In 2001, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department created a Capital Division for the first time in its history. The Capital Division began the renewal and revitalization of our extensive and diverse parks and open space system with the 2000 Neighborhood Parks Bond. Then in 2005, the Mayor and Board of Supervisors adopted a Ten-Year Capital Plan (the Capital Plan), issued annually to assess the City’s future infrastructure needs, the investment required to meet the needs, and a plan of finance. The Capital Plan prioritizes basic, critical capital projects that impact public safety, places a strong emphasis on accountability and transparency, and most importantly, demonstrates the highest levels of fiscal restraint and responsibility.
The Capital Plan relies on a series of bonds to modernize the City’s parks and recreation facilities. With passage of the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond for $185 million, the department was able to renew and renovate 12 neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities and begin addressing the infrastructure needs in our urban forest, trail network, playfields, and restrooms. In November 2012, voters approved an additional $195 million in Bonds to improve 15 more neighborhood parks, including three pools, remediate failing playgrounds, bring long-awaited investment to our citywide parks, and continue the vital renewal projects in our urban forest, trails, and water conservation needs. Even with the significant infusion of funds received by the Bonds, more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance and modernization needs remain. Another Bond for Parks and Open Space is planned for 2020.