SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A new program aims to make San Franciscans from all over the city fall in love with Golden Gate Park. Like any good love story, it starts with a charming introduction and continues with a follow-up date to get to know each other better.
Today, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s new Community Shuttle Program hosted one such introduction for more than 50 representatives from community and youth organizations from Bayview-Hunters Point and the Western Addition. The shuttle picked them up at neighborhood recreation centers and whisked them to the park’s Music Concourse. There they strolled through rainforest habitat in the California Academy of Sciences, soared to new heights on the SkyStar Wheel, explored the career of Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly at the deYoung Museum, delved into history at the Japanese Tea Garden and communed with Dana King’s public art piece Monumental Reckoning.
It was the third monthly field trip since the Community Shuttle Program launched Feb. 25. Two other Bayview groups, the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness and Network of Elders, have participated.
Today’s outing included members of Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC), a network of neighborhood-based nonprofit organizations whose mission is to facilitate, coordinate and develop community resources and opportunities that support service providers and community members in Bayview -Hunters Point; as well as its sister organization Mo’ MAGIC, which serves the Fillmore/Western Addition.
“Thank you to Rec and Park, BMAGIC, and Mo’MAGIC for their work to organize such a special event with our equity priority neighborhoods and for inviting our office to explore the Music Concourse, visit the SkyStar Wheel, the Cal Academy, and the deYoung,” said District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, “I look forward to continuing to support opportunities for our young people to explore the many beautiful spaces that San Francisco has to offer, especially Golden Gate Park.”
The Community Shuttle Program grew out of community feedback gathered during the extensive outreach process of the Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Program. Participants of all field trips are given wristbands for free admission to the park’s cultural attractions upon a return visit with their friends and family.
“Golden Gate Park is everyone’s park—and we want to make sure people feel welcome with culturally relevant programming and a stress-free way to get familiar with all the treasures the park has to offer,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We know park use tends to be hyperlocal and people use their neighborhood parks to walk their dog or watch the sunset. But we also want to show people that Golden Gate Park is worth planning a special trip.”
“It’s important to introduce people to great parks—not just in the Bayview, but in all parts of San Francisco,” said BMAGIC Executive Director Lyslynn Lacoste. “By bringing neighborhood service providers out here, they can then schedule follow up trips with the youth and families they serve and really familiarize them with everything Golden Gate Park offers.”
Approximately 30 organizations took part in today’s Community Shuttle field trip, which will continue monthly. The Community Shuttle Program was inspired by Rec and Park’s popular Junior Guides summer program. The Junior Guides program engages campers from rec centers across the city and brings them to Golden Gate Park for a day of learning and fun. Last year, approximately 600 campers took field trips to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, SkyStar Wheel, Monumental Reckoning, Golden Gate Park Carousel and the Koret Children’s Quarter. Each junior Guide is encouraged to return to the park with their family for a visit and connected to the Museums for All program.