Parks and Rec

The park bond battle

Why environmentalists and neighborhood groups are opposing more money for parks 


Recreation and Parks clubhouses are privatized and cut off from public access. Public spaces like the Botanical Gardens and the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park are closed to people who can’t pay the price of admission. Event fees and permit processes have become so onerous that they’ve squeezed out grassroots and free events.

It’s been enough to infuriate a long list of neighborhood groups who have been complaining about the San Francisco Recreation and Park  Department for years.Read more »

Claymation! Fashion! Digital Sound! An afterschool arts revival


If you believe the children are our future, then you may soon agree -- contrary to rumors of its ongoing extiction -- that the future arts scene of San Francisco is actually looking bright.

While arts classes fall off the curriculum in public schools nationwide, a collaboration between the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s (SFRPD) Cultural Arts Division and its Community Services Division (which runs afterschool programs citywide) keeps the creative spark alive via the ongoing Arts Afterschool program.

Just a year and a half old, the Arts Afterschool program will host its first-ever live showcase, the Arts Afterschool Spring Gala at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts on Sat/12. The gala will feature the artwork of 400 kids from virtually every neighborhood in San Francisco. The event showcases work from the program’s fall, winter and spring sessions.

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Parks and leaks

GREEN ISSUE: Tiny green urban refuges -- and hot danger underground


THE GREEN ISSUE It happens suddenly, unexpectedly: you turn a corner or hike up a street and notice, almost out of the blue, a well-kept spot of green, a surreal bit of nature sliced out of all the housing and concrete. According to a list provided to us by San Francisco Recreation and Parks (, there are 46 designated mini-parks, or pocket parks, nestled in various SF neighborhoods: publicly maintained, accessible areas usually no bigger than the size of a single vacant lot. Read more »

Whose park?

Proposal to build a large artificial turf soccer complex in Golden Gate Park sparks controversy


Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach have long been destinations for locals and tourists to take in natural beauty within an urban setting, but a controversial plan to build a complex of artificial turf soccer fields at their intersection is drawing opposition from neighbors and environmentalists.Read more »