2015 Park Progress Report

Happy Holidays to the Alta Plaza Park Community.  

We would like to take this opportunity to briefly cover the successes we have had this year in restoring Alta Plaza Park to its prior splendor and beauty.  None of this would have been possible without the tremendous commitment of our park volunteers and the staff at San Francisco Recreation and Park (SFRPD), San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA), Supervisor Mark Farrell and his staff and Miller Company Landscape Architects.   Additionally, we would like to update you on park activities and goals for 2016 and the challenges that lie ahead, including the need for additional funding.


SFRPD Community Opportunity Fund

Our Community Opportunity Fund (COF) grant application to fund lighting on the north side of the park was submitted in August.  SFRPD has notified all applicants that the selection of recipients will hopefully be made in January, 2016.

Alta Plaza Park Master Plan

We are so grateful to the community, the volunteer committee members and all those at SFRPD, SFPA and Miller Company who have helped design, develop and shepherd the Master Plan through the City approval processes.  We are still anticipating successful completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review in Spring of 2016.  We anticipate presenting the plan to the SFRPD Commission after completion of the CEQA review.  Advance notice of the Commission hearing will be sent to all park advocates currently in our data base and others as determined by SFRPD.  The final version of the Master Plan drawing can be viewed at:  http://www.millercomp.com/projects/alta-plaza-park.  Click on:  Fall 2015 – Alta Plaza Park Master Plan.  The complete and finalized document will be available later in January.  

French Drains and Water Capture Cistern Concept

The perimeter French drains are to be installed in conjunction with the North Side Water Conservation Project, which will commence in mid-2016.  SFRPD is working with hydrologists at the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) to devise a method of measuring the amount of water that will flow through the drains to help determine the feasibility of installing a cistern system in the park.

No Mow Grass Replacement and Remediation

SFRPD is prepared to fund the installation of new no mow grass on the two south side terraces where the current off-leash dog area exists, and on one of the east side terraces as shown on the Master Plan.  Installation will be coordinated with the North Side Water Conservation Project.  Final confirmation of the proposed funding is contingent upon receiving satisfactory pricing from the contractor in the Spring.

SFRPD Maintenance has also committed to regular (every other week) mowing of the remaining no mow grass to prevent weed infestation of the new no mow grass and the new lawn on the north side.

At present, SFRPD contemplates that the funds necessary to replace the remaining weed infested no mow grass with drought tolerant, low maintenance plantings will be part of our community’s fundraising goals.


Many, but not all, of the pathways on the north side will be replaced in conjunction with the North Side Water Conservation Project to maximize cost efficiencies.  Funds to cover the remaining north side pathways will be an immediate goal of our community fundraising.  

Tennis Court Wind Screens and New Playground Equipment Piece

We sincerely appreciate the new tennis court wind screens that were provided by SFRPD in July.  We are also grateful for the replacement of the damaged piece of playground equipment that is happening now.

Sadly, many of the new wind screens were vandalized last month and the park maintenance staff is now looking into having them repaired or replaced.  Security at the park continues to be a significant concern and we have reported the vandalism to the Richmond Police Station.

Green Benefit District Exploration

The idea of implementing a Green Benefit District (GBD) in our community as a solution to the long term maintenance and security needs of Alta Plaza Park was raised at one of the very first community meetings.   In January, we will be meeting with the District Program Manager of the newly created SFDPW Green Benefit District program, a community initiative that works in partnership with SFRPD, local stewards, neighbors and stakeholders to improve the quality of San Francisco’s neighborhood parks, streets and open spaces.  The City’s first GBD was launched at the end of July in the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill neighborhoods.  More information about their program can be found on their webpage:  www.dnwph-gbd.org.  

If any of our community members are interested in getting involved with exploring the potential of this kind of program in our neighborhood, please contact us at:  altaplazapark@gmail.com

North Side Water Conservation Project

We have attended two project meetings to date to review the progress and development of the North Side Water Conservation Project construction documents.  At the third meeting scheduled in January, we will review the documents at 60% completion.  Participants at the meetings include Friends of Alta Plaza Park (FOAPP), SFRPD, SFDPW and Miller Company.

The project schedule is on track.  Construction will begin Fall 2016 and be completed in Spring 2017.  During construction the northern portion of the park will close.  The dog play area on the south terrace and the tennis courts will remain available for public use.  

Funding for the scope of the project to date covers replacing the north side irrigation, installing French drains around the perimeter of the park, landscaping the north side of the park and several other entrances to the park, installing the playground donor recognition site with its surrounding curved bench and repaving several north side pathways.  

Clean and Green Days

Our quarterly Clean and Green Day events were very well attended this year.  We are indebted to the volunteers who faithfully donate their Saturday mornings and sweat equity to help SFRPD Park Services Managers and Gardeners tackle specific maintenance projects.  Hats off to our refreshment donors, Peet’s Coffee on Fillmore and Trader Joe’s, for generously furnishing beverages.


Community contributions will be needed to complete the north side including:  completion of the rest of the pathways, repair and restoration of the two north side corner entrances, installation of benches and trash cans, planting of trees, and the addition of lighting if we are not awarded the COF grant.  We will also need to fund the restoration and renovation of the south side.   

Working with Miller Company and SFRPD, we are fine tuning the costs to complete the north side and south side and will have a definitive funding goal and an itemized cost list by early 2016.  

Prior to embarking upon a capital campaign, we will need to form a core team consisting of the following committees:

  1. Fundraising Committee
    Establish goals
    Develop plan and timeline
    Generate a prospective donor list
  2. Communications Committee
    Orchestrate one-on-one meetings
    Implement direct mail program
    Execute social media program
  3. PR and Community Outreach Committee
    Orchestrate event planning
    Identify and implement other PR opportunities

WE NEED YOUR HELP.  Our activities to date have been carried out by only a few volunteers.  More community involvement is essential to realize our goals.   

Please contact us at altaplazapark@gmail.com  if you would like to:

Volunteer for a committee

Make a donation to the Alta Plaza Park 501 (c) 3 Trust

Make introductions to potential donors

Provide support in any other way

We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to greater collaboration to realize Alta Plaza Park’s restoration and renovation.  

Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season.  

Janet Gamble and Anita Denz
Friends of Alta Plaza Park