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tv   [untitled]    March 8, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PST

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supervisor farrell: welcome back to the government ought and oversight committee on march 8. sorry for the interruption. we want to thank the sheriff's and fire departments for coming to? attention -- to quick attention.
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we thought we would finish off this hearing. but next, we have phil ginsberg, head of the rec and park department. >> thank you, supervisors. like a lot of the other department heads and the speakers today, this is an issue which has been incredibly important incredibly poignant. i'm raising two yen kids in the city. -- young kids in the city. we are presented with similar challenges of doing that. it is an important topic. mary had joked about stealing the logo. our mission is to help families
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through out. our primary focus of the department -- this is an important topic. i want to structure my presentation by making the connection that adrian had in her first presentation, a list of factors that impact families. the director also talked about quality of life issues. i am just a sort of making the connection between parks and open space and recreation, the fundamental purpose of this hearing is to help families that have been living in the area. it is clear and in disputed, -- and indisputed. parks improve safety. it has strongly been linked to reductions in crime and juvenile
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delinquency. their national organizations that study urban park system's a great deal at there are tons of data to give people safe environments to interact with their peers. parks also improve public health. at the center for disease control has reported that childhood of the city has tripled. the children spend less time outdoors than any generation in human history, devoting the 4-7 minutes a day to unstructured outdoor play. while spending an average of 7.5 hours every day in front of the electronic media whether it is a laptop, tv, game boy, whatever. recreation and parks are absolutely critical to revitalizing the city and building healthy communities. it is also widely documented to
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improve property values, attract visitors, provide jobs and protect natural resources, all critical components to helping families thrive in the city. according to a recent poll done by our nonprofit partner, 91% of san francisco voters said the parks were important to their quality of life. 89% of voters said that parts were a significant part of why they chose to live in this city. families are using city parks more than ever, and that is also a national trend. 1/5 of users have increased their visits to local parks and playgrounds. 1/3 of families with children have increased their visits. 65% of all respondents were in
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our facilities at least once a week. at that number jumps up to about 75%-80% on a monthly basis. i am not sure people appreciate just how fast our system is. -- how vast our system is. while i think parks and open space is fundamental to the conversation, a lack of open space is actually not our problem. the city is blessed. 18% as local, national, or state-run and open space. when you factor in candlestick point, it's 18% of the land as parks. only new york city in the district of columbia offer a higher percentage of open space
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compared to their overall land mass. we average 6.6 acres of open space per 1000 residents that place us in the middle of the pack. that gets us to one of our challenges, the urban density. it speaks to wide open space is critical. -- to why open space is so critical. we average 221 open parks over the city. obviously, we even have properties outside of the city limits. 180 playgrounds, 150 tennis courts, the two recreation centers and clubhouses. we have an abundance of soccer and play fields. community gardens were also blessed with nine public pools, six public golf courses, and three stadiums.
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so our department is committed to making clean, safe, and fun parks for our children and residents to enjoy. we will talk a little bit about some of our challenges in the second. from a good news perspective, despite staffing and budget shortages, are gardening and maintenance crews are doing a fantastic job of maintaining park spaces. we work with the city comptroller and evaluate park standards, we evaluate open spaces per quarter. the current average is 91%, which is pretty good. it indicates lawns, trees, a children's play areas, benches, tables. if the parks are generally maintained and in good condition. we have a lot of work to do in many of our parks, particularly the southeast corner of the city. the gap between the highest
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performing parts and the lowest performing parks is shirn rinking. thanks to voters that approved the 2008 neighborhood parks bond. they are being transformed as we speak, providing opportunities for rejuvenation and recreation for residents. as well as making improvements to park restaurants, play fields, trails, waterfront areas. and by november, we are beginning our planning work for another correspondent november 12. we hope to have everyone of our major projects completed. we are about to open a brand new playground in mission-dolores park. it will become one of the most
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spectacular playgrounds around the city. all over, we see new facilities starting to sprout, which is a good news. the challenging news is that we have about $1.5 billion of deferred means in our system. there are state parks in 2004, we have the 2008 parks bond. before that, they had not been touched with capital dollars and about 50 years. >> we had a recent discussion in city hall relating to america's cup and needs. as you think about it with the rec and park department and our parks, what are some of the things that go with that?
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and the slides are worn down, the trees need to be trimmed? >> will evaluate all of our property is on of variety of criteria. it goes to general condition of the building. and health and safety is fundamentally first. we have a lot of facilities in our own jurisdiction. the infrastructure includes irrigation, many of which are crumbling and not automated. it requires our limited gardening staff. we have leaky irrigation systems throughout. it makes it more expensive and time-consuming. we have 131,000 trees on park land in the city. we maintain each and every one
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of the trees once every 50 years. we are often in crisis mode dealing with trees, but we are not maintaining the urban forest. supervisor farrell: in terms of capital budget, we are trying to compensate for a sense of the past -- for sins of the past? >> i think that is certainly a big piece of it. again, i don't think people fully understand the breadth and reach of our parks system. to maintain it all and no way that families need and depend on requires operating investment and capital investment. on the capital side, i give kudos to the board of supervisors and the mayor.
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the 10-year capital plan is working because we have strategic -- term planning conversations about addressing our capital needs and we have a mechanism for addressing them in an ongoing basis. that is really good news for families. beyond parks, all kinds of infrastructure is there for us to rely on. restrooms, playground equipment, green infrastructure, our urban forest, our buildings, our path waves -- pathways. technology has changed, all kinds of factors. keeping families here is our fundamental responsibility to provide quality recreation.
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i really do think that it is in a really strong place at the moment. we have not an aquatics centers for programs and activities. we have tons of learned to swim programs. we have incredible cultural arts planning including after-school programs. we have dance and theater, music and writing, national sciences and technology. we have the arts center, the museums. youth sports is an important topic that i will revisit in the second when we talk about challenges. we have an abundance of sports leagues and camps. we have about 500 courses for kids between the birth -- and
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some are immediately after birth. they start at nine months to five years. physical activity, arts and culture stimulation, it runs from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. supervisor farrell: there are a lot of programs we want more of, for sure. do you have statistics on usage? how are we guiding metrics and how are we thinking about this? >> we have some very good metrics. we do track our program registrations both on a year-to- year basis and season-to-season basis. march 3 was the first day of registration for the spring registration season. we have 3300 registrations in the first day, 700 more than last year.
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it was growth of about 14%. that is something we are working on. we want to make sure the class's we are offering -- classes we're offering. we strive for a 70% occupancy rate. we have people on long waiting lists and the things that are not as full. it has to do with time, location, subject matter, and marketing. we earned every bit of marketing that we get. yeah, i know. i reall don't like the tie. i stopped wearing in around july of 2008. i think it is helping a
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particular demographic, we are now competing with private sector recreational amenities and suburban recreational amenities in terms of the outdoor action sports we are providing. five years ago, we were not offering family support. scuba lessons, bmx, kayaking, skateboarding. we are trying to spend time and we are trying to work very closely with assessment. and we have community recreation councils, but we are trying to actually not just offer what we historical have offered. we've also gotten a really robust scholarship program. it is because of the philanthropic support we are getting. four years ago, we give away about $80,000. if this year, we will give away about $600,000 in free
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programming. the department of children, youth, and family could not be stronger. if there was a time when that was not the case. we get support for some of our programming and it is also what maria mentioned, hiring about 150 kids. we have a great partnership with san francisco unified school district. we just completed our inaugural season. we brought our staff to help coach, and it was a partnership between parents and coaches. and summer camps. families want something for their kids to do. we have been able to step up. we have camps we offer