SAN FRANCISCO, CA –City officials and community members held a celebration today for the reopening of Bayview/K.C. Jones Playground following a $6 million renovation that includes a bigger and better play area for kids, an improved new ballfield, new exercise equipment for adults, a walking path and a picnic lawn, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.
Following a ribbon cutting led by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, the community enjoyed free swimming at nearby Martin Luther King, Jr. Pool and a baseball exhibition on the park’s new field, which was relocated from Keith to Third Street and features new bleachers and dugout. A city job fair ran throughout the day.
“This pandemic has taught us just how important parks and playgrounds are, not just for our health, but also for the development of our communities,” said Mayor Breed. “This renovation has transformed Bayview/K.C. Jones Playground into a safe outdoor space where children will have a creative environment to learn, grow, and thrive. I want to thank Rec and Park and members of the Bayview community for working to make this vision a reality.”
The environmentally friendly design includes opportunities for nature exploration, 29 new trees and a bioretention area that filters and stores stormwater with native plant vegetation to prevent flooding city sewers during larger storms.
“We promised to improve parks and open space in District 10. The remodeling of the baseball field and the playground at Bayview Park is just one example of honoring that commitment,” said Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, who represents the neighborhood. “The community was a driving force in these park improvements. The proximity of the adult exercise equipment to the new playground allows parents and grandparents to all share in outdoor fun with children. The new picnic lawn invites families to gather after a day of swimming.”
The project was made possible through open space, forestry, and general funds as well as a grant through the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond’s Community Opportunity Fund and a donation of play equipment by the Public Health Foundation. Both the grant and donation were secured through the work of Friends of MLK Park/Bayview HEAL Zone and Parks 94124. Additional funding was provided through federal and state grants.
“This project is part of a larger investment we are making in the parks, playgrounds and shoreline of Bayview-Hunters Point,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Access to nature is a right. Quality parks and playgrounds make us happier, healthier and more creative. They allow us to connect with our neighbors and are crucial to child development.”
During community meetings and outreach, Bayview residents told Rec and Park that replacing the playground was their top priority. As Rec and Park secured additional funding, the scope of the project grew to include other items on neighbors’ wishlist: a park path, a design that encourages generational connections, and a grassy gathering area near the pool.
The project broke ground in the fall of 2020 and was completed Dec. 15, 2021. City partners included SF Children and Nature, Public Works and the Department of Public Health. Numerous nonprofit organizations helped with community outreach, ultimately shaping the renovation into one that reflected the neighborhood’s needs and desires.
“Bayview/K.C. Jones Playground is a great example of the community coming together with city agencies to create something beautiful—a project for the community, by the community,” said Lyslynn Lacoste, executive director of Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC).
The playground is named in honor of local basketball great K.C. Jones, who grew up in the nearby Double Rock Housing Development and played football and baseball at the playground.