The second Failing Playgrounds Task Force meeting sent participants through San Francisco to observe children’s play areas in Hayes Valley, Alamo Square and the Western Addition. The tour began at Hayes Valley Playground and then continued on to Alamo Square Playground, Kimball Playground, and Buchanan Mall. The Teacher with the Bus provided comfortable seating and ability to talk between sites on its alternative energy powered bus. These playgrounds were chosen to represent a range of playground types and conditions throughout the city.
The Task Force received an “anatomy of a playground” infographic to help define basic elements of a complete playground– such as seating areas, fencing, and play structures. Visiting playgrounds allowed meeting attendants to see firsthand how the Parks Alliance Report Card Grades are given. A discussion surrounding CCA-treated wood and subsequent renovations and repairs was had to further understand the impact of this factor being present in a playground.
Overall, the tour showed a range of playgrounds from recently renovated successful playgrounds to others that are awaiting renovation. Task Force members and members of the public enjoyed surveying the playgrounds first hand and discussing in the field what their role will be in improving playgrounds around San Francisco and their enthusiasm and participation is greatly appreciated by RPD!