SF Rec and Park to Celebrate National Public Lands Day

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will be leading about a hundred volunteers to celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) by cleaning up and beautifying the Youngblood Coleman Playground located in Bayview on Saturday, September 27th.  The Department’s Volunteer Services Program in partnership with Friends of Youngblood Coleman Playground, Parks 94124, B-Magic, YMCA, and Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco have been recruiting volunteers to clean up the park in honor of National Public Lands Day.

“This year, more than 180,000 hours of volunteer service are contributed in keeping our parks safe, clean and fun,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager.  “Through beautification projects, cleanup days, and tree plantings with volunteers’ support, we make our park system the great system that it is today.”

At Youngblood Coleman Playground, volunteers will be chess table tiling, baseball field edging, removing weeds on the hillsides, including around the soccer field, cleaning up waste throughout the park, and sand sifting in the playground removing any waste.  All are to be done in order to create a clean and fun environment for children and families to enjoy.

“Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco believes that volunteering in your own neighborhood has a ripple effect far beyond one day of work. We’re proud to partner with neighbors, with the YMCA, and with SF Rec and Park to revitalize Youngblood-Coleman Playground and make it a place that all residents can use and enjoy. It’s this type of investment that leads to safer, more vibrant, healthier communities,” said Sara Brissenden-Smith, Community Manager for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco’s Neighborhood Revitalization initiative.

“We have been involved with many park clean-ups and nature walks in San Francisco and it is a certain fact that the residents in the Bayview Hunters-Point district benefit tremendously from access to clean, open, green space,” said Michael Bennett, Bayview YMCA Physical Activity and Nutritional Wellness Director.  “We know that access to open green space, parks and nature reduces people’s stress and improve and enhance people’s health and overall living conditions, and that is why we are proud to take part in the National Public Lands Day with the SF Rec and Park Department at Youngblood Coleman Playground.”

“Friends of Youngblood Coleman is on our 3rd annual NPLD, we are proud to be a part of NPLD; it is a day not only to clean up our park, it is also a day to brainstorm on how to improve the beauty and safety of Youngblood Coleman, a gem of SF Bayview in District 10.” Said Vanessa Banks, Friends of Youngblood Coleman Founder.

“National Public Lands Day allows people that otherwise feel individualized in the parks, to experience the community and oneness that this day brings about.” Said Maya Rodgers, Founder of Parks 94124.

NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands.  In addition, the NPLD events build partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America’s public lands.  The events often improve public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.  In 2013, NPLD’s 20th Anniversary, more than 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at 2,237 public land sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.  NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September. Since the first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds.

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