SAN FRANCISCO, CA –Two ambitious San Francisco park projects focused on environmental justice for residents of the Bayview and Western Addition have been awarded a combined $11.6 million in grants from the State of California, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.
The India Basin Shoreline Park project and the Buchanan Street Mall renovation project each received $5.8 million, part of $584.3 million in funding to deliver new parks to more than 100 communities and advance the Newsom Administration’s “Outdoors for All” initiative to enable all Californians, regardless of zip code or income, to access parks and open space. Statewide, the grants represent the single-largest investment in California history in expanding access to parks in underserved communities
“The past two years have taught us just how important access to outdoor space, parks, and healthy shorelines are for the development of our communities,” said Mayor Breed. “This funding will not only allow us to invest in communities that have historically lacked access to open space, but it will ensure that all San Franciscans have a safe and healthy environment to live and grow up in.”
At India Basin Shoreline Park, the funding will go toward constructing two adventure nature playgrounds for toddlers and older children. The playgrounds will feature slides, swings and climbing structures, as well as a discovery path through madrone trees. Funding will also be used to create bike and pedestrian pathways, a restroom, stairs, irrigation, lighting and landscaping throughout the park.
“At a time when we are making more waterfronts accessible to pedestrians in the southeast part of San Francisco, this grant will continue to push for more equitable open space that is much-needed,” said San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, whose district includes India Basin.
At Buchanan Street Mall, the funding will be used to improve the two blocks between Eddy Street and Golden Gate Avenue, including construction of a new exercise path, event plaza, and a memory walk highlighting the history of the neighborhood. In addition, it will fund secondary walkways, a gathering area, a multi-use half court, lighting, two new play areas, an outdoor fitness area, a community garden with bioswales, and public art with interpretive areas.
“We welcome this strong commitment from the state for these crucial efforts,” said Supervisor Dean Preston. “In District 5, these funds will help make the community’s vision for the Buchanan Mall a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with community leaders and state and local officials to revitalize this wonderful but long-neglected open space in the heart of the Fillmore so that seniors, families, and all residents can enjoy it for generations to come.”
“The vision and design for both India Basin Shoreline Park and the Buchanan Street Mall have been shaped by the community,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “As a result, they reflect the dreams, ideas, and culture of their neighborhoods. When completed, they will provide incredible new recreational opportunities for youth, seniors, and everyone in between. These grants represent a significant step forward.”
India Basin, which broke ground June 17, 2020, is currently in its first phase, the restoration of a critical tidal marsh and wildlife habitat. Crews will then revitalize and unite a series of existing waterfront open spaces into a seamless design offering 1.7 miles of contiguous public open space. It will provide unrivaled recreational access for 2,500 units of public and affordable housing, either existing or planned, within one mile of the future park. Once complete, the new park will include gathering docks for people to socialize along the restored shoreline; an accessible walkway and stairs to connect Bayview-Hunters Point with the expanded park, gardens and natural habitats; a public plaza for fitness classes, performances, and farmers markets; a lighted bicycle and pedestrian path that will close a gap in the Bay Trail, linking the Embarcadero to Candlestick Point; and an ecological education area where visitors can observe tidal mudflat habitats and native birds through small paths, decks and viewing platforms.
The India Basin project is a partnership with the Bayview Hunters Point community, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Trust for Public Land, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
The Buchanan Street Mall stretches five consecutive blocks between Eddy and Grove streets. The vision for the Buchanan Street Mall project, developed in an ongoing partnership with the community since 2014, is to create a vibrant, safe, and equitable gathering space that encourages interaction between people of all ages.
The project is a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Citizen Film, Green Streets, The Trust for Public Land, the Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces, and the San Francisco Park Alliance.
Construction on the first two blocks is scheduled to begin in early 2023.
The awards are funded by $153 million approved by the Legislature in the 2021-’22 state budget and $395.3 from the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68). To date, the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program has provided $1.16 billion to California’s communities in four rounds, including $368 million in grant funding from Proposition 84 (2006 Bond Act) Sustainable Communities and Climate Change Reduction program.