Dear Friends of Alamo Square Park, Thank you for your interest in Alamo Square Park. We are very pleased to have re-opened the park after investing $5.3 million in this twelve acre, iconic property. Much of the work we completed, you cannot see. Most significantly, we replaced the park’s 70 year irrigation system that wasted more water than any other park in San Francisco. After completing this irrigation project, we expect to reduce water usage by 2.5 million gallons, leading to a 33% annual water savings. Most of the system is now automated with state of the art technology. It is programmed to run at prescribed intervals and can adjust irrigation run time based on moisture levels in the soil and humidity levels in the air. (Due to the historic design, there are still sections of the park landscape which require hands-on management of manual irrigation systems.) We also added a new booster pump to address poor water pressure in the park.
Some of the work scope completed you can see, use, and enjoy:
- New restroom: We added an ADA accessible, all-gender restroom near the playground area.
- New pathways: We repaired crumbling park pathways throughout the park.
- New trees: In partnership with the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association, we planted over 100 new trees.
- New landscape: We have also introduced hundreds of new drought tolerant plantings; new sod; new landscape beds and new no-mow fescue grass on the steepest portions of the hillside around the perimeter of the park.
It is important to understand that this was never funded as a full park renovation project. Rather, it was funded as an irrigation system replacement project that morphed into a significantly broader scope of work because of neighborhood passion, advocacy and philanthropy; the leadership of the Mayor and Supervisor Breed; and the creativity and hard work of RPD staff that squeezed every drop of staff resources and funding flexibility to meet an expanded scope of improvements.
As you’ve noticed, in some areas of the park our renovation work continues. Given the lengthy period of the park’s closure — due to the complexity of the irrigation work and four months of weather related delays — we felt it important to re-open before all of the finishing touches were completed so that people could resume enjoyment of the park. Here’s what’s still to come:
- Additional new park benches: Prior to construction, Alamo Square had 21 park benches. During construction, 14 benches were removed to replace the crumbling pathways. Unfortunately, too many of them were too poorly conditioned to be replaced. New benches are being ordered and will be installed in the coming months.
- Additional new picnic tables: Prior to construction there were two picnic tables in the park. We have added a third and intend to add two new ones in the coming months.
- New trash cans: Prior to construction, the park had a total of fourteen trash cans. Upon completion, the park now has a total of 18 trash cans. Nine of these receptacles are located around the perimeter of the park at every major entrance and exit. There are 3 additional trash cans located inside each restroom and the playground. There are currently six temporary cans located throughout the internal landscape. These six cans will be replaced with state of the art, two-stream cans in the coming months.
- Newly resurfaced tennis court: Alamo Square’s tennis court has been selected for resurfacing through a project unrelated to the park’s renovation. It should be completed by September.
- Enhanced park landscaping: Four park entrances and two signature landscape beds were freshly planted. Three additional entry beds, one large planter bed and seven understory areas are still in the process of being landscaped, including new youth eco-trails behind the playground. This work should be completed by the end of July.
We deeply appreciate your feedback, your interest and your patience with Alamo Square Park. The renovation we celebrated was indeed significant and well-executed, but most of it you cannot see. We are confident the more visible aspects of this park project will continue to improve as the landscaping matures and as other final elements are added to complete the park. Please enjoy the park and all its magnificent splendor in the interim.
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department