SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has been selected to receive a $30,000 play space grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company.
Rec and Parks will use the funding toward the current renovation of Alice Chalmers Playground in the Outer Mission. This investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.
Part of the national Meet Me at the Park Play Spaces grant program, park and recreation agencies across the country were invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to play spaces for children and families in their communities. Agencies with the most innovative and effective project ideas were chosen to receive $30,000 grants to build their projects.
The Alice Chalmers Playground renovation began in April and is estimated to be complete in December. It is one of 13 timeworn city playgrounds to be transformed through the Let’sPlaySF! campaign, a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The design approach for Alice Chalmers Playground references the rocky coastline of California and gives kids a tactile and active play experience. The playground culminates in a large fort structure that will offer commanding views and foster a creative and imaginary type of play experience.
“Every child in every neighborhood deserves a safe, creative place to exercise their bodies and imaginations,” said SF Rec and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We are grateful to the NRPA and The Walt Disney Company for investing in the power of play and the vision of urban playgrounds as modern town squares where families bond and connect.”
Studies have linked access to parks and playgrounds to youth and family wellness. Growing research also speaks to the impact of exercise on brain development. Children living in neighborhoods without a park or playground are 26 percent more likely to be obese. Play also helps children forge strong connections with one another through learning to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and develop self-advocacy skills. “NRPA is proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help more children and families experience the benefits of play,” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of programs. “By increasing access to play spaces, this program will also provide unique activities tailored to the local community that support healthy lifestyles.”
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The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small-to-medium-sized clubhouses that offer a variety of sports- and arts-related recreation programs for people of all ages. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced.In 2017, San Francisco became the first and only city in the nation where all residents have access to a park within a 10-minute walk, a direct result of the Department’s commitment to increasing and improving parkland in the city.
San Francisco Parks Alliance champions, transforms, and activates parks and public spaces throughout our city through innovative partnerships with community groups, city government and businesses. We believe that building these partnerships to support parks and public spaces leads to stronger, more cohesive communities, greater physical and mental wellness, and a more sustainable, equitable urban environment. For more information, please visit www.sfparksalliance.org.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social
equity. Through its network of over 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.