SF Examiner: Playground reopens under bond project

Cabrillo Playground

By: Andrea Koskey

The return of the Outer Richmond’s Cabrillo Playground over the weekend is just the beginning of a wave of upgraded parks reopening in neighborhoods citywide.

After eight months and $4.5 million, the Cabrillo project has brought renovations to the playground and upgrades to the clubhouse; donations brought new amenities such as outdoor pingpong tables and new tables and chairs.

The project was paid for through San Francisco’s 2008 parks bond, said Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Sarah Ballard.

Cabrillo is not the only playground and park to benefit from the bond.

Earlier this summer, Lafayette Park reopened in Pacific Heights after months of renovations that included new bathrooms, tennis courts and grassy areas. Cayuga Park in the Outer Mission is expected to reopen at the end of the month, while the Portola district’s Palega Playground is slated to reopen in the fall.

In the near future, community outreach will begin at 15 other parks that could see similar upgrades under a more recent bond measure, including Angelo J. Rossi Playground in the Inner Richmond, Moscone Recreation Center in the Marina district, Potrero Hill Rec Center in the Potrero district, West Sunset Playground in the Outer Sunset and Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in Chinatown, among others.

The department recently sold its first round of bonds from the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, which provides $195 million for improvements to quality and safety in city parks.

More than half of the bond will pay for repairs and renovations, while the remaining money will bring improvements to waterfront parks, repair playgrounds and conserve trails, among other projects, according to the November ballot measure.

Additionally, Rec and Park has plans to improve water use at its open spaces, Ballard said.

A few years ago, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission did an audit of water consumption in parks, according to Ballard. As a result, the 10 parks with the worst water use have been on the department’s radar for upgrades. Because of the parks bonds, the department has roughly $5 million to spend on upgrading irrigation systems. Alamo Square is slated to receive a new irrigation system.

That system is known to be “old and leaky,” Ballard said.

In addition to new irrigation, the park will see “no-mow” lawn installed and new bathrooms. The project, which will cost $4.1 million, is expected to have a limited impact upon the public, Rec and Park says. Construction is set to begin next year.

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