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Happy December to our loyal Francisco Park supporters!

To celebrate the end of a very productive year, we are bringing you a special edition of our monthly newsletter, packed with highlights from 2017 and a highly anticipated look at the milestones ahead. Please read on to hear about all we have accomplished so far, and how you can help get Francisco Park to the finish line!

2017 by the Numbers

  • 2 community meetings hosted in partnership with the SF Rec & Park Department, in addition to the 2 hosted in 2016
  • 200+ overall meeting attendees offering feedback and asking questions
  • 8 attendees at a community field trip to a celebrated children’s playground design workshop
  • 27 written comment cards with design feedback
  • 956 responses to the online design survey
  • 21 “junior playground designers” and their parents who attended the children’s playground design charrette for community members to offer specific feedback on the playground structure and materials
  • 20+ community groups engaging with the design process and/or endorsing the project
  • 6 expert consultants added to the Francisco Park team to further refine the plans

A few highlights from Francisco Park’s many accomplishments achieved in 2017:

January: Third community meeting hosted to continue collecting feedback on the park’s design, where dozens of community members attended and took part in a robust conversation about how best to design the park.

May: Hosted the 4th community meeting to share the many ways the park’s design changed due to the feedback we had received from the community.

June: Received unanimous approval of the park’s conceptual design (shown above) from the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Civic Design Review Board.

July: Toured several of the city’s most thriving community gardens, led by Mei Ling Hui, the Recreation and Park Department’s Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Manager, to learn best practices on how to build a successful community garden in Francisco Park.

October: Met with the SF Police Department’s Community Engagement Division to get SFPD’s ideas on how to discourage encampments and other loitering, keep the bathrooms safe, and other best practices regarding safety in public parks.

Looking to 2018 and Beyond

As many of you know, community volunteers from across the city have been trying to achieve their dream of a public park on this site for more than 10 years. Now, after hundreds (thousands?) of hours of hard work and robust community outreach, we are nearing the final stages of planning.

Below is an estimated timeline of the work ahead for the Francisco Park Conservancy, the Recreation and Park Department…and YOU! Now is when we need our volunteers, supporters, donors, and all San Franciscans who support the idea of creating this new public park, to step up. We will be asking for you to generously offer your time, your letters of support and your monetary donations to make this park a reality for all.

Here are the tentative dates for upcoming milestones:

  • Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 10am: Mark your calendars for a park design open house, focusing on three major park elements: the children’s playground, community garden, and dog play area. More details and an invitation to come.
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018: Francisco Park to appear before the Rec & Park Commission’s Capital Committee, which will need to approve the park’s design, name, rules, and more. We’ll need your help to show the Commissioners the community supports this park. Want to help? Please email us at info@franciscopark.org.
  • Thursday, March 15, 2018: Francisco Park will seek its final approvals from the full Rec & Park Commission, officially approving the park’s project plans. We’ll need your help to show the Commissioners the community supports this park. Want to help? Please email us at info@franciscopark.org.
  • Summer 2018: Goal date to break ground on the park’s construction.
  • Fall 2019: Goal date to host the park’s grand opening and celebrate San Francisco’s newest public park for all!

Please know, all dates are tentative and subject to change based on city approvals and other timelines. But most of all, these dates are dependent on our ambitious fundraising goals.

‘Tis the Season

Over the past months and years, we have been thrilled to see such enthusiastic support for the park from across the city. Through that support, we have raised over $8 million in commitments to date during the early phases of our fundraising efforts. We are so grateful for the generosity of our donors!

But we have a healthy sum left to raise to make this park a reality. Now, we need to complete our fundraising goal of $16.5 million in the bank by this spring. We need neighborhood heroes to step up with leadership gifts to help us bring this park to life and to ensure that the property is never developed, but remains a public park for all to enjoy.

There are some wonderful naming opportunities which we would be delighted to discuss. It is our hope that our founding members’ names will appear prominently throughout the park. If you are interested in discussing a leadership gift, please contact Miegan Riddle at miegan@franciscopark.org.

With your help, we will charge toward completion of this long-dreamed-of park!

As always, if you have questions or comments please send an email to: info@franciscopark.org or SF Recreation and Park Project Manager, Anne Baskerville: anne.baskerville@sfgov.com, and visit the project website at www.FranciscoPark.org.

Warm regards,

The Francisco Park Conservancy Board