San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) announced today the grand opening of Helen Diller Playground in Mission Dolores Park. Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Scott Wiener, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Mrs. Helen Diller and family, San Francisco Parks Alliance, Friends of Dolores Park Playground, and park advocates gathered together for the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony, music, and entertainment for children and families.
“As we cut the ribbon to officially open Helen Diller Playground at Mission Dolores Park today, we celebrate another great example of our City’s commitment to creating jobs and investing in open, clean park spaces for all our residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Aptly named after legendary philanthropist Helen Diller, this playground will foster greater community connections for San Francisco families for generations to come.”
“I am grateful to our community advocates and their contribution to making Helen Diller Playground a world-class playground,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents District 8, including Dolores Park. “I also applaud the Recreation & Park Department for its efforts to renovate the playground and better serve the children and families in our neighborhoods.”
With the help and generous donation of more than $1.5 million from the Mercer Fund in honor of San Francisco Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller, together with funding from the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond and the City’s General Fund, major renovation of the Dolores Park Playground has been completed. The site now has several unique and exciting features, including: a central play mound that will have an ADA-accessible suspension bridge, built-in slide and climbing nets; custom-made ship wrecked boats; and a 40’ super slide built into the natural hillside behind the playground. And in honor and appreciation of Mrs. Diller’s lifetime philanthropic work and community contributions, the playground is named the Helen Diller Playground.
“This is a perfect example of SF Rec and Park utilizing park advocate donation and support with Parks Bond to create a state of the art playground.” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “This project underscores SF Rec and Park’s commitment to provide children and family with healthy recreation in our park system.”
“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate a labor of love, as we unveil the new World Class Playground at Dolores Park. The Friends of Dolores Park Playground community, with its 2500 members, came together with a clear vision combined that with dedication, hard work and collaboration, to actualize a beautiful outdoor space for play,” said, Nancy Gonzalez Madinsky, Chair of the Friends of Dolores Park Playground. “Our continued hope is that children and families for generations to come will be able to share our joy and have fun.”
“The SF Parks Alliance, formerly Neighborhood Park Council and Parks Trust, is proud to have supported the dedicated park stewards who made this playground a reality,” says SFPA Executive Director Matthew O’Grady. “When the community, philanthropy, and City come together, our parks benefit.”
Today, Helen Diller Playground is located in Mission Dolores Park, a 13.37-acre site in the Mission District and bounded by Dolores, Church, 18th and 19th Streets. During the community planning process for the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, strong community involvement through Friends of Dolores Park Playground and San Francisco Parks Alliance expressed support for a world-class playground for the children and families living in the Mission neighborhood.