What do kids really think of the new Boeddeker Park?

By Trust for Public Land
Published August 13, 2016

What do kids really think of the new Boeddeker Park?

When we met Jaeya Bayani, we knew you needed to hear from her. The San Francisco 8th grader has a lot to say about Boeddeker Park, whose dramatic transformation was made possible by Trust for Public Land supporters like you.

The park sits in the heart of the city’s most densely populated neighborhood—the Tenderloin district. More than 50,000 people live within a 10-minute walk of this small patch of open space. Residents badly needed a fun, safe place to get outside and play—but the old Boeddeker wasn’t it. The site was so run down and inhospitable, locals called it “Prison Park.” 

“It didn’t look like a park at all,” says Jaeya. “It just wasn’t kid-friendly. It had an unhinged slide, garbage everywhere, an unlevel basketball court, broken-down wooden benches with cobwebs all over them. My school is just across the street, and we used Boeddeker Park for gym class and recess. But there wasn’t really anything to do, and it always felt pretty unsafe.

I honestly never thought anyone would do anything about it. I never thought the park could be any different.” 

Today, Boeddeker boasts a new, full-size basketball court; gleaming play and fitness equipment; walking paths; eco-friendly landscaping; and a clubhouse recently honored by the American Institute of Architects with an award for its sleek, modern design.

But the reviews that matter most to us come from kids like Jaeya. 

“The new park makes me really happy and proud,” says Jaeya. “It’s so open and fun and there’s so many things to do. It’s our safe haven.”

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