SF Rec & Park Opens South Side of Mission Dolores Park

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today the opening of the south side of Mission Dolores Park after its recent renovation. This marks the opening of the entire park after the north side opened in June 2015. This $20.5 million renovation is made possible by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. To celebrate this milestone, SF Rec & Park threw a glow-in-the-dark party with lighting produced by All of It Now.

Construction on the south side of the park began the day same day the north side opened, June 18, 2015. Highlights of the south side include a new bathroom facility, a pissoir, picnic areas, an off-leash dog play area, and an overlook at 20th and Church Streets – one of the finest views in San Francisco. The south side of Dolores Park is also home to the Helen Diller Playground, which was renovated through a generous gift from the Helen Diller Family Foundation in 2012.

With the addition of the new bathroom buildings, there are now 27 toilets in the park in addition to the pissoir. Previously the park had four toilets. Other overall improvements include the repair and renovation of the tennis, basketball, and multi-use courts, and construction of a maintenance area. Improvements also include the restoration of existing roads and pathways, upgrades to subsurface infrastructure, irrigation and lighting, modifications to the site to remove barriers and improve accessibility, and overall reconditioning of the park landscape.

“San Francisco’s diverse, world-class neighborhoods deserve nothing less than world-class parks and that’s why we are continuing to rebuild and renovate parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout our growing City,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “I thank the community and the Recreation and Park Department for the renovation of Dolores Park that is creating a space for neighbors to build community for generations to come. This is an historic day for our City.”

In addition to structural improvements, SF Rec & Park, in partnership with Recology has increased trash capacity. On a busy weekend, users of Dolores Park generate up to 7,000 gallons of trash. Additionally, It costs tax payers $750,000 a year to clean up trash left at Dolores Park. The Love Dolores Campaign, founded in Leave No Trace principles, has curbed much of the trash problem through outreach and education. In addition, recycling capacity has increased from 1344 gallons weekly to nearly 28,000 gallons; landfill capacity has increased by over 20,000 gallons weekly. This is in addition to the eco-pop up, a staffed garbage site that triple-sorts compost, recycling, and landfill. This led to a 68% diversion rate of “waste” that previously would have gone to landfill during the pilot period. The eco-pop up will return in the spring.

“After scores of community meetings, and conversations about trash, dogs, sports, and toilets, Dolores Park finally got the renovation it deserved,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener whose district includes the Mission. “I am proud of the work we have done as a community.”

Mission Dolores Park’s heavy usage has resulted in the park being “loved to death” by its community and visitors alike. Evidence of this can be found everywhere in the park: trampled plants, littering, compacted soil, overused restrooms, inadequate drainage infrastructure, and obsolete irrigation. On a nice weekend, the park receives nearly 10,000 visitors.

“The improvements we’ve made from the pathways, to the tennis courts, to the grass, to trash capacity will ensure that Dolores Park will continue to thrive,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “I want to thank the community and all of our partners for their input and for continuing to Love Dolores.”

San Francisco Public Works provided design, engineering and construction management for the park renovation.

“Dolores Park is a San Francisco treasure,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “The improvements, including more public toilets and a strong community anti-trash effort, will help keep it that way and create a place for families and friends to enjoy far into the future.” 

“I am thrilled after such a long process to have both sides of the park renovated and returned to us. And Dolores Park Works is ready to do what we can to keep the new garden beds looking their best,” said Robert Brust, co-founder of Dolores Park Works.

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