SFSU: How the Community Plays – Lincoln Park and Playground

Welcome to Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park Playground is a small park located in the outer Richmond on Clement Street and 33rd Avenue. It is a small playground that is used by many of the residents and it is a popular place to go to on a Sunday afternoon. I arrived at this park a little before 10 in the morning. I observed the children and adults for an hour and I have also interviewed a few people. This was the first park I thought of when contemplating which park to observe. I grew up in San Francisco and I attended George Washington High School, which is a couple of blacks away from his park. I would come here often after school with my friends. When I came back to this park, it brought back a lot of memories and it was nice to see that residents making good use of this park.

While I was sitting on the grassy hill, I observed two different groups of people. The first group that I observed was a mother and children playing on the toddlers section of the playground. This part is sectioned off from the main playground and is dedicated to children that are smaller. It consists of small rocket ships that are safe and close to the ground. There is also a miniature jungle gym with slides that are short and that have been lowered. The mother seems to be Caucasian in her early thirties. She wore denim jeans with a stripped sweater. She also wore a vest, scarf and a pair of boots. Her son was wearing a blue hoodie, loose sweat pants and a pair of black sports shoes. The mother brought the stroller and she had a medium bag on the bottom. She seems to be a middle class mother that lives in the neighborhood. It was clear that the relationship between them was mother and child. She was following her son around to make sure that he wouldn’t get hurt. She helped her son onto the slides and the rocket ships. After around half an hour of running around, she sat him down and cleaned his hands with hand sanitizer.  She proceeded with feeding him some apple slices. As the child was eating his apple slices, she went on her phone for a couple of minutes. When he was done eating, he continued to play for a little longer. They left after another ten minutes of running around. The mother and child seem to have really enjoyed their day at the park.

The second group that I took an interest in was a Caucasian family of four enjoying a picnic on the green hills. The mother and father seem to be in their mid-forties and their children seemed like they were around 8-10 years old. The mother was wearing a grey knitted sweater with denim jeans and a pair of sports shoes while the father was wearing a cashmere sweater with a pair of denim jeans and walking shoes. The older daughter was wearing a pink shirt with a blue zip up jacket and a pair of denim jeans with sandals. The younger brother was wearing khaki shorts with a stripped polo and a black jacket. They had a blanket laid out with sandwiches, juice and fruit. The children were enjoying themselves as they were rolling down the hills. The mother and father were talking to one another and would take occasional glances at their children. The children would run down to the jungle gym and play with other kids and the parents would observe while chatting about other parents and their situation at work. They seem to be a busy family and their off days, they bring their kids to the park and enjoy nature.

After I finished observing the park, I looked for a potential pedestrian to interview. I saw a young Caucasian female sitting on a bench in her running clothes. I decided that she would be perfect to interview because so far, I have observed families but not individuals. I approached her and asked a few questions regarding the park. Her name was Samantha Dickerson and she was 25 years old.
“Do you like this park and do you come often?” I asked.

“This is a convenient park within a residential area. I come every other week after a jog,” she said.

“What do you usually do when you come here?”

“I usually come here after my jog to cool down and listen to music.”

“Is this park useful?”

“It’s useful for children, but not for young adults. I only come after a jog. I wouldn’t come here for fun because there wouldn’t be anything for me to do.”

“Would you improve the park?”

“This playground was recently renovated, so no. I think it’s perfect for children. The jungle gym is still new and the children see to enjoy it.”
After interviewing Samantha, I realized that what she said is true to some extent. The atmosphere at this park is dedicated mainly to children and parents. Young adults have the option of talking and having a picnic on the hill, but they would not be able to use crude language. I would suggest that the park should have a sign that can inform pedestrians of another area that is available for BBQs or larger group hang outs. I would also suggest that the bathrooms should be improved. The bathrooms aren’t in view from the playground. They’re located on a hill that is hidden behind some trees. It looks dangerous to enter when it gets dark. Improving the bathrooms would be a great benefit to everyone. This playground is amazing and I cannot think of any other way to improve this park. Parks are important and necessary for children and adults. It provides a place to relax and escape from their busy lives. As I have observed, this park is very useful to the residents and they all seem to enjoy Lincoln Park Playground.