It’s now up to voters to decide if they want to continue upgrading and renovating San Francisco’s parks. The Board of Supervisors unanimously sent a bond to the November ballot that, if approved, would give $195 million to various park improvements throughout the city, including upgrades to Garfield Park and Pool.
Garfield Park has been targeted as one of 15 existing neighborhood parks that are frequently used and are wearing down. The bond includes $99 million for renovations to those parks.
Details of how the park and pool would change are not finalized, as the Planning Department must go through a community design process if the bond passes. But potential improvements include demolishing the clubhouse and expanding the pool — or, if the clubhouse stays, renovating it and installing bathrooms that meet the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act and are accessible from the outside. The windows and roof of the pool building might be replaced.
The pool was closed for renovations in November 2009 and didn’t reopen until July 2010. Renovations took longer than expected because the pool’s system is old, parks department representative Karen Mauney-Brodek said at a previous meeting. The complete renovation proposed in this bond would make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Possible renovations to the park, Garfield Square, include an improved irrigation system, replacement fences and fixed-up benches and pathways.
A similar bond for parks and recreation passed overwhelmingly in 2008 and is responsible for projects like the Dolores Park renovations. Many of these were larger, park-wide projects; the 2012 bond would focus on upgrading existing facilities and replacing and improving pools, playgrounds, fields, trees and trails.
The parks department estimates that more than $1 billion is needed for repairs across all 220 of the city’s parks. Matt O’Grady, director of SF Parks Alliance, said the infrastructure improvements needed are closer to $1.5 billion.
“The bond measure before you will take a crack at chipping away at that long list,” O’Grady told the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.
The money not going to neighborhood park improvements would finance other park programs — Waterfront Parks and Open Spaces, Failing Playgrounds and the Community Opportunity Fund. The last allows community groups to apply for small amounts of money to fund neighborhood projects they envision and are willing to work to complete. The plan would fix up trails at Golden Gate and McLaren parks, too.
More information on the 2012 San Francisco Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond is here.