McLaren Park Playground and Group Picnic Area Renovation Project

Mclaren Group Picnic Featured


The proposed project includes restoring a children’s playground at the Group Picnic site, and removing the old sand areas. The new playground will be situated between the two picnic areas to capitalize on park’s hilly topography. A slide will descend from the top of the playground towards the central lawn. Natural elements such as boulders, timbers and native plantings will be incorporated. A large net structure will climb the playground and allow children amazing views of the City. There will be additional improvements to the overall site including upgrades to the picnic areas, pathways, and lawn as well as the addition of a loading zone.

We are excited to announce that Rec and Park will be adding a permanent restroom to the location with the porta-potty.

See the newest iteration of the concept design by clicking on the images below:

McLarenParkPlaygroundDDImage1 McLarenParkPlaygroundDDImage2 McLarenParkPlaygroundDDImage3McLaren Park Restroom Rendering


The Playground and Picnic Area Renovation project is funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond and has a total budget of $3.6 Million. The restroom project (see more details here) is also funded by the 2012 Parks Bond and has a total budget of $1.7 million.


The Playground and Picnic Area Renovation construction has begun!


The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department is pleased to announce the McLaren Park Playground and Group Picnic Renovation Project, funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. This project is part of the overall McLaren Park Planning Process. Additionally, the renovation of the children’s playground is part of Let’sPlaySF! Initiative, a partnership between the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, that seeks to inspire creativity and play throughout the City. In the coming years, 13 playgrounds prioritized for improvement by a citizen task force will be re-imagined and redesigned for this and future generations of San Francisco’s children.

Click here for additional information on the restroom project.


The Group Picnic Area is located off of John F. Shelley Drive within John McLaren Park. The closest cross street is Cambridge Street. The site features two reservable picnic areas with tables, counters & BBQs. There are two former playground areas (currently only sand pits remain) on either side of Shelley Dr.

McLaren Park Group Picnic Playground + Restroom

Hi everyone! We have exciting news to share. Earlier this month, the Rec Park Commission approved increasing the construction contract amount, which will allow us to add a new swing area to the playground design. This request was made by park neighbors and we are thrilled to be able to … Continue reading

McLaren Park Group Picnic Playground + Restroom News

Hi folks! The contractor is continuing to work at the Group Picnic Area in McLaren Park. The grading is complete and the concrete work is on-going. Rec Park staff will be presenting at October’s Rec Park Capital Committee Commission meeting for approval to increase the construction contract amount to include … Continue reading

McLaren Park Group Picnic Playground Construction News

Hi everyone! Construction is going smoothly on the playground renovation at the Group Picnic Area. Demolition is complete and the contractor continues to work on grading and underground utilities. The design team on the restroom project is working on construction documents for site work and utility connections for the new … Continue reading

Construction & restroom design Update

Hi folks, We are excited to share that the restroom design has been approved by the Recreation and Park Department Commission. The project team is now finalizing the construction documents for the project. Meanwhile, the Playground & Picnic Area Renovation is underway. The contractor is focused on demolition, grading and … Continue reading

Construction has started on the McLaren Playground!

Hi all- It is official, construction on the Playground at the Group Picnic Area has begun with demolition of planters, old paths, and a portion of the retaining wall. Work is off to a good start and we are looking forward to sharing regular updates with photographs of the work. … Continue reading

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Project FAQs

Why are trees being removed?
Trees are being removed for a combination of reasons. Four trees are being removed because they were assessed as hazardous as part of an arborist’s assessment. Three trees are being removed due to construction impact: one is located where the new playground will be constructed and two are being removed due to their proximity to the existing paths that will be re-paved to become ADA accessible.

How many trees are being removed?
7 trees and 6 multi-stemmed shrubs are being removed. 18 Trees will be planted as part of the new project in addition to shrubs, ground covers and vines.

How will the community be notified?
All of the trees will be posted on-site 30 days prior to removal. Photographs will be posted on our project webpage, and announcements were made at the October meeting of the McLaren Park Collaborative.