Trust for Public Land Announces Šárka Volejníková as Newest Bay Area Parks for People Director
San Francisco – Today, Šárka Volejníková, a landscape architect and a professional leader and educator, is joining Trust for Public Land as its Bay Area Parks for People Director. Šárka will take responsibility for eight park equity projects worth more than $64 million in the Bay Area and will lead on helping to deliver the $200 million India Basin Shoreline Park in San Francisco.
Šárka’s efforts will build on recent legislative and conservation successes for Trust for Public Land (TPL) in California including converting dozens of Los Angeles and Oakland schoolyards into green space and passing Proposition 68, a statewide $4 billion parks, environmental and water bond act widely supported by California voters in 2018. In 2020, San Francisco voters approved a near half a billion Health and Recovery General Obligation Bond, which included $239 million for equitable neighborhood park projects like the ones TPL serves as lead to.
Šárka was born and raised in Czechoslovakia. In 1990, just three months before the “Velvet Revolution,” she decided to defect from the totalitarian regime with her sister. She has been working as a landscape designer in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco since 1998. In the two decades of her career, she has left a mark of social and environmental justice, and preservation of natural assets through design of public parks, elementary schools, college campuses, family and senior housing, and street improvements in the greater Bay Area. Šárka is also no stranger to Trust for Public Land. She worked with the Parks for People Team as a consultant to deliver Sgt. John Macaulay Park in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, and Hilltop Park in the Bayview neighborhood. She also managed the organization’s Green Schoolyards project in Oakland.
Restoring the India Basin Shoreline is a once-in-a-generation environmental justice project that will deliver a shoreline park to the heart of the Bayview, creating jobs and a park that reflects the neighborhood’s history, arts, and culture. The 1.7 miles of contiguous public open space will provide unrivaled recreational access for residents of 2,500 units of public and affordable housing within one mile of the future park. Bayview Hunters Point residents identified workforce and business development as a major component of a community-drafted document outlining the process by which this project can serve as a model of equitable development.
“Everybody deserves quality parks and open space,” Šárka said. “People also need investments like jobs, transportation options and the chance for local small businesses to benefit from parks development. I’m excited to shepherd the India Basin Shoreline Park project as a national model of how cities should design and build public parks centered on equity and community.”
All Bay Area cities receive strong marks for park access on Trust for Public Land’s annual ParkScore® Index. San Francisco also continues to lead the nation for park investment, spending $420 per resident on parks, far above the national ParkScore average of $98. Municipal leaders use ParkScore information to guide park improvement efforts, studying park access on a block-by-block basis and pinpointing the areas where new parks are needed most. The ParkScore website, www.tpl.org/parkscore, is free and available to the public, empowering residents to hold their elected leaders accountable for achieving equitable access to quality parks for all.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.