SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department, along with Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Malia Cohen and city officials celebrated today the opening of Gilman Playground after a $1.8 million renovation made possible by the voter-supported 2012 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Park Bond.
“I thank the voters of San Francisco for supporting the 2012 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Park Bond, which, combined with our City’s investments, has allowed us to maintain our world-class open spaces, parks and playgrounds,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “We are excited for the reopening of Gilman Playground in our Bayview neighborhood and will continue to make sure playgrounds and open space across our City are clean and safe for all our families and residents to enjoy.”
The entirely new play area includes two composite play structures connected by a 40 ft. net climber. In addition, the new playground features numerous swings and apparatuses including a zip line, net spinner, and independent spinners. The underlying rubber surface depicts a shoreline setting in reference to the park’s former proximity to the San Francisco Bay. New trees provide much-needed shade. A separate tot area with imaginative play panels are set up at a nearby picnic area. The arbor with picnic tables has been replaced, site lighting upgraded, existing pathways have been repaved for wheelchair access, and the clubhouse restrooms were modified for exterior access.
“Gilman Playground offers families like mine the chance to get out and be active,” said Assemblymember David Chiu. “I want to thank the Recreation & Park Department for their continued efforts to improve park access in southeast San Francisco.”
“The revitalization of Gilman Playground is long overdue and these improvements will transform our neighborhoods for our families and youth,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen whose district includes the new playground. “This is a significant milestone for the Bayview community.”
In addition to playground improvements, SF Rec & Park installed Greenfields Outdoor Fitness equipment including five exercise stations to work out abs, triceps, back, legs and chest, including a wheelchair-accessible chest press. This was made possible in part by a $5600 grant from Greenfields. The unique and durable outdoor fitness equipment brings a social, multi-generational element to public spaces where both fitness enthusiasts and casual users can use the equipment.
“This is the best kind of day – a day where we get to bring more and better play to a neighborhood,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “I want to thank our mayor, Supervisor Cohen, our sister agencies and the Bayview community for supporting improvements at Gilman and other parks in the Bayview.” The department is currently investing $10.4 million in capital improvements to parks in the neighborhood.
San Francisco Public Works hosted neighborhood meetings with Rec & Park to gather community input for the renovation at Gilman. Their staff designed the playground, restroom renovation and site lighting and oversaw construction.
“I’m so glad that this playground project is complete,” said San Francisco Public Works director Mohammed Nuru. “It’s less than a five-minute walk from my house and my family and community use this open space frequently. We’ve added another beautiful park to our City.”
“The people in this community love Gilman park and it is a heavily used space, which is exactly what we want,” said Maya Rodgers, founder of Parks 94124. “I am excited that it has been renovated and cannot wait to see my kids reactions when they come here.”