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Supervisor Cohen and SFMTA Helping to Make Playground Dream a Reality

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), will join Supervisor Malia Cohen (District 10), The San Francisco Park Alliance, and members of the Dogpatch community at 3:30pm on Friday, May 16, 2014 at the SFMTA’s Woods Maintenance Facility on 22nd Street between Minnesota and Indiana streets for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Woods Yard Mini-Park Playground.

“I am proud to deliver this important community asset to Dogpatch,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “It takes vision and leadership to transform underutilized spaces into community assets like this new playground. Over the last few years we have seen more and more families move to Dogpatch and building safe and clean playgrounds is essential to keeping families in our City. I would like to thank the committed parents and volunteers of the Dogpatch Playground Working Group for helping make this project a reality.”

Developed and designed with community input, Woods Yard Mini-Park will feature soft, foam surface tiles, wood seating benches, and will be enclosed by wooden fencing. Native plants and trees will surround and accentuate the play area. The center piece of the mini-park will be a large colorful play structure that will feature kid friendly amenities such as a slide and standing swing.

Long an industrial section of the city, the Dogpatch neighborhood has seen a residential and commercial renaissance in recent years which has brought an increase of families with children into the area. While the neighborhood has undergone a significant transformation, the recreational needs of the community have not yet fully caught up.

With their strong desire for a safe and fun place for their children to play, members of the community formed the Dogpatch Playground Working Group and partnered with the San Francisco Park Alliance and the SFMTA with an eye on redesigning the existing 30x30 square foot sand lot, which was conceived and designed during the original development of the Woods Facility, into a full-fledged mini park complete with children’s play structure and improved landscaping.

Using a $20,000 grant from Supervisor Cohen, the Dogpatch Playground Working Group, through a combination of fundraisers and donations, have been able to raise $125,000 in private funds, all of which will be used to construct and improve the new playground.

“We’re grateful to be working with Supervisor Cohen, the SFMTA and the San Francisco Parks Alliance,” said Lesley Grossblatt, co-chair of the Dogpatch Playground Working Group. “This is a unique public-private partnership bringing a much needed community gathering space for children and families to Dogpatch.”

Under the terms of a gift agreement between the San Francisco Park Alliance and the SFMTA, the SFMTA will continue to provide routine maintenance to the play area. However, under the new agreement, the cost for providing the maintenance will be capped at $15,000 per fiscal year. Any additional funds needed for repairs, replacements, and upgrades will be provided by the San Francisco Park Alliance and the Dogpatch Playground Working Group.

"Safety is our highest priority at the SFMTA and this play area provides a safe place for neighborhood residents and families to play," said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “By modifying the existing layout of the park area, we are better using space and the available resources to meet the needs of our surrounding San Francisco community."

Construction is slated to begin later this month with work taking place on weekdays during regular business hours only. The project will take an estimated three months to complete with the official opening occurring sometime in August before the end of summer.