SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SF Rec & Parks) is celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month this July with a month of special events and fun activities. Since 1985, July has been commemorated nationwide as America’s official Park and Recreation Month. SF Rec & Parks will kick off July with Flower Piano at SF Botanical Garden (July 5-16), followed by free World Cup Viewing Parties (July 10-11 & 15) and Summer Play Day at Bayview Playground and MLK Pool (July 14). Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) will host the SF Cup (July 28-29) in the final days of July at Union Square
SF Rec and Parks is also celebrating its second year as the only city in the country where every resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park. This achievement was the result of maximizing recreational use of park land as well as acquiring new land to develop into parks, including In Chan Kaajal, which opened last spring. The findings were part of The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore assessment of the nation’s 100 largest cities, and ranking them based on how well they provide and fund parks for their citizens. The study was released on May 22.
“To celebrate National Rec and Park Month, I challenge everyone to get out and take a 10-minute walk to a park, every day this month,” said SF Rec and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Our urban playgrounds are just around the corner, and every day is a chance to celebrate and connect with nature.”
World Cup screenings are designed to bring San Francisco together, activating park space to celebrate the world’s game and inspire people to engage in sports and healthy activities. This year’s screenings will be held at Sue Bierman Park (July 10 & 11) and Civic Center Commons (July 15). The free event attracts diverse crowds from across the City’s neighborhoods, the Bay Area, and beyond. In addition to the screenings, there will be soccer activities for kids, the mobile rock climbing wall, and food trucks.
Newly renovated Rolph Nicol Jr. Park is open and invites children to play at the new Nature Exploration Area. This space offers children the opportunity to connect with nature through unstructured play using hands-on methods interacting with the natural environment. The space was developed in collaboration with the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), which supports and inspires cities to prioritize access to natural green space, outdoor recreation and learning opportunities for all children. By prioritizing access to nature, SF Rec & Parks and C&NN hope to make a positive impact on youth development, from increased attention capacity to improved motor coordination and physical fitness – outcomes that have been demonstrated through decades of research spanning the entire globe.
The SF Cup, hosted by SSUSA, will take place July 28-29 at Union Square. SSUSA brings sports to all — by building fields, providing coaching and training, as well as education and employment programs to at-risk youth and homeless adults. SF Rec & Parks has been partnering with SSUSA for 5 consecutive years as part of an effort to leverage public resources for social good.