SAN FRANCISCO – On Monday, March 16th, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon filed 10 felony counts of vandalism, 19 misdemeanor counts of vandalism, and one misdemeanor count for possessing graffiti tools against defendant Andrew Yarborough. Defendant Andrew Yarborough was arrested by the Mission District Police Station on Thursday, March 12th.
“We are thankful for District Attorney Gascon, and Police Chief Suhr and their teams’ dedication and hard work in holding vandals accountable for damaging our parks,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “Our parks are sacred public space for all to enjoy, San Franciscans deserve the rights to safe and clean parks.”
Currently, Mission Dolores Park is undergoing a $20 million renovation funded by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. The construction focuses on improvements to park facilities, sports areas, and the general infrastructure. The improvement includes the repair and renovation of the courts, field, and play area; restoration of existing roads and pathways; upgrades to subsurface infrastructure, irrigation and lighting, modifications to the site to remove barriers and improve accessibility; overall reconditioning of the park landscape. In addition, building changes include removing the existing restroom building and the two storage containers as well as the construction of three new buildings.
The construction of the north side of the Park began in March 2014, and was scheduled to reopen in April, 2015. However, due to an incident of vandalism in mid February costing more than $100,000 damages, the north side construction is now delayed pending construction progress. South side of the Park is expected to begin construction once the north side construction is completed and re-opened.
The Mission Dolores Park Improvement design plan was driven by a community planning process that engaged all the existing park steward groups as project leaders through a project steering committee. There was a series of 13 Steering Committee meetings and public workshops, and an additional of 30-40 informal subcommittee meetings to prepare material and propose design solutions.
Mission Dolores Park’s heavy usage has resulted in the park being “loved to death” by its community. Evidence of this can be found everywhere in the park: trampled plants, constant littering, compacted soil, overused restrooms, inadequate drainage infrastructure, and obsolete irrigation. There are more than 3,700 park users visiting Mission Dolores Park on a typical Saturday.