Work Starts on Tenderloin Dream Park

November 9, 2012

The Trust for Public Land today began an $8.5 million project to rebuild Boeddeker Park in the middle of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, one of the city's most densely populated areas.

Plans for the rehabilitation project were unveiled at the 1-acre park, which was built a quarter-century ago and which is now an uninviting maze of brick walkways surrounded by a tall iron fence. It was recently ranked the city's worst playground by the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Sam Hodder, The Trust for Public Land California State Director, said, "We believe everyone should have the chance to connect with nature, and that is particularly true in the heart of our cities. Access to parks is essential to the physical, environmental, social and economic health of people and their communities, and this park will help the Tenderloin meet that need."

The project will take 16 months and when it is complete in 2014, the park will have a full-size basketball court, play area, fitness equipment, lawn, seating areas, gardening beds and new clubhouse.

Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, said, "Every family in every neighborhood deserves a clean, safe, fun park. Boedekker Park is currently one of the most poorly designed parks in the City in a neighborhood craving vibrant, healthy open space and recreation. We are excited to transform the site in partnership with the Trust for Public Land."

Betty Taynor, president of Friends of Boeddeker Park, said, "We are all very excited about getting a new park, especially the kids. The old play area is very outdated with really no safe play structures and the areas for basketball, soccer and other games are all too small. The new park will have state of the art play areas for kids and lots of amenities for adults, too. It will be a treasure for all."

"Nearly 50,000 people live within walking distance of Boeddeker. The park needs to be a thriving and central part of the Tenderloin neighborhood," said Jane Kim, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, whose district includes the park.

The project will end an effort which began in 2008 with a $5 million gift from five major San Francisco-based companies: Banana Republic, Levi Strauss Foundation, McKesson, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Wells Fargo. That money was leveraged into a $16.5 million program to renovate three parks in the city. The other two are finished: Hayes Valley Playground and Balboa Park.

Other private money came from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Union Bank Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Pacific Forest & Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, The Herbst Foundation, Charles Schwab Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and The David B. Gold Foundation. Additional support has been received from Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund and Louise and Claude Rosenberg Jr. Family Foundation.

Public money came from a variety of state sources, including bonds passed by California voters, along with a grant from the California State Parks Department. Sedrick Mitchell, with California State Parks Department, said, "park development grants are very competitive, and Boeddeker made the mark in every way - solid partnerships, strong community involvement, and a design that will bring nature and opportunities for outdoor, active recreation, to a dense neighborhood of need."

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than 34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.

Banana Republic, a division of San Francisco-based, Gap Inc., is a global apparel and accessories brand focused on delivering modern, covetable workplace style for professional men and women.. 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, 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. 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 is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (wellsfargo.com). In 2011, the Company invested $213.5 million in grants in 19,000 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.5 million volunteer hours around the country. For more information, please visit: www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.