McLaren Park Playground and Group Picnic Area Renovation Project

Mclaren Group Picnic Featured


The proposed project includes restoring a children’s playground at the Group Picnic site, and removing the old sand areas. The new playground will be situated between the two picnic areas to capitalize on park’s hilly topography.  A slide will descend from the top of the playground towards the central lawn. Natural elements such as boulders, timbers and native plantings will be incorporated. A large net structure will climb the playground and allow children amazing views of the City. There will be additional improvements to the overall site including upgrades to the picnic areas, pathways, and lawn as well as the addition of a loading zone.

We are excited to announce that Rec and Park will be adding a permanent restroom to the location with the porta-potty.

See the newest iteration of the concept design by clicking on the images below:

McLaren Playground SD Review 2 McLaren Playground SD ReviewMcLaren Playground Image of newest rendering PROPOSED BUDGET

The project is funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond and has a total budget of $3.6 Million.


We are currently in the design phase which will go until fall 2018. Construction is anticipated for summer of 2019.


The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department is pleased to announce the McLaren Park Playground and Group Picnic Renovation Project, funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. This project is part of the overall McLaren Park Planning Process. Additionally, the renovation of the children’s playground is part of Let’sPlaySF! Initiative, a partnership between the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, that seeks to inspire creativity and play throughout the City. In the coming years, 13 playgrounds prioritized for improvement by a citizen task force will be re-imagined and redesigned for this and future generations of San Francisco’s children.


The Group Picnic Area is located off of John F. Shelley Drive within John McLaren Park. The closest cross street is Cambridge Street. The site features two reservable picnic areas with tables, counters & BBQs. There are two former playground areas (currently only sand pits remain) on either side of Shelley Dr.

McLaren park Group Picnic and Playground Update

Hi everyone! We have wasted no time beginning our schematic design phase, and we are eager to show you the latest graphics of the playground design. Since the playground is geared to school-aged children, the design team has refined how the various elements are being used within the playground. The … Continue reading

The Concept Design for the John McLaren Park Playground has Been Approved!

We have exciting news to share! The concept design for the John McLaren Park Playground has been approved by the Recreation and Park Department Commission. This means that the project can continue to move forward. The design team has been working hard to incorporate feedback, which included a desire to … Continue reading

McLaren Group Picnic + Playground Concept Design Presentation – Nov. 1st

We had a productive third community meeting and appreciate those who were able to join us in person. If you couldn’t make it, please see our updated concept design here: Group Picnic + Playground Concept Design. Our next step will be to present the draft concept design to the Capital Committee … Continue reading

You’re Invited to McLaren Park Project Workshop 3

Thank you so much to everyone who has attended a Workshop, submitted comments and filled out surveys for the project. Join us as we summarize all of the great feedback we have … Continue reading

Visit the Archives

Project FAQs

Will a restroom be included in this phase?

Yes! The Recreation and Park Department Commission has approved funding in the amount of $1,700,000 for a permanent restroom at the Group Picnic Area. This project will move along in conjunction with the Playground Project, although its construction may trail the playground construction. More updates to come!

Location Map