Washington Square Water Conservation

Park closure coming soon - week of June 17 2019. We expect to begin the construction of the Washington Square Water Conservation project iWashington Square Water Conservation Map (JPG) Opens in new windown early May.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is pleased to announce the upcoming construction for Washington Square Water Conservation Project. The project includes replacement of the park's existing irrigation system to conserve 2.2 million gallons of water per year, and will address saturated soil conditions on the main lawn and replace the aging pathways.

Closure Details:

  • The Children's Playground will remain open during construction
  • The Restroom will remain open during construction with periodic restroom closures to accommodate replacement of park pathways.
  • Anticipated closure duration - 6 months

Background Project Information

In 2012 the Recreation and Park Department partnered with the SF Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop a Parks Water Conservation Plan for twelve parks with the greatest potential for water savings. Of the twelve parks surveyed, Washington Square was the highest user of water on an annual per-acre basis. Other parks in the program include: 

  • Balboa Park
  • Buena Vista Park
  • Golden Gate Park (GGP) Big Recreation
  • GGP Panhandle
  • James Rolph Park
  • Junipero Serra Playground
  • Larsen Ball Fields
  • Marina Green
  • Parkside Square
  • St. Mary's Park
  • Stern Grove

Washington Square - Closure Diagram (JPG)Washington Square contains 1.5 acres of irrigated lawn and garden, and current irrigation water use is approximately 3,300,000 gallons per year. The project scope will replace the antiquated 65 year old irrigation system. It is estimated the project will conserve 2,223,753 gallons of potable water annually - reducing annual water use by two-thirds. In addition to the PUC Large Landscape Grant, the department has secured funding to fully replace the park's sub-drain infrastructure to address frequently saturated lawn and other site drainage issues.

Project Scope

  • Reduce existing water use by two-thirds; from 3 million gallon per year to 1 million gallon per year
  • Install a weather sensing irrigation system
  • Plant new drought tolerant landscaping
  • Install new sub-drain infrastructure to reduce saturated soil conditions on site
  • Pathway repaving and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements

Project Funding Sources

  • SFPUC Large Landscape Grant Program: $625,700
  • City's General Fund secured by Supervisor Aaron Peskin: $1,400,000
  • Rec and Park 2012 Park Bond Water Conservation Program: $1,025,700
  • Total Fund Sources: $3,051,400

Anticipated Timeline

Construction is planned to start June 2019 - anticipated park closure is 6 months.

Documents & Materials