Potrero Hill Comes Out to Play (CA)

San Francisco, CA, 8/11/2007: Just six months ago, the playground at Potrero Hill Park was unkempt and uninviting. The .63-acre space did not meet public safety codes, and had been on the city’s list for improvements for years. Today, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the City of San Francisco, and the community celebrated the grand opening of the newly redesigned playground. This day marks the culmination of more than two years of hard work and community involvement.

TPL raised $825,000 to help fund the Potrero Hill Playground project, and oversaw the redevelopment process from conception to completion. In the spring of 2006, TPL’s Parks for People Bay Area Program began working with the Potrero Hill community in design workshops and other community forums to identify what features local residents wanted in their park. TPL coordinated construction and helped translate these ideas into reality.

“We are indebted to The Trust for Public Land for their efforts to create and improve parks across San Francisco. In an urban environment, access to outdoor recreation is a quality of life issue. We’re proud to be working in partnership with TPL to create healthy parks and healthy communities throughout the city,” said Mayor Newsom.

“This is an exciting day for the neighborhood,” said District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. “Today, we’ve gathered to enjoy a new community resource, and I hope future Saturdays will bring even more laughter and children playing here.”

“The improvements at Potrero Hill Playground were inspired, initiated and in many places created by neighborhood residents. The result is a safe, fun and accessible playground that will bring people together. That’s the beauty of public space, it’s something we all share as a community.” said Tim Wirth, Bay Area Program Director for The Trust for Public Land.

The 11-acre Potrero Hill Park and Recreation Center is located between the middle class single-family homes of Potrero Hill and two of the largest public housing projects in San Francisco. When TPL held community design meetings, the neighbors from both areas said they wanted the park to foster inclusiveness and togetherness. The site has playgrounds for tots and school age children, swings, a natural reading area, picnic tables and barbecues. It also features art created by kids from Downtown High School and Potrero Hill Neighborhood House.

The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization headquartered in San Francisco, was established in 1972 with a strong urban focus. TPL believes every child should live within walking distance to a high quality park. In the Bay Area, TPL is committed to transforming neglected public parks in the City’s most underserved neighborhoods into vital community resources, recognizing that healthy parks contribute to the development of healthy children and offer communities increased economic and environmental benefits.

The renovation of Potrero Hill Playground was made possible by generous support from The Bernard Osher Foundation, The David B. Gold Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund, The Louise and Claude Rosenberg Jr. Family Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Potrero Hill Association of Merchants and Businesses, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, San Francisco Beautiful, Union Bank of California Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Additional support was provided by San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks, Mayor’s Office of Community Development, San Francisco Conservation Corps