Here are the scores for nearby parks: Dolores Park,89.2%. Alamo Square Park, 81.5%, and, Buena Vista Park, 70.9%.

Park scores are based on performance standards for 12 park feature categories: Athletic Fields, Buildings and General Amenities, Children’s Play Areas, Dog Play Areas, Greenspace, Hardscape, Lawns, Ornamental Beds, Outdoor Courts, Restrooms, Table Seating Areas, and Trees. Each park has a different set of features to be evaluated based on what is located at the park site. Each feature is evaluated as to whether the condition of various “elements” meets the performance standard set for them.
To view the full 57-page report, click here.


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. Dues paid now are good through 2017.

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, November 10, Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit

Saturday,  November 12, 10 a.m.-noon.  Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day.  Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Winter 2017 Class Registration. Visit 

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

Sunday, December 11, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Holiday Craft Fair. Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts. 

Monday, December 12, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting and Holiday Celebration. Churchill, 198 Church Street.  Visit
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