SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) announced more than $1.26 million of Community Opportunity Fund (COF) was awarded to five different neighborhood projects today. This COF is funded by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, and the fourth round of award of the fund.
“With such high caliber applications for the COF funds, the Department and the Selection Committee were challenged to make the selection,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “We are so proud of our partnership with SF Parks Alliance and our communities; together we are making significant differences in our neighborhood parks, and enhancing our green space.”
COF allows residents, neighborhood groups, and park advocates to initiate capital improvements in their parks by matching public funding with other private gifts and grants. And a Selection Committee includes community park advocates who would evaluate each project proposals and determine which projects warrant the fund. Each recommended project has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed in its community. During the 4th round of COF grant process, applicants were required to publicly notice their outreach meetings, and all applications received a third-party cost review. The recommend projects are successful examples of Project Planning and Community Building, two central components of the Project Selection Criteria.
In addition, SF Rec and Park staff in partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance to co-host the COF Applicant Workshops to reach out to communities and help applicants with the application process. The workshops were spread across the City on different days of the week to accommodate as many potential applicants as possible. Workshop attendance was mandatory for applicants, and if needed, staff was available to meet with community members who were not able to attend. By working with community partners and their networks, the Department was able to reach significant number of park users and community advocates. In total of over 60 individuals attended the workshops, which included some returning Round 3 applicants.
In the fourth round of selection, the Department received 16 very strong applications totaling more than $5 million worth of neighborhood park improvements. The Select Committee met several times in July, August and September to thoroughly evaluate and discuss each application. The projects listed below are recommended for the 4th round of COF funding:
- Hilltop Park Skate Park Renovation $218,000: Propose to completely renovate, expand and transform the currently dilapidate skate bowl into a state-of-the-art skate park that will engage a variety of ages and skill levels.
- Bayview Playground (MLK Pool) Path and Playground Improvements $301,836: Propose to provide a new walking path with exercise equipment and provide new playground equipment to the playground.
- Tank Hill Trail Improvements $36,210: Propose to enhance public access by improving the existing path and providing a new wooden steps that all users of this park.
- West Portal Playground Renovation $500,000: Propose a new playground including a new sensory, inclusive area for children with special needs, expanded and improved seating and picnic area and a “nature nook”,
- Lake Merced North Lake Dock Renovation $210,000: Propose to replace the North Lake Dock and expand and improve public access to this unique and important recreational asset.
The projects recommended for award total of $1,266,046. This funding will leveraged with an additional $7,245,195 in funding and another $3,874,887 in volunteer stewardship. Workshops for the 5th Round are underway, and will be held through December 2014. All workshop dates and locations can be found on www.sfrecpark.org and http://www.sfparksalliance.org/.