Friday, February 6, 2009

Bayview parks are city's most neglected

Just across the street from one of the lowest rated parks in San Francisco is a gardening and open space improvement project that neighbors who live on the block have started.

The newer project is on public land, but limited to a narrow strip of dirt outside the larger fenced-in area because approval to use the empty lot has been tough for the neighbors to secure even though the site has been a trash dump for years.

These folks, known as the Palou Garden group, and similar groups associated with the Quesada Gardens Initiative and Bayview Footprints Network spend little, do a lot, and just might get a higher grade than City's Parks and Recreation department.
A report from the San Francisco Controllers Office reports that, while our city's parks are improved overall, Bayview's parks occupy half of the bottom ten list.

The report, covered in the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner, was a reminder that resident-led efforts to define and maintain the open spaces near them is a cost-effective alternative to traditional government strategies that often fail to connect with the people who are most affected by the potential and problems associated with these public assets.

District with lowest-rated parks:

Bayview-Hunters Point/Visitacion Valley, 10

District with highest-rated parks:

Mission/Bernal Heights/Portola, 9

Lowest-rated parks:

Cayuga/Lamartine Mini Park, District 11
Sgt. John Macauley Park, District 6
John McLaren Park, District 10
Park Presidio Boulevard, District 1
Palou/Phelps Park, District 10

Top-rated parks:

Collis P. Huntington Park, District 3
Richmond Recreation Center, District 1
Fay Park, District 3
Midtown Terrace Playground, District 7
Hyde/Vallejo Mini Park, District 3

Most improved:

29th/Diamond Open Space, District 8
Saturn Street Steps, District 5
Page/Laguna Mini Park, District 8

Source: City Controller’s Office

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