Cabrillo Playground Reopens after $4.5 Million Renovation

2008 Clean and Safe Parks Bond Project finishes on budget

Contact:               Elton Pon

Mobile:                (415) 297-7174

E-Mail:                elton.pon@sfgov.org

SAN FRANCISCO— Today, Assemblymember Phil Ting and San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar joined the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the Friends of Cabrillo Playground, and city officials in celebrating the grand reopening of Cabrillo Playground, which recently underwent a $4.5 million renovation under the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond.

“The completion of the Cabrillo Playground and other 2008 Bond Projects are a valued investment to our city and an enormous resource for our children and community,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting. “The reopening of a new and improved playground provides children with a safe place to play and establish healthy lifestyles.”

Cabrillo Playground serves a diverse and dense population in the city’s Outer Richmond neighborhood.  The playground project included the repair and renovation of the children’s play areas, picnic area and courts, as well as upgrades to the park infrastructure and landscape. The renovation also included historic finishes to the clubhouse, originally built in 1938.

“The Cabrillo Playground renovation brings a much needed upgrade to this local treasure while also maintaining its historic integrity for future generations of San Franciscans,” said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar.  “We are thankful to our community advocates for their ongoing commitment and contribution to improving our neighborhood parks within the Richmond District.”

“This Parks Bond renovation has made Cabrillo Playground a better resource for the community with park and Clubhouse upgrades, as well as the addition of two new children’s playgrounds,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Rec and Park. “We are thankful for San Francisco voters who have supported both the 2008 and 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Bonds. We know that this project, as well as dozens of other park improvements, could not have been completed by the Department alone.”

The Friends of Cabrillo Playground pledged to raise additional funds necessary to obtain clubhouse furnishings and other recreational equipment for the playground. In recognition of the donors who contributed toward the playground’s equipment, the Friends of Cabrillo Playground installed colorful mosaic tiles along one of the park’s seat walls.

“Playgrounds are vital to our neighborhood communities,” said Allen Scott, Executive Vice President of Another Planet Entertainment, a major contributor to the project and the organization that brings the annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. “We at Another Planet Entertainment are happy that we were able to contribute to the Cabrillo Playground renovation.”

Among the park’s updated amenities is a new public art installation. Created by artist Collette Crutcher, the decorative fence surrounding the playground’s entrances features a lace-like design depicting San Francisco’s official flower, the Dahlia. According to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, “The artist was inspired by the beauty and variety of the Cabrillo Playground Dahlia Garden. Collette Crutcher has completed many wonderful public artworks in the city. Her sensitivity to the needs of the community and the ecology of a site is reflected in her work.  It’s this sensitivity that makes her projects so successful.”

“Friends of Cabrillo Playground really gave the project a personal touch with their gifts of the community tile project, ping pong table, care of the surrounding dahlia garden, and the equipment needed to make the clubhouse a hub of activity” said Matt O’Grady, Executive Director of the San Francisco Parks Alliance.  “SFPA is proud to partner with this group to make the most of the renovation project!”

“After six years of working for the Cabrillo Playground renovation, the Friends of Cabrillo Playground and the community at large is very excited that our playground is opening,” said Friends of Cabrillo leader Devi Joseph. “We couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful public space for the community.”

Cabrillo Playground was originally constructed in 1938 and has since been a neighborhood destination for residents of all ages in the Outer Richmond.   Longtime residents recall many community activities over the years, such as elaborate doll shows, Christmas caroling and summer evening films. The Dahlia Garden, maintained by local neighbors, attracts visitors from all over the City. Throughout the years, neighbors may have changed but one unifying factor is the Playground’s positive impact on the local community.  Upgrades to Cabrillo Playground and Clubhouse were first done in the late 1980s.

“We’re proud to have made the Cabrillo Playground and Clubhouse environmentally sustainable, accessible, and safe, as well as fun,” said Mohammed Nuru, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Works. “By working hand in hand with the community, we restored the clubhouse to its earlier glory, created playgrounds for all ages and revitalized the park so that future generations of families can benefit from this neighborhood gem.”

Today’s pirate-themed celebration included a children’s costume parade, ping pong tournament and music.

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