San Francisco's Newest Playground Opens in Hayes Valley

June 11, 2011
San Francisco

Residents of Hayes Valley today officially reopened a playground which has been completely redesigned and rebuilt by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the City Department of Recreation and Parks, and five local corporations.

The new park design, play equipment and sustainably designed clubhouse replaces a run-down facility at the intersection of Hayes and Buchanan Streets. More than 1,500 families live nearby, and the local residents helped design the new facility.

"The local community was very engaged and creative in helping design this playground," said TPL President Will Rogers. "Together, we replaced the old clubhouse, cracked asphalt playground and dilapidated play structure with a bright, active, safe, and joyful place to play. San Francisco has been The Trust for Public Land's hometown for almost 40 years and we are proud to be working together to make a truly great city even greater."

"The Hayes Valley Playground is a true treasure for San Francisco families," said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. "The Trust for Public Land has worked closely with the Recreation and Park Department and the private sector to transform this park. It is these public-private partnerships that will help us sustain and improve our local parks in these difficult economic times. Everyone benefits when we open a new park- from the children that play there, to the businesses that serve a healthier, happier, and safer community."

Phil Ginsberg, General Manager of San Francisco's Department of Parks and Recreation, said, "The Trust for Public Land has been a tremendous partner in helping to revitalize park spaces in some of the city's densest urban neighborhoods. Since the 1960s, Hayes Valley Playground has provided an oasis for neighborhood children to get out and play, and this renovation will ensure that these kids will have a clean, safe and fun place to play for years to come."

Hayes Valley Playground is one of more than 40 urban parks that TPL has worked on in the Bay Area, and is the first of three parks being supported by the five corporations. Communities around Balboa Park in the Excelsior and Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin are also working with the team to redevelop local parks. Work on the two sites will get underway this year.

"While the playground has historically enjoyed a great amount of use despite its crumbling condition, the new and improved Hayes Valley Playground will enhance the neighborhood and improve not only recreational opportunities, but the quality of life for the surrounding community." Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi added.

The new facility cost $3.9 million, including an extensive community design process and a thorough rebuild of the park and clubhouse. The project was paid for with money from the city, private donations, and support from local businesses. Major donations from Banana Republic, Levi Strauss Foundation, McKesson, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Wells Fargo Foundation began the project and was the basis for public funding and partnership. The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Union Bank Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, MetLife Foundation, Charles Schwab Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and The David B. Gold Foundation are also among other numerous supporters.

The old playground had users entering through a maze of garbage cans to reach the play structure and run-down clubhouse. The new playground includes play areas for toddlers and school-age children, benches and picnic tables, a small performance stage; fitness equipment; and raised beds for community gardens. The fully equipped, sustainably designed club house is the first Recreation and Parks building in San Francisco with a living roof and recycled denim insulation. It will provide after-school programs for young people, and separate activities for adults.

The Trust for Public Land, created in San Francisco in 1972, conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and wilderness. It is the nation's leading organization for creating parks in cities and creating local funds for land conservation and parks. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. In the Bay area, TPL has created or improved more than 110 neighborhood parks and natural areas.

Banana Republic, a division of San Francisco-based, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), is a global accessible luxury brand that delivers modern, soulful and effortless style. For more information on Gap Inc. community investment, please visit www.gapinc.com/socialresponsibility.

The Levi Strauss Foundation, established in 1952, is an independent, private foundation that is grounded in the pioneering legacy and values of Levi Strauss & Co.: originality, integrity, empathy and courage. The Foundation supports programs that advance justice and provide opportunities to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in places where the Company has a business presence.

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. www.pge.com/about/

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo wants to help all its customers succeed financially and create long-term economic growth and quality of life for everyone in our communities. In 2010, the Company invested a record $219 million in grants in 19,000 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.3 million volunteer hours around the country. For more information, please visit: www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.