38 classes are being offered at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts part of the Winter 2018 activity schedule, including eight dance classes starting this month. Three of the courses are designed for youth 7-14 years: HMCA Hip Hop Crew and HMCA Dance Ensemble, both started January 8 and HMCA Junior Dance Company, starting January 11. 

If you are interested in a fully body workout, consider Dance Conditioning. The focus is on a unique and balanced selection of exercise sequences designed to shape and tone the entire body. These classes will help you achieve and sustain a healthy body whether you are an expert or just starting out. There are two classes: one started on Tuesday and another starts tomorrow, January 11. 

The complete catalogue of classes is available online or you can pick it up in the lobbies of the Rec Center and Photo Center. Recreation and Parks offers scholarships to eligible individuals and families. More than $1 million in scholarships in Rec and arks 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.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, January 13 from 10 a.m.-noon. 
Last month we returned to the Pierce Street planting circle to do some weeding. In November, we put in some new plants around the Scott Street Labyrinth and did a general cleanup of that area, including some graffiti. Despite warnings about poor air quality resulting from the Napa Valley fires on Saturday, October 14, Friends of Duboce Park still held their monthly volunteer day and weeded the planting circle near the Pierce Street steps and did a trash cleanup for the entire park.

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 203,000 hours of their time, equal to $6 million in park services, and energy to improving our 225 parks and recreation facilities in 2017.

The City's Controller's Office issued its 12th annual Park Maintenance Standards Annual Report 2017 on the condition of the city's parks, based on the results of evaluations through Fiscal Year 2016-17. Under an amendment approved by voters in 2003, Appendix F of the City Charter requires the City Services Auditor Division (CSA) of the Controller’s Office to work in cooperation with the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) to establish objective and measurable park maintenance standards, and to assess on an annual basis the extent to which the City’s parks meet those standards.

There are many highlights. For the second year in a row, the citywide average park score has increased - going from 85% in FY15 to 86% in FY16 and to 88% in FY17. 61% of the City's parks experienced an increase in score from FY15 to FY17. Some of the greatest increases are likely the result of renovations funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond. For the third year in a row, children’s play areas are the lowest scoring park feature.  

None of the ten highest or ten lowest scoring parks are in District 8, which had an average score of 87%, 7th highest among the 11 Supervisor Districts. Duboce Park’s basketball court placed 268 out of 283 courts that were rated with a score of 72%. Our restrooms in the Rec Center were 4th and 5th out of 245 bathrooms with a perfect score of 100%. We ranked 160 out of 166 with a Graffiti Score of 68.7%. The full Park Maintenance Standards Annual can be downloaded here.
None of the ten highest or ten lowest scoring parks are in District 8, which had an average score of 87%, 7th highest among the 11 Supervisor Districts. Duboce Park’s basketball court placed 268 out of 283 courts that were rated with a score of 72%. Our restrooms in the Rec Center were 4th and 5th out of 245 bathrooms with a perfect score of 100%. We ranked 160 out of 166 with a Graffiti Score of 68.7%. The full Park Maintenance Standards Annual can be downloaded here.

General Manager Phil Ginsberg emailed New Year’s Day greetings with a short video that was the 2017 Community Report. The 4 minute, 15 second report highlights the Rec and Park’s most recent accomplishments.

San Francisco has 220 parks and 4000 acres of open space. Our parks received a 70% approval rating in a SF City Beat poll and we are first city in the country to have 100% of its residents living within a ten-minute walk to a park. Rec and Park made 15,000 park repairs, hosted over 1,000 youth sports teams, held 522 camps, gave 15,000 swim lessons, and issued 172,000 permits for parties and events in our parks. The full report is available here.

The lottery for weekly Camp Mather 2018 began last Friday and closes on February 4. Camp Mather is a rustic family camp located right next door to Yosemite. With full recreation amenities including a swimming pool, swimming lake, sport activities, supervised recreation programs for all ages, evening campfire entertainment and more, you and your family can enjoy this week-long vacation. You can stay in one of the rustic cabins or reserve a tent site. Guests enjoy three delicious meals each day, served cafeteria style with a full salad bar and excellent service.

Go to the Camp Mather web page for all info on Camp Mather, including rules and regulations. There are 2,183 openings but they fill fast so register right away if you want to attend. The cost is $100. 

This week’s rain will help return much of our lawns return to green, as it usually does most winters. For example, the picture to the left shows the eastern slope of the Knoll, which was down to dirt just a few weeks and the picture below shows conditions in the People Only Area. Unfortunately, much of the new green are weeds.

When asked about turf conditions in areas that don’t get as much use, Michelle Pallavicini, Park Services Manager, said, “There is no irrigation in this area. When the park was renovated and that medial pathway was installed, the irrigation was not continued along the path, resulting in a large dry patch every summer. This is the next project following the item below. We will need to extend the irrigation along the edge corner to install at least two more turf rotors. This is a large project that requires trenching and assistance from our plumbing shop.”
“Also note, the park irrigation was designed in such a way as to flood the facility. As city mandates required severe cut backs in our irrigation outputs, we were required to adjust the system to avoid any flooding or runoff on the pathways. The irrigation heads are not in the correct positioning to achieve edge coverage without flooding the pathways. Ideally there should be irrigation along the edge. So now we need to find the perfect balance between runoff and edge coverage.”

Rec and Park has reduced water usage by 43% since 2013, according to a community report from the department, which has affected the amount of water that some areas get. 
The Dog Play Area is looking worn, particularly near the benches near Potomac Street, see picture at left. The new sod that was installed a few months ago now looks worn and rutted again.

Lighting remains a problem. One of the three lights at the western end of the Youth Play Area remains burnt out and the light from another fixture is blocked by a tree, resulting in that area being dark at night. Also, the decorative lights in the front of the Rec Center are out. 

“The lights at this facility have been a constant headache the last few years -- bad photo cells, damaged wires from vandalism, broken timers, tripped breakers, etc. I'm still trying to get the light turned off adjacent to the DPA that hasn't been shut off in more than two years and the light turned on at the Noe entrance. The work orders are in for all items and the electricians are aware of the issues. Again, our shops are inundated with work order requests and getting to them as soon as they are able. All shops are extremely short staffed and many of the work order issues are not easy fixes.”

There are a number of photography classes starting in January that are taught outside at various iconic locations. 

The Marin Headlands offers students a chance to create a cohesive series of photographs on the Marin Headlands. Two class sessions will be spent at the Headlands and two sessions will be held at the Photo Center. A large portion of class time will be spent on constructive criticism as well as discussion of successful contemporary and historical photography. The four-week course starts on January 14.
Students can elevate their photo skills with both technical and artistic approaches that go beyond tourist snapshots and selfies at a number of one-day classes being offered at outside locations. On the Waterfront will be taught on January 27 from 3-7 p.m. Chinatown and North Beach will be taught on February 20 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Sultry Sutro Baths is on March 3 from 3-6 p.m. Intro – Night Photography will be offered on March 10 from 4-10 p.m. Check with the Photo Center for exact locations. 

The 2018 Winter Activities catalogue has the complete class schedule and description of all of the courses offered at the Photo Center. You can always check out the class offerings online at or pick up the catalogue at the Center. Don’t hesitate to call the Photo Center at (415) 554-9522 with any questions. 

Sharon Meadows in Golden Gate Park has been renamed Robin Williams Meadow in honor of the local comedian who died in August 2014. The idea came from Debi Durst, who organizes the free annual Comedy Day. Williams supported the event and appeared there regularly.
The Conservatory of Flowers light show continues its celebrations of the natural wonders of the seasons with "Photosynthesis: Love for All Seasons," a new series of artistic illuminations projected onto the building's iconic façade that appears nightly through Spring 2018, starting at sundown. The show repeats about evert 15 minutes long. For more information, click here. 
McCoppin Hub, near Market and Valencia streets, has been closed to the public since a $145,000 fence was constructed around the space in July. The public space was renovated in 2014 at a cost of several million dollars and was designed to be a multi-purpose plaza with food trucks and an occasional movie night. But the area became a magnet for homeless people and City Hall received many complaints about loitering and drug use. The area was not conducive for business and its layout was difficult for the trod trucks to maneuver, so they stopped coming. 


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, January 13, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

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

Monday, February 12, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo, CPMC Davies Campus. Visit
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