SAN FRANCISCO – After a $6.9 million renovation, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and The Trust for Public Land are proud to announce the opening of Hilltop Park — located in the heart of the Bayview neighborhood and in close proximity to Hunters View, Hunters Point East/West, and Westbrook public housing. The project is a partnership between the Department and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and is primarily funded by the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Act of 2008 (AB 31), supplemented by vital city, state and philanthropic support. These improvements are part of Rec & Park’s overall efforts to improve green and open spaces in San Francisco’s underserved communities and The Trust for Public Land’s national Parks for People strategy. State and local officials joined the community in the celebration.
Improvements to Hilltop Park include an expansion and upgrade to The Dish, the oldest skatepark in San Francisco, from a simple circular bowl to a state-of-the-art design with challenging elements. Additions to the park include a new playground (dedicated to Senate President Kevin de León in recognition of his leadership in authoring AB 31 which has funded Hilltop Park and over 120 park projects in underserved communities throughout the State), a picnic area with a barbeque, an adult fitness area, a neighborhood trail, improved accessible pathways, and seating throughout the park. There is also be an improved main lawn, an improved sundial plaza with a community performance area, vegetated swales for water infiltration, new lighting for improved visibility, and a new entryway and seating area. The park’s foliage includes California native and drought tolerant plants. The renovated park also has educational signage, telescopes, and community-inspired place-making elements to enhance science and cultural learning opportunities.
“Today is proof-positive that every child, irrespective of who they are and where they come from deserves access to open space. I’m extremely proud that our State Parks could provide a portion of the funding for this worthy project,” said California’s Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles who spoke at the event. “It’s never been more important to support and improve our parks and community spaces.”
The Trust for Public Land, Parks 94124 (a neighborhood park advocacy group), and SF Rec & Park teamed up and collaborated closely to secure both State and local bond money for the renovation project. Final funding was from a mix of public and private sources, including a $5 million Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant (AB 31), $500,000 from State Housing-Related Parks Grants, and $218,000 from SF Rec & Park’s Community Opportunity Fund program through the voter-supported 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond that expanded the skate park. Additional funding came from generous donors to The Trust for Public Land, including The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Youth Outside, Hellman Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Union Bank Foundation , Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund and Tony Hawk Foundation.
“The renovations at Hilltop Park will enhance the lives of families and kids in Bayview Hunters Point. This park will bring neighbors and new visitors together, connecting them in a safe, fun community venue,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “I applaud SF Rec & Park for their efforts in revitalizing the Sundial and restoring this space for our neighborhood.”
This construction project was also an opportunity to create a job-training and employment pipeline for Bayview residents. Candidates that successfully completed the Hilltop Workforce Training Program were eligible for membership in the Local 261 Laborers’ Union, and received job placement assistance.
“We remain proud of the workforce and our membership for playing an important role in advancing the Department’s Mission to deliver state-of-the-art facilities to all neighborhoods in San Francisco,” said Theresa Foglio of LiUNA! Local 261. “We are especially appreciative of the Department, and it’s leadership for engaging enthusiastically to make certain that workers from communities in need have opportunities to become a part of the RPD staff through our popular career pathway programming.”
“This partnership with The Trust for Public Land, Parks 94124, philanthropic funders, and the various State grant agencies was fundamental in renovating this park,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “We’ve created something special with and for this community that will serve as a community space for generations.”
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
“We are so proud to celebrate giving the people of Bayview the park they wanted, and deserve,” said Will Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of The Trust for Public Land. “Strong partnerships, such as ours with SF Park and Rec, and steadfast public leadership, like that shown by Senator de León, are vital to achieving our national goal of putting everyone in America within a 10 minute walk of a park.”
“I am excited that we were able to renovate the Sundial Park, many memories have been created here over the years and now many more can be created with the residents of our community,” said Maya Rodgers, founder of Parks 94124.
The $368 million Statewide Park Program awards grants for the creation of new parks and recreation facilities in critically underserved communities throughout California. Some 900 applications requested a total of $3 billion for the available $368 million. This shows the extent of unmet community needs throughout California.