SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Greenagers will be mobilized to clean up open space in India Basin neighborhood on Saturday, June 27th. Greeangers is a youth program that educates the next generation of community leaders and build a greener environment for a sustainable ecological future. Greenagers will also be conducting clean-up at the newly acquired park land located at 900 Innes Ave.
The site known as 900 Innes Avenue consists of a group of parcels located on the waterfront in the India Basin neighborhood in southeastern San Francisco. This property is located between two existing Recreation and Park Department-owned parks, India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Shoreline Open Space. It is an industrial site that is currently used for construction equipment storage. The Tenderloin Housing Clinic listed the property for sale in January 2013, and since that time SF Rec and Park has been actively working to acquire the site.
“900 Innes Avenue has been listed on SF Rec and Park’s Acquisition Roster since the late 1990s, and we have been working closely with residents of the India Basin neighborhood in acquiring this property for public open space for the past several years,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “Now as we have successfully acquired the land, we are excited to have our Greenagers out there experiencing and envisioning 900 Innes Ave as part of the greater India Basin open space.”
The 900 Innes property was historically an important site for boat building and repair, uses which continued on the site from the 1860s through the 1990s. In addition to its waterfront location and beautiful views of the bay, the site contains a small, vacant, historic single-family residence, the Shipwright’s Cottage (San Francisco Landmark No. 250, designated in 2008). This was the first dwelling erected by shipwrights in the neighborhood, initiating the development of the boat-building community in India Basin that crafted many of San Francisco’s historically significant ships, in particular “scow schooners.”
The most compelling reason for SF Rec and Park to acquire the 900 Innes property is the immense opportunity for a significant expansion of the existing open space on the India Basin waterfront, as well as the opportunity to complete a vital link in the Blue Greenway. The park will help close a gap in the San Francisco Blue Greenway, a proposed multi-purpose path though parks, public open space and recreation areas along 13 miles of waterfront from AT&T Park in China Basin south to the city limits past Candlestick Park. The trail will serve as a connector between the southeastern neighborhoods and downtown, and provide much-needed open space for recreation in Bayview Hunters Point. For the past several months SF Rec and Park has been partnering with the San Francisco Parks Alliance to coordinate the 900 Innes acquisition and planning process with the Blue Greenway program, as well as working with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to develop the terms for a collaborative effort related to planning, design, and community outreach for the 900 Innes site.
And recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that SF Rec and Park will receive $400,000 in federal brownfields funds to clean up the site of a future public park in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks will use the brownfields funds to clean up the property along Innes Avenue. The project builds on the work completed by the City with previous EPA brownfields grants and technical assistance.
“Greenagers are proud to be part of the efforts to clean up India Basin Shoreline Park and Open Space especially now the area will be expanded to larger public green space to better serve San Franciscans,” said Brenda Cartagena, SF Rec and Park Greenagers Program Manager. “We are excited to be out there doing our part to make our parks beautiful and sustainable.”
Participants in the Greenagers meet three Saturday mornings a month. The youth leaders work on restoration projects on the two of the scheduled Saturdays. The third Saturday of the month they research social and environmental problems associated with their neighborhood parks, present workshops to their peers and employ solutions through activating community organizing building awareness among other youth. The Greenagers learn and participate in active outdoor recreational activities which reinforce the importance of park stewardship.
The goal of Greenagers is to provide workforce development opportunities within public sector including recreation and park related work and support for high school students who are looking to become the next generation of leaders in stewarding San Francisco’s parks and natural areas. For more information about Greenagers or Youth Stewardship Program, please visit SF Rec and Park’s website at www.sfrecpark.org.