Hayes Valley Playground Opens

June 16, 2011

San Francisco's newest park sits at the corner of Hayes and Buchanan Street, a crossroads for much more than traffic. On one side, you'll find a bustling street with some of the city's best independent shopping, restaurants, bars and cafes, and on the other, a fascinating mix of classic San Francisco architecture from every 20th century era, including a vital area of affordable housing. The result is a community that is vibrant and alive with the sights and sounds of San Francisco living in all its diversity.

Hayes Valley Playground reflects the community's eclecticism and energy. The modern design echoes a love of nature and concern for the environment, incorporating solar heating in the clubhouse and state of the art playground equipment. With nearly 40 years of experience saving and creating neighborhood parks in the Bay Area, TPL created a park the local people love, in a place it really needs to be. From the green roof on the clubhouse to the raised garden beds, virtually every design feature resulted from community members who attended a series of design workshops.

High praise comes from John King, San Francisco Chronicle's Urban Design columnist, who has this to say:

"The best public buildings, no matter how modest their size,
accomplish two things at once. They do the job that people expect and
then they go beyond expectations. The new 2,500-square-foot clubhouse at
Hayes Valley Playground in San Francisco succeeds on both counts.... The bolt-blue clubhouse is designed to catch every child's eye, no matter their race or class, and it does so with a smile."

New park features include:

  • Water efficient landscaping and community planting areas
  • Outdoor fitness equipment for adults
  • A 2,500 sq ft clubhouse with a computer room, rec room, kitchen facilities - and insulation made out of recycled denim
  • Play areas for tots and youth

A broad coalition of public, non-profit, private individuals and business partners funded the project through its successful conclusion.  Banana Republic, Levi Strauss Foundation, McKesson, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Wells Fargo Foundation kick-started the push to give their home city three new parks by each contributing $1 million towards the effort. Their generosity and vision enabled The Trust for Public Land to partner with the City of San Francisco and raise another $10 million in public grants and private support from Bay Area philanthropists.  

To date, TPL has raised more than $15 million, just $1 million short of the $16 million needed to complete the three park initiative. With the successful opening of Hayes Valley Playground, The Trust for Public Land team will next focus on Boeddeker Park, located in the heart of the Tenderloin, and Balboa Park in the Excelsior, once again constructing parks based on design input from the communities they will serve.