Esprit Park Renovation Updates

Do you want to make sure the south meadow of Esprit Park is a LEGAL for recreation with off leash dogs? Do you want it to happen RIGHT NOW?

Please email with subject - MAKE ESPRIT PARK OFF LEASH NOW:
Melinda Stockmann, Esprit Park Renovation Project Manager, melinda.stockmann@sfgov.org
Gary McCoy, Policy and Community Affairs Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Gary.McCoy@sfgov.orgv
Michele Davis, UCSF Community Relations Director, Michele.Davis@ucsf.edu
Julie Christiansen, GBD Executive Director,  julie@greenbenefit.org
Jean Bogiages, GBD Board President, jeanmbogiages@gmail.com
Jesse Herzog, GBD Esprit Park Renovation Lead, jherzog@agiavant.com

September 14, 2017:

GBD and Rec & Park community meeting to discuss the Esprit Park renovation project.

- How it will transition from SF planning to Rec & Park
- How the project was going to be managed
- How community input given to SF Planning was going to be maintained. 
- Most recent design for the park was presented by David Fletcher. 

September 20, 2017:

GBD monthly meeting.

- Voted how to handle the renovation project. Up for discussion is whether the GBD will manage the entire project, and hire their own project manager, or if they will allow Rec & Park to manage the project. As well as if the GBD will move forward with fiscal sponsorhip.
- Public comment, as well as feedback from many on GBD board, caution the group from attempting to handle such a big renovation as their first project. Neither the board, nor the executive director Julie Christiansen, have experience managing a park renovation outside of a neighborhood advocacy role. The overwhelming view was that although the renovation seems simple on the surface, renovations, especially those involving serpentine rock, are never as easy as expected especially once the renovation has begun.
- The GBD has voted to open discussions with Rec & Park to explore how their partnership will be developed.

October 18, 2017

GBD monthly meeting.

- The GBD is going to convene a group of neighbors to join a citizens task force. Parameters, hours required, and timeline for this process has not been discussed.
- We asked the Green Benefit District to support us in making the south meadow of Esprit off leashed, but according the Executive Director the GBD cannot, and will not, work with Rec & Park to legalize the off leash dog play area. Despite the group being funded by the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, they have said that neighborhood groups like Toes & Paws will have to work with Rec & Park by themselves. Also, regardless of all the work done by SF Planning with the various neighborhood entities, and the consensus reached by all these groups to make the south meadow an off leash dog play area, and the fact that the plan that was presented to UCSF with said dog play area for their $5m grant, the GBD has decided that it is hands off from the process and will not get involved even if they are the potential fiscal sponsor and manager of the project. This despite the fact that they seem to have no problem advocating for other legal changes in recreational usage like play areas, basketball, and tennis courts.

The Plan:

After a series of community meetings, interviews, and a survey, SF Planning and David Fletcher (with input from and Drew Deutsche the original architect for the park) came up with a design that maintains the original vision of the park as a lush open meadow, while rehabilitating and upgrading its amenities. The rustic character of the park is intact, as well as key features the neighborhood utilizes like the parcourse, walking trail, and off-leash dog play area. The design UCSF granted their $5m funding for, that was presented at all meetings, assigns the south meadow for off-leash dog play with a natural barrier or discreet fence dividing north and south similar to Duboce Park, while the north meadow will be on-leash or no dogs allowed. 

Toes & Paws:

Toes & Paws is currently working with Rec & Park to legalize off-leash dog play in the South meadow. Ideally, the meadow would be designated as off-leash before construction begins.

 

Click to view/download presentations:

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