November 2013
#GivingTuesday: Inspiring and celebrating the act of giving
You've probably heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but 
have you heard of Giving Tuesday? It's an idea that started in 2012-- to insert a pause in the headlong rush to shop, shop, shop for the holidays and celebrate the act of giving.

Tuesday, December 3 will be Giving Tuesday this year, and nonprofits like the Parks Alliance are participating in the movement to raise awareness and encourage Giving Tuesday donations to specific projects.  


For our Giving Tuesday project, we're asking for small (or large!) donations to fund an additional $2,000 Action Grant for a deserving Park Partner group in Spring 2014. Last year, we gave out six Action Grants, which served as seed funding for volunteer projects like the Northridge CommUNITY Garden and the Saturdays in the Park concert series in McLaren Park.

We're spreading the word through our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and we need your help to get the message out!  
  1. Post our Giving Tuesday project page link on your own social media accounts, using the hashtags #Givingtuesday #parklove
  2. If you don't use Facebook or Twitter, download and edit our letter to email to your networks!  
  3. Repeat a few times before Dec. 3 to make sure the word gets out!
  4. On or before Dec. 3, make a gift to our Giving Tuesday project -- no amount is too small! The point is to encourage others to give by giving yourself.   

Thank you for helping make San Francisco a little greener as we work together to foster a national day of giving to kick off and give meaning to the holiday season.* 

Matt's Signature
Matt O'Grady
SFPA Executive Director

*Have you RSVP'd to our annual Holiday Party and Park Partner Bake-Off on Dec. 6? We'd love to see you!
 More details at right.
Park hours legislation squeaks through  key vote, 6-5

On November 5, Supervisors voted 6-5 (Chiu, Cohen, Farrell, Tang, Wiener and Yee supporting; Avalos, Breed, Campos, Kim and Mar voting no) to amend the city's Parks Code to establish uniform closure hours--midnight to 5 a.m.--for all city parks. All those emails and phone calls from supporters helped, as this was a very controversial issue for Supervisors -- several started out on the fence but were swayed by your arguments. Thank you for speaking up -- your voice made a difference!
What's next: Supervisors will vote again on the issue (the outcome is not expected to change) and then the legislation will be sent to the Mayor for his signature. Once signed, the ordinance will go into effect 30 days later.
Taking stock of our impact

The Parks Alliance annual Impact Report is out! Download the report to learn about our work over the past fiscal year supporting stewardship, philanthropy and smart planning for parks, open space and recreation. Among our largest achievements are:

--We led the campaign for the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond in 2012 and are now working with the Recreation & Parks Department to select playgrounds most in need of bond-funded upgrades.

--We provided logistical and management support to volunteer groups involved with renovations at Lafayette Playground and Waterfront Playground.

--We entered into an innovative stewardship arrangement with the Emerald Fund, resulting in Emerald Park, a half-acre of prime open space in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood.   

Psst! Want to know how to get funding for your parks project?

null You've got a great plan for a parks project, and a group of able and engaged volunteers to help you get it done. But how to fund it? The Community Opportunity Fund (COF) Program, part of the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond, might be part of the answer.
Through the COF Program, the Recreation and Parks Department gives neighborhoods, community groups and park enthusiasts an opportunity to make a real different at their local park.
To apply, groups must attend one of the following workshops hosted by SFPA and the Recreation & Parks Dept.  (groups that do not attend one of the workshops will not be able to apply for COF funds). Here is the schedule for workshops remaining in this funding round:
  • November 20: 6 pm - 8 pm at the Betty Ong Recreation Center, 1199 Mason St, 3rd floor Multipurpose Room, SF 94108 
  • December 5: 6 pm to 8 pm at the Joe Lee Recreation Center, 1395 Mendell St, Multipurpose Room 2, SF 94124
  • January 11, 2014:  10 am to noon at the County Fair Building, 1199 9th Ave, SF 94122

Workshops are designed to help groups finalize their projects and prepare an application for funding. We look forward to seeing your parks group there! 

Park Partners: What's new

Transformation of Hidden Garden Steps is underway!
Hidden Garden Steps in the Sunset is making incredible progress on their  stairway project. The first pieces of mosaic tile have been installed and the steps are well on their way.  This project will completely transform the stairs at 16th Ave. between Kirkham and Lawton Streets into a beautiful piece of public art.  This project has brought the neighborhood together and allowed for community collaboration. See more pictures of this beautiful project!
Landscaping, irrigation work to begin at Kezar Triangle
In the next week, fences will go up at the Kezar Triangle site in Golden Gate Park -- an underutilized plot bordered by Kezar Drive, 2nd Ave and Arguello Boulevard -- signalling the beginning of landscaping and irrigation work that will transform the site into a more beautiful and more useful part the park.
For more information, visit the Friends of Kezar Triangle web site.

Peru Street Playground opens!
McLaren Park's first new playground opened October 12. It features new irrigation, trails, a drinking fountain, a new community kiosk, a freshened up picnic area with new BBQ's and a state-of-the-art play area with several climbing structures.  

Northridge CommUNITY Garden holds first annual harvest festival

On October 26, the hard-working and creative volunteers at the Northridge CommUNITY Garden held their first annual harvest festival. Partygoers got to help harvest pumpkins, make art and explore the gardens.
Donations from community partners further stewardship projects

UCSF generously hosted our October Board meeting at its Parnassus campus as part of a ceremony presenting SFPA with a $32,613 donation towards our Blue Greenway projects.  Here, Paul Takayama of UCSF presents SFPA Executive Director Matt O'Grady and past and current SFPA Board Presidents Rosemary Cameron and Kelly Nice with UCSF's donation.

 Later in the month, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu was on hand with volunteers from the Broadway Tunnel Community Garden to celebrate a $1,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser seeks to support community gardens that provide education and healthy food production. The group will use the donation to purchase tools and vegetable seedlings, including plants for students at Jean Parker Elementary School's afterschool program. .
"Watching the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders plant and enjoy the garden is a joy.  You can watch them change literally in minutes when they get into planting, working in the dirt and watering," said Broadway Tunnel Community Garden organizer Dian Blomquist.
Palega Rec Center reopens Nov. 16

Save the date! The newly renovated Palega Recreation Center, on Felton Street at Holyoke in the Portola District will reopen with a ribbon cutting ceremony, live entertainment and activities for kids: November 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  SFPA's Gear Up program has raised $40,000 to furnish equipment and other necessities for the new facility.
Park maintenance continues to improve -- Controller's audit

The Controller's office released its annual report auditing the Recreation & Park's Department's performance meeting park maintenance standards in fiscal 2012-13. Citywide average scores for park maintenance increased a little over one percent in the last fiscal year -- from meeting 90 percent of standards to meeting 91 percent of standards. This represents the largest overall improvement in park scores since fiscal 2009-10--a score of 85 percent or higher generally means that a park is well-maintained. District 9 parks scored highest, at 94.4 percent; District 10 parks scored the lowest, at 88.4 percent. Click here to download a PDF version of the Controller's report.
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Holiday party time: You're invited!

By now, you've hopefully received your postcard inviting you to our annual holiday party. Bundle up in your winter best and enjoy the first-time Park Partner bake-off and holiday tunes with SFPA's Board members and staff!

DATE: December 6
TIME: 5 pm to 8 pm
PLACE: Noe Valley Town Square-to-be, 3861 24th St., between Vicksburg & Sanchez

Click to RSVP >>

San Francisco Parks Alliance | |
PO Box 170160
San Francisco, CA 94117-0160


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