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Park Greening November 4, 2017

Back by popular demand! One more Park Greening day for 2017!

Saturday, November 4, 2017, 9AM-12PM.  Meet by the tennis court.

Join us for a fun day of volunteering at Alamo Square.  Just a few hours of your time can make a big difference, and there is nothing like the feeling of giving back to your community.


Let us know if you can make it by emailing park@alamosq.org.


Alamo Square Park Restoration Status

Alamo Square Park was closed for approximately one year in order for the City’s Department of Park and Recreation to undertake various underground and above ground repairs, renovations, and improvements. The Alamo Square Board of Directors saw this closure as an opportunity to plant additional trees to make the park more environmentally friendly, to improve the park’s overall topography, and to make other enhancements that will increase the enjoyment for everyone who patronizes one the most popular destinations in San Francisco for both tourists and residents alike.

Thanks to ASNA’s tremendous community support, outreach, and generous financial contributions, the fundraising for Trees for Future Generations has been a great success, and we are on our way to making the park a more aesthetically enjoyable and environmentally-friendly venue.

The ASNA Board of Directors would like to update everyone on the status of ASNA’s park-related efforts.

Alamo Square improvements planned by ASNA

    • Completed to date through Trees for Future Generations:
      • PARK TREES / DONOR PAVERS – 54 park trees and donor paver installation
    • Upcoming improvements:
      • PARK TREES – 29 New park trees funded by  Trees for Future Generations
      • SAND – Additional sand in playground funded by ASNA
      • VOLUNTEER WORK – understory planting, weeding and other activities throughout the year

Like many of you, the Board has noticed certain aspects of Alamo Square that appear to be a work in progress, and that there is more work that must be done by Park and Rec to bring Alamo Square to its full potential as an enjoyable park. To that end, the Board would like this update to serve as the beginning of an Community Wish List where the residents identify concerns and offer suggestions for improvement to Park and Rec.

Some examples that the ASNA Board would like Park and Rec to address are:

      • On/off-leash signage – painted on the walkways, similar to Duboce Park
      • Decomposed granite picnic area with new picnic tables
      • Improved grass maintenance to eliminate the various brown patches, dead grass, and the presence of weeds
      • Improved tree maintenance (and removal of tree stumps); and
      • Finishing of the planting areas

The Board would like to hear from the community regarding other issues or concerns have come to light since the park’s reopening. We see the reopening of Alamo Square as the beginning of a process for identifying projects and maintenance issues that we believe Park and Rec must undertake so that our park is restored and maintained in such a manner that affords all residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy Alamo Square.  

If you encounter situations or see physical conditions that cause your concern, please feel free to raise your concerns with the Board or its individual members at board@alamosq.org.


Work by SF Park and Rec

This posting also summarizes what Park and Rec has informed the Board as to the work that has been completed to date, as well as what additional work remains from Park and Rec’s perspective.  

Alamo Square work completed to date by Park and Rec

  • Irrigation: Park and Rec replaced Alamo Square’s 70-year-old irrigation system.  After completing this irrigation project, Park and Rec estimates that there should be a reduction in water usage by 2.5 million gallons, leading to a 33% annual water savings.  Most of the system is now automated with updated technology that is programmed to run at prescribed intervals and can adjust irrigation run time based on moisture levels in the soil and humidity levels in the air.  (Due to the historic design, there are still sections of the park landscape which require hands-on management of manual irrigation systems.)  Park and Rec also added a new booster pump to address poor water pressure in the park.  
  • New Restroom: Park and Rec added an ADA-accessible, all-gender restroom near the playground area.  
  • New Pathways: Park and Rec repaired crumbling park pathways throughout the park
  • New Trees: In partnership with ASNA, Park and Rec planted over 100 new trees.  
  • New Landscape: Park and Rec introduced hundreds of new drought tolerant plantings, new sod, new landscape beds, and new no-mow fescue grass on the steepest portions of the hillside around the perimeter of the park.

Upcoming Work by Rec and Park

  • Additional new park benches:   Prior to construction, Alamo Square had 21 park benches.  During construction, 14 benches were removed to replace the crumbling pathways.  Unfortunately, too many of them were too poorly conditioned to be replaced.  New benches are being ordered and will be installed in the coming months.
  • Additional new picnic tables:  Prior to construction there were two picnic tables in Alamo Square.   Park and Rec added a third during the project and intends to add two new ones in the coming months.
  • New trash cans:  Prior to construction, Alamo Square had a total of fourteen trash cans.  Upon completion, Alamo Square now has nine trash cans located around the perimeter of the park at every major entrance and exit, plus three additional trash cans located inside the restrooms and playground. There are currently six temporary cans located throughout the internal landscape.  Park and Rec will replace these six cans with state of the art, two-stream trash cans in the coming months.
  • Newly resurfaced tennis court:  Alamo Square’s tennis court has been selected for resurfacing through a project unrelated to the park’s renovation.   It is scheduled for completion by September.
  • Enhanced park landscaping:  Park and Rec planted four park entrances and two signature landscape beds.  Three additional entry beds, one large planter bed and seven understory areas are still in the process of being landscaped, including new eco-trails behind the playground.  Park and Rec estimates this work should be completed by the end of July.

There are other work items that need to be identified beyond those listed by Park and Rec. We will continue to reach out to Park and Rec so that they address the concerns that our residents have raised to date about the current status of Alamo Square, and we look forward to your observations and constructive suggestions.


Help us put the finishing touches on Alamo Square

After a very long year, Alamo Square Park is once again open to the public!

As you will discover, there are many improvements: new lawns, new paths, a new restroom near the playground, and some new trees, shrubs and flowers.  But there is much that remains unfinished!

Our next “park greening” will be on Saturday, June 10, between 9 AM and Noon. We’ll meet near one of the tennis court entrances and move in small groups to designated sites in the park.  Someone will be stationed near the tennis court to direct late arrivals.  What we actually do will depend upon what the park gardeners require.  In the past we have planted new shrubs, weeded, pruned, spread mulch and collected trash.

The park gardeners will provide tools and guidance.  You should wear sturdy shoes and clothing that protects your arms and legs.  If you have your own gardening gloves you might find them more comfortable than the ones that the gardeners have available.

Please let us know in advance (by June 2) if you can join us on June 10.  Email park@alamosq.org to tell us you’re coming!  That will help insure that we have sufficient tools, coffee and edibles.

Our Park Greening Facebook event page:


New Trash Cans In and Around the Park

Blue Stars = Existing Trash Cans; Orange Stars = New Trash Cans

In preparation for the grand re-opening of Alamo Square, the city has been busy replacing some of the trash cans on the perimeter of the park.  New trash cans will also be installed inside the park — coming soon!

We encourage EVERYONE to pick up your trash when visiting Alamo Square and we have started a pledge campaign so park-goers can commit to a clean environment. I pledge to take care of Alamo Square!  Let’s all do our part, leave no trace behind, so we can all enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Want to go above and beyond?  Sign up for our first Park Greening Day at Alamo Square!  Saturday, June 10, 2017, 9AM-12PM.  Let us know if you can make it, please RSVP: park@alamosq.org.


Park Greening Poster Contest

Deadline:  Saturday, May 6, 2017

Submit your design for our Park Greening Days by Saturday, May 6 to be considered.  We will select finalists to vote on!


  • 8.5″x 11″ standard paper size — please include a white border since we will be running copies at a local print shop (we cannot print to the edge of the paper!)
  • Include:  Park Greening Saturday, 9AM-Noon, meet by the tennis court at 9AM, hosted by the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association, www.alamosquare.org
  • First Date:  Saturday, June 10, 2017
  • Email your entry to:  alamosquare@gmail.com Subject Line: Poster Contest 2017
  • See below for a sample:


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Announcing the Grand Re-Opening of Alamo Square

Neighbors and friends gathered this week at the Alamo Square General Meeting on Monday to hear directly from San Francisco Rec and Park project manager Brett Desmerais about the plans for the re-opening of the park.  The date is has now been confirmed and is scheduled for May 24, 2017, at 11 a.m.  All are welcome to attend!

Take the pledge!

Pledge that you will take care of Alamo Square while visiting the park.  Please list your name, if you are a neighbor, and let us know if you would like to receive information about park greening days at Alamo Square.

Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page.


Park Renovation Recap

At Monday’s meeting, we learned about the re-opening plans for Alamo Square.  We also learned how the funds were put together for the renovation project.

The total cost of the project is $5,318,000.  This was put together from the following sources.

Funding Sources:

  • Public Utilities Commission / Grant: $1,618,000
  • 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: $1,300,000
  • 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: $1,029,000
  • 2006 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: $653,000
  • 2000 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: $265,000
  • Recreation and Parks General Fund: $400,000
  • Trees for Future Generations Grant from ASNA: $53,000* (first phase)

Project Highlights:

  1. New single user, all‐gender, ADA‐compliant restroom
  2. New “smart” controller weather‐based irrigation system that will reduce water use by over 3 million gallons per year
  3. Entirely new sod lawn areas
  4. Water‐efficient native “no mow” grasses
  5. New asphalt pathways throughout the park; a new top coat for the accessible path
  6. New catch basins in the pathways
  7. Significant drainage improvements to address long deferred maintenance problems
  8. New shrubs, groundcovers, and perennials at park entrances and in the understory
  9. New trees funded by ASNA with more to come (45 so far)
  10. Dozens of additional new trees planted by the Recreation and Park Department

City plans: level the park to install playing field

It’s true.

Residents were alerted to the plans to level the park when a keen-eyed neighbor, who is also an architect, noticed that renovation plans for Alamo Square included staircases that descended into the park.  Instead of leading up to the crest of the hill, the staircases were going down.

The City’s plan, Measure D, proposes to slice off the crest of the hill, level it for playing fields.

The plan also calls for the construction of a large field house at the corner of Fulton and Steiner.

Neighbors opposing the plan have already made appeals to the Mayor.

Thankfully, this was in the 60s, and the plans were never realized.  This is how ASNA was born: to save the park from the city.

Happy April Fools Day!


How do we fund Alamo Square in 2017?

We need you in 2017!

$15 may not seem like a lot. It’s a week’s worth of cups of coffee, a quick dinner, or perhaps the dry cleaning bill. It’s also what it costs to become a member of ASNA.

Why would you give $15 (our basic membership), where does the money go, and how can your contribution help?

Since the 60s, Alamo Square neighbors have been involved in various park and neighborhood improvement efforts. From saving the park’s hills, to preventing the Central Freeway, neighbors have been there to represent the Alamo Square community.

Pay your dues for 2017

As you know, the park has been closed since last year to install a new irrigation system and to build a new restroom on the ADA-accessible path in the park. But did you know: ASNA board members fought for these improvements for many years prior to construction, advocating for our park at City Hall, at the Rec and Park Commission, at the SFPUC, and with our various District Supervisors over the last decade.

Even as the park renovation was underway, board members (who are all volunteers) worked closely with Rec and Park to ensure that no park nook was overlooked.

We even managed to raise over $50,000 to plant new trees in the park, and just in time.

None of these efforts could have been accomplished without every neighborhood volunteer pitching in. With the park set to re-open soon, we once again need your help!

Pitch in $15 (or more) to help us fund our events for the year:

  • The Alamo Square Flea Market in September
  • Weekly Playgroups at the playground
  • Park Greening Days

When you give to ASNA, you are investing in your neighborhood park and your community. We are excited for 2017 and hope you can join us at our general meeting on Monday, April 10!