SF playgrounds reopen
Mission Playground on Valencia Street. Photo by Clara-Sophia Daly.

As of Wednesday, outdoor playgrounds in San Francisco have reopened with limited capacity. Finally, children are able to enjoy some outdoor fun in the city’s play spaces. 

“My children are very tired of being inside and not going out to the park,” said Maria, a mother of five, as she passed Mission Playground on Wednesday.  

Maria and her family live on Valencia Street right next to Mission Playground. She was walking to a doctor’s appointment when she stopped to tell Mission Local, in Spanish, that she is much more happy and relaxed knowing the playgrounds are now open. She says her kids have gained a little weight being stuck inside, and that it was “very difficult to see the park closed while the kids wanted to enter.” 

Her three-year-old son told Mission Local in English that he is “very excited to go to the park.” 

Under guidelines released by the city’s Health Officer, visitors of all ages must stay six feet away from non-household members, and everyone age 2 and older must wear masks. Recreation and Parks Department monitors will be stationed at the city’s busiest playgrounds for the first two weekends of operation to educate families about the new rules and ensure health guidelines are followed.

Eating and drinking are not allowed, and visitors should clean their hands before and after playing, according to Mayor London Breed. But some parents are wondering whether San Francisco is doing its part to ensure the playground is safe. 

“Did they sanitize the playgrounds at all?” asks Abner Dehghero who grew up on 26th and Bartlett in the Mission and is the father of 3-year-old Zayn. “They have city workers that should spray the playgrounds down for their citizens on a regular basis,” he says. 

The city of San Francisco advises parents to go to playgrounds near their homes which they can walk to, limit visits to 30 minutes and stay home if anyone in a family is experiencing coronavirus symptoms.   

Maria and her son on Valencia Street.

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Clara-Sophia Daly is a multimedia storyteller and reporter who has worked both in print and audio. A graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs and Media/Film studies, she enjoys working at the intersection of art and politics, and focusing on the stories of individuals to reveal larger themes.

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    1. Yes, good question–could it be because there is a privately run daycare using the building in there? It is a public park!

  1. I had scheduled a play date with a six year old friend before I knew the playgrounds were going to be open today. Even though it was hot and we had masks on, two hours of chasing each other, climbing and jumping over “lava” at the Diller Playground in Dolores Park was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

    1. Abner Dehghero asks a very good question. Perhaps Mission Local could follow up with Parks and Rec to get a comment from them on any sanitization plans? I have not noticed any changes.