San Francisco Parks Receive $6.5 Million from State Budget

Assemblyman Phil Ting secures record $6.5 Million capital improvement funds for city parks

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced today that District 19 Assemblymember Phil Ting has secured $6.5 million of state funding to improve San Francisco parks.  The $6.5 million in state funding included $3.5 million for the adaptive reuse and restoration of the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, $2 million for the construction of dog park in Golden Gate Park, and $1 million for capital improvements in Lake Merced.  The additional $3.5 million state money increase the funds available for the iconic Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse’s renovation to $14 million.

“To help keep our residents in San Francisco, we need to create more amenities for our families, and this funding finds innovative ways to make that happen,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of Assemblymember Ting, we will soon be developing more public open spaces and transforming our existing facilities into thriving community centers.”

“San Francisco’s parks are valued by its residents and visitors, and we want to keep it that way. With $6.5 million coming in from the state, the enhancements, restoration, and improvements that will be made to the Geneva Car Barn, the new Golden Gate Park Dog Park, and Lake Merced will go a long way in preserving San Francisco’s rich history while increasing accessibility for years to come,” said District 19 Assemblyman Phil Ting.

On July 6th, Assemblyman Ting joined Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer, Ahsha Safai, Norman Yee, and SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg for a site tour at Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.  Located in District 11, Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse is the last physical reminder of the City’s first electric railway system. First owned by private railway companies and then by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA), it was occupied until 1989, at which time it was heavily damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake. When it was scheduled to be demolished in 1998, the community organized to convince then Mayor Willie Brown to save the building. In 2004, ownership was transferred to SF Rec and Park with the goal of creating a recreational space for youth and families, especially for arts-related youth development.

“The restoration of the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse will transform a blighted, historic building into San Francisco’s premier center for performing arts and instruction for youth,” said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai whose district includes Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.

Recently, the SF Rec and Park Commission  voted unanimously to allocate $3 million from the Community Opportunity Fund, a grant program from the 2012 Parks Bond, for design and construction services for the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse restoration and renovation.  Now, with the additional $3.5 million secured by Assemblyman Ting, the renovation budget boasts $14.5 million in funds.

In addition, $2 million of state fund will help improve the dog park in Golden Gate Park located at 36th Ave and Fulton Street.  This community-driven project plans to upgrade the park by adding, benches, dog turf and better fencing.  The community planning and design process is expected to begin later 2017.

My constituents and I deeply appreciate Assemblymember Ting’s timely and much needed contribution for our City’s parks,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer whose district includes Golden Gate Park.  “Our 38th Ave. dog play area has been neglected for decades but I am glad that our neighborhood’s recent organizing efforts around this important resource have been so successful and will result in a gem of a dog park.”

The State Budget also includes $1 million in State funding for capital improvements around Lake Merced.  This funding will augment $2 million from the local 2012 Clean and Safe Park Bond.  Anticipated improvements include erosion, trail, signage and recreational improvements around the lake along with recreational and dock improvements for boaters and lake users near the Lake Merced Boathouse.

“I am excited about this additional investment to San Francisco’s parks and open spaces. Our stewardship of natural areas and parks is fundamental to the health of our environment and the well-being of our residents.  Lake Merced is one of our few and precious recreational water resources in San Francisco that is loved by rowers, paddlers, joggers, birdwatchers, cyclists, families, and nature lovers from all over the Bay Area. I am thankful that we are able to secure more funds for erosion control at the Lake to preserve this natural treasure,” said District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee whose district includes Lake Merced.

“SF Rec and Park is grateful to have the support from Assemblyman Phil Ting as well as the elected leaders of our great City, and for their commitment to invest in the preservation and improvement of our parks and recreation facilities,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager.  “We are excited to be the trusted steward of these great public spaces, and we look forward to continuing our mission of providing safe and fun parks for everyone to enjoy.”


For photos and design rendering of Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse courtesy of SF Rec and Park Department:

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