tv Recreation and Park Commission SFGTV December 5, 2021 9:00pm-12:00am PST
. >> chairman: would the secretary please call the role. >> secretary: [roll call] this is the recreation and park commission meeting of november 18th, 2021. the san francisco recreation and park commission acknowledges that we occupy the unceded ancestral homeland of the ramaytush ohlone people. as the indigenous protectors of this land and in accordance
with their tradition, the ramaytush ohlone have never ceded, lost, nor forgotten their responsibilities as the caretakers of this population as well as for all peoples who reside in their traditional territory. as guests, we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homeland. we wish to pay our respects to the ancestors, elders, and relatives of the ramaytush ohlone community. please note due to the covid-19 health emergency, the city hall is closed. however, members participating in this meeting remote 3. we ask you to turn down your televisions or computers when listening on the phone. public comment will be available for each item on the agenda. each speaker will be allowed
two minutes to. call (415) 655-0001. and the access code today is 24957950557. when you hear the agenda item you would like to comment on called, dial star three to be added to the queue to speak. you will be lined up in the system you dial. while you're waiting, the system will be silent. the system will notify you when you are in line and waiting. all callers will remain on mute until their line is open. everyone must wait for the time delays. alternatively, you may submit public comment in either of the following ways. by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. written comments may also be
sent via u. postal service to 501 stanyan street, san francisco california. please know that we are going to call the agenda out of order. we are going to hold off on the general -- >> chairman: actually i'm going to -- >> clerk: okay. then we are now on to president's report. >> president: thank you very much. i have a few things to report. first, i want to congratulate our new vice president of the commission cat anderson being elected to that position at the last meeting and looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship in that capacity. congratulations, cat. >> thank you, president. >> president: i also want to express my gratitude to
commissioner larry mazzola. it gives you a very clear idea of the talents and training and professionalism of our local 38 members. so, larry, thank you very much for that. third, i want to read an e-mail. -- >> clerk: are you going to the the edits, the filming. >> president: whoa. >> clerk: you need to mute yourself, please. just a reminder, look at your screen right now. if you're not talking, then please mute yourself. thank you. >> president: thank you. so this is a success story of a
former full-time 20 year resident of hellman hollow in golden gate park. with the great determination and initiative from ranger borrows, mr. kenneth horton has been placed into temporary housing and in line for permanent senior housing when it becomes available. although this was a team effort mr. horton to find suitable housing and health care. walking mr. burton through all the steps needed to get the proper identification, residential application and job application. again, this is a process that ranger burrows started and completed in her short tenure. ranger borrows was also able to secure housing for 15 plus people not just in golden gate park, but city wide. not just from golden gate park. we're not housing people in
golden gate park. she's committed herself to helping anyone that she can communicate with and is willing to accept her offers of help or service. and then i had pictures. i just wanted to say that that's going of rec and park staff. with that, the final note that i want to make and it's a sad one is that we lost two big park supporters involved in the botanical garden year after year and nancy hellman becktal
general. >> thank you. i'd like to bring two others at the meeting. this work is really incredible. and as the president highlighted the number of contacts and the amount of effort and personal care and relationship building with any one unhoused individual to get them services and support. it's really intense and remarkable and the fact that our rangers have had some really good successes in this regard is really note worthy and i think they deserve the acknowledgement and so i would welcome the opportunity to bring them back at a future meeting' and it's one of the reasons that we give thanks. of the the holidays are upon us and i did want to just take a brief moment at the beginning of the report to say happy
thanksgiving to our park advocates or park users or the golden gate park tennis center. park amenities and community events are advocating for communities to make our parks more equitable, this commission's commitment to making our parks better is a blessing to our department and our staff who have really just kind of dove in head first with curiosity, enthusiasm. engagement, experience and most importantly joy. so thank you, commissioners. we really do appreciate the work you do. just a few quick announcements about some fun up coming events. this weekend, we invite this
commission and members of the public -- if everybody can keep their -- once again, keep their speaker off if you're not speaking. join us in celebrating our newest crop of graduates from the program this saturday november 20th at 11:00 a.m. at the lake merced boat house. the program is a storage and leadership program that offers teams from san francisco southeast and northeast neighborhoods a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the city's green spaces and creating projects around issues they value. this past year, these teenagers spent more than 1,600 hours in our parks. this saturday, we're honoring 20 teenagers from our south who come from destructs 9, 10, 11,
3, 5, and 6. so we're very excited to celebrate their accomplishments in the community and in our parks over the past year. also this saturday on the other side of town, we invite everyone to come to the bayview and shoreline park this saturday to three p.m. this is part of our program. it's interim activation. we continue to make progress on, you know, creating san francisco's next amazing and equitable space along the southern water front. the maker's market will be
there this saturday and in february and may of 2022 it's fun and you get a taste of what indian basin really can be. as you know, golden gate park has been under going a lot of improvements for visitor access and safety recently and there are even more in the pipeline. rescheduled from october 2nd, we are inviting members of the public for any commissioners that want to come out to join rec and park to come out. this saturday, november 20th. we've got a whole day worth of park events for you on saturday. and, at jfk, you can come out and learn more on this bike ride. bring your favorite bike or rent one. it will take 90 minutes to visit key spots in the park. the bike ride will begin and
end at the cafe in mccallister. our combined outreach today include over 32 events. five in equity zone priority communities. 11 with the senior and disability community and two recorded virtual sessions. we've had a survey available in five languages. more than 8,000 total surveys completed to date and approximately 700 surveys to date. we're very excited for the
return of our annual tree lighting and, of course, the lighting of uncle john mcclaren's tree. it's three family friendly events officially kicks off holiday season of lights and the park. psychedelic photosynthesis. a light conservatory of flowers. lights in golden gate park designed by josh hubert which
is in the music concourse. the sky star wheel. and then alterverse poetry live music and arts at the concourse. for more information on these events and attractions, check out sfrecpark.org/lights2021. moving from thanksgiving to the winter holidays to summer. the new year is on the horizon and that means we're already making plans for next summer and the highly anticipated return of camp mather. the lottery will be open through january 6th. to enter the lottery, visit sf
park.org. also made available for low-income familieses. last quick update on the bayview playground opening. the current renovation is almost complete. the sod has been installed. it needs a few more days or weeks for full establishment, but the opening is upon us and we actually anticipate a ribbon cutting ceremony before the end of the year so stay tuned for more on that one. tomorrow, friday, we are celebrating additional funding at the cannons bay mall. the five block project is estimated to cost $20 million. each block is costing around $5 million.
it's complicated enough. currently the project is funding from both the city and state. tomorrow's celebration highlights our gratitude to senator scott wiener who allocated $4.1 million for this project. this announcement brings the secure project funding total to $10 million and it includes $2 million air marked in the health and recovery bondy and then we also have for our brand
new nature area partly of our indian basin project. a few of you were there and joined us for the ribbon cutting area. a few weeks ago, a range of really innovative ground breaking projects from communities across the entire globe were nominated for this unicef award. a fact that makes us even more humbled to have been recognized as the winner. the city's inspire award celebrates innovative or projects that foster child rights at the local level and improve the daily lives of young people in the cities and communities where they leave. the nature exploration area inherented a kid-designed 12,000 square foot play space that encourages people of all
ages to creatively engage with all natural elements like logs, stumps, and boulders. and in the area of san francisco as we know have experienced chronic disinvestment and experienced the indian basin area as an environment education huh for youth. for more than 100 youth and other residents share their unique desires for the space. this is a really important evolving trend ha san francisco is proving a leader. research shows that play and exposure to nature is vital for childrens' emotional, social, and physical health. however, access to both are too often correlated with race, zip code, and socio economic status. so to have build such a landmark play area, the largest
one in the city at indian basin is a signal to our planning. this was kaiser permanente, the port of san francisco, the san francisco children and nature collaborative and, of course, our very own department. we are super excited about that and i will return to where i began by giving thanks to our partners to park advocates and to everyone who helps. and that concludes the general manager's. >> clerk: okay. thank you. if there's anyone on the line who would like to make a comment to the general manager's report, you can dial star three to be added to the queue to speak. >> there are eight people on the call and two hands raised. >> clerk: okay. so you'll have two minutes to
excited. the issue for most of us really is water and we need a grey water program similar to what golden gate park is going to have because the trees are falling and dying and this last big rainstorm. there were five trees that went down and the mega drought has been so harmful and so whatever we're planting with the removal of the eucalyptus and then replanting sustainable trees that will be -- that are replacing them, we have to have a great water source or begin that right now because the drought's just so hard and
unlike golden gate park, there's no water source whatsoever. and families, many families live in the excelsior, the valley, bayview and it's just the park. so i'd like to just sort of put that on the radar to move up a grey water initiative very quickly as we begin to replant the park. thank you. >> president: thank you. >> clerk: next speaker. >> caller: hello, can you hear me? >> president: yes. since they were on. as you can all probably
presume, the third great canceled this dul the pandemic. parks and rec have significantly cut back on the number of teens that can participate. we don't have really good numbers, but apparently, there are only eight 4th grade teams according to parks and rec staff, registration closed within two minutes of being opened a few weeks ago. we don't know how many teams were shut out, but for fourth grade, it was at least five and likely more. there could be hundreds of familieses, but not more shut out this winter. we are at the mercy of parks and recreation on this. if rec and park doesn't allow our kids to play, it's canceled
for the second year in a row. parks and rec has told us it's simply too hard. only misunderstanding and getting through the pandemic is hard after so long about the effects of the physical, the kids and their families were so looking forward to the normal return. that is why it is disheartening they told hundreds of kids they can't play basketball this winter. he's asked his staff to look for creative solutions. >> clerk: i'm sorry, your time is up. my apologies. >> caller: thank you very much. >> president: thank you. >> clerk: i hate cutting people off like that, but it's hard for us to do this. paul, did anyone else raise their hand? >> there are no more hands
raised. >> clerk: okay. seeing no further public callers, public comment is closed. this item and that do not appear on the agenda. you will have the opportunity to address the commission when the item is reached in the meeting. if there's anybody who doesn't have public comment. paul, does anybody have their hands raised. >> i see two hands raised. >> clerk: for some reason, the timer isn't showing. i have a timer in front of me, but i think it's challenging if everyone else can't see it. so can we try to get that up. >> clerk: caller, you'll have two minutes once your phone says you're unmuted.
>> caller: good morning. this is barry toronto. can you hear me? >> president: yes. >> caller: yes. i'm an activist taxi driver and i've been following the issue of access to golden gate park and the issue of continued closure of jfk drive. we're not going to get involved in the taxi driver. we are going to get involved in being able to have access to the concourse. i have not been in golden gate park for almost two years and because of lack of access from golden gate park. it would be great if we could expedite the access to golden gate park from 8th and fullton so that we can help transport seniors and disabled and tourists through the amenities
of the park and be able to take it safely going from the lincoln end of the park is not an option at this point due to the time consumption required to do that and the cost to the passenger. so it would be great if you could make this happen sooner than later. i hope you expedite this because it's your decision and the board of supervisors' decision alone. also to take families from parts of the city that are not easily accessible by those communities would be helpful if they could also take a cash cab to the park. so and, of course, there's a
shorter distance. so i appreciate your corporation and help in making this happen sooner than later. thank you very much. >> president: thank you. >> clerk: is there anyone else who would like to comment? you can dial star three for general public comment. paul, does anyone else have their hand raised? >> there is one more hand, ashley. >> clerk: okay. you'll have two minutes. >> i think the hand just went down. when you announced star three, i think they pressed it a second time to lower their hand. and it's back up again. >> clerk: okay great. >> caller: hello. can you hear me? >> clerk: yes. >> caller: hello. >> clerk: yes, we can hear you. >> caller: hi. my name is john goldmyth. i am a 30 year san francisco resident and i'm contacting the commissioners from the rec and
park specifically around the topic of castro metro muni station on the market street of castro. it was designed by howard grant, an 83-year-old living in oakland. she designed five muni stations all connected and the castro muni station is the only muni station that has a green belt. and in 2018, myself along with adjoining neighbors and renterses, we co-signed two street park applications submitted to public works and san francisco parks alliance, the nonprofit headed by drew becker. with that, we've added on 1,800 signatures and we are very much in effort to preserve and
landmark our beautiful train station. we do not want to be sacrificed to landfill for the stake of an elevator. we need an elevator for ada access and public works had a sensible design in 2018 with a conservative light touch for an elevator by the rainbow flag. now, the project is funded by the state department of recreation and parks with a current budget of $2.5 million, republican tax dollars to demolish and replace our historically significant environmentally significant site. you all had mentioned the importance of children having access to nature. this would be project number one. thank you for your time. i appreciate it. our website is harvey mills plaza.org. of the. >> president: thank you. >> clerk: paul, does anyone else have their hand raised? >> there are no more hands raised. >> clerk: okay. seeing no further callers,
public comment is closed. we are now on item 5, consent calendar. is there any public comment on the consent calendar. dial star three to be added to the queue. paul, does anyone have their hand raised. >> there are still no hands raiseded. >> clerk: okay. commissioners, i'll let you. >> president: thank you. any comments or questions about the consent calendar? seeing none, the chair would entertain a motion to approve the calendar. >> commissioner: i move approval. >> commissioner: second. >> president: been moved and secondeded. all those in favor. any opposed? hearing none, it is unanimous. thank you. >> clerk: just a reminder, president buell, i have to do a role call. >> president: sure.
please do a roll call. >> clerk: [roll call] okay. we are now on item 6, the san francisco zoo. we have tim woo to present. did you want me to share the information for you. it will take a second to get up. so hold on a second. >> thank you. good morning. commissioners. it's a pleasure presenting for you today.
next slide, please. >> sometimes it takes a second, i'm on the western pond turtle. storm damage, please. >> no. >> clerk: do you see the i'm on storm damage. it might take a second to get there, unfortunately. >> all right. i will go ahead and begin then. of as you all know, it's rare for the zoo to close. however, on october 24th during the cyclone, we had multiple trees come down at the zoo. one by the cafe and another as a result of that, the zoo was closed for animal safety. given indoor access during that time. we swept through the zoo.
we found that no further evidence of any long-term damage and we had no loss for injuries for any human or animal life. i'll sort of narrate. there we go. that's perfect. thank you. from rain to drought. prior to the bomb cyclone, as you all know, we are in a severe drought here in the bay area and we received a call from the east bay regional park district let us know that several of these highly endangered turtles were found dead due to dried up ponds. so we set out from the zoo. several folks collected from and we brought the recovering. we will be reducing back to the ponds once the water levels
rise again. next please, ashley. the remainder of our port is about how we're looking to increase the port and social distancing during the pandemic period. our most popular rents is boo at the zoo which is two weekends of halloween and this year we did a couple things to encourage social distancing. we created our "sloth-o-ween" campaign. and that disburses them throughout the many acres of the zoo. next, our costume contest is always one of the most popular things. due to bomb cyclone and we had best animal costume. the family costume and judge's
choice. we had several thousand people participate to social distance across that time period. another thing that we did, next slide, we decorated a mini haunted house day of the dead and go to the different ones to see the various haunted houses. the animals on the next one, one of the highlights was having animal feedings that were pumpkin themed. rather than doing a schedule this year, we did these at random times so that people would wander through the zoo and not congregate waiting for them to begin. for both the visitors and great enrichment trees for the animals themselves. next. one of the things that we're
watching now is our hurray fall campaign. which has people answering clues to bring them to the next place. and my next slide, what would fall be like without oktoberfest and beer. we have our tower of giraffes. and these are newly introduced this fall and are great fun. and that concludes my report. >> clerk: okay. if there's anyone on the line who would like to make a comment on the zoo report, you can dial star three to be added to the queue to speak does
begin have their hand raised? >> we have nine people on the line and one hand raiseded. >> clerk: okay. you'll have two minutes. >> caller: hi. i think what i'm trying to comment was on the public commentary, but the system wasn't recognizing me. when can i come back to do that? >> clerk: yeah. we have another opportunity for general public comment during item 9. what was your name if you don't mind? i'll just make sure that we call you again. >> caller: it's our annual hello from sunshine. >> clerk: okay. we'll call you again during item 9. >> caller: okay. thank you. >> clerk: okay. seeing no further callers, public comment is closed. we are now on item seven, gardens of golden gate park agreement lease amendment.
>> sorry. that was me. good morning commissioners. dana ketchum. director of property and permits. i'm here to present on the gardens of golden gate park lease amendment. i have a slide show that i'm putting up. okay. this is a discussion and possible action to recommend the board of supervisors approve a lease agreement to expand that current agreement to resume similar services and the conservatory of flowers substantially in the same form as the draft agreement dated november 4th that was included in your packet. okay. now i just need it to move to the next slide. so give me a second.
okay. can you all see the next slide? is that working? >> it's working. we can see it. >> perfect. thank you. the department has three specialty gardens in golden gate park all within a short distance of each other. you can see this on the map. first, the san francisco botanical garden. the beautiful conservatory flowers where really the primary garden museum part is the indoor area which, you know, provides information and an opportunity to see very rare and unusual flowers and the japanese tea garden. historically, they were managed separately. the botanical garden had a partner. each had a different partnership arrangement with the san francisco botanical garden society. they have been our partners
since 1955, but in 2003, we entered into a lease and management agreement where they oversaw visitor experience and admissions increasing visitation by 135%. volunteer efforts, community engagement and education, building a horticultural library fundraising events. the botanical garden society since that time has also supported the garden with a master plan and most recently developed the plan and raised the funds to build the garden's nursery. the agreement is structured so that all rent -- and we'll talk about this more. all revenues go to the department and then are distributed to cover costs and any remaining goes into a fund in the bio departments for improvements at the garden. the conservatory of flowers partner has been the parks alliance for many years. even prior to 2003. but in 2003, the garden had
been closed due to damage and the parks alliance was involved in raising $25 million in funds to re-open it. at the time, the predecessor of the parks alliance entered into a licensed agreement with the department and under the direction of the department managed admissions, community engagement, education, events and fundraising. that 2003 agreement has been on holdover for eight or nine years. the way that agreement worked funds were held in an account at the san francisco park alliance to be used to cover those costs and could be used to cover repairs and improvements. [please stand by]
site planning,renovations, maintenance, all of that, none of change . so how do admissionreceipts work ? the way it is structured is they were using the botanical law also all admissions received come in daily into a dedicated account and are allocated as follows . first to cover the expenses for visitor experience.
second, the department receives 4.4 million and on this a little bit more in a minute to cover ourcost of maintaining the gardens . this is comparable to the amount we had been receiving prior to this time.mostly from the japanese tea garden because most of the other revenues did not flow directly to our bottom line and they will then receive expenses for education and community outreach at all three gardens and the remainder goes to this dedicated guarded improvement fund which is a fund maintained by the department for renovation and improvements. there's a littlemore detail on it .we used three covid 2000 numbers for comparison because covid makes everything upside down and you can see that admission costs have reduced by at least 400,000 due to a illuminating nonprofit redundancies . you no longer need a manager
overseeing admissions at each site. if someone calls in sick you canredeploy someonefrom one garden to another . even to take a break . this goes across fundraising and other activities as well. we created dedicated community engagement funds at the japanese tea garden at the conservatory as well and that 4.4 million of our community expenses reflects both an interest in the amount that we had historically received but also comes very close to our cost of maintaining these gardens and our staff thatdoes it. we did a back end analysis . and then the next contribution to the garden improvement fund is a half-million but could actually increase if we are, if the flexible pricing provisions that allow nonresidents during peak hours to be paid a little bit extra.
a little bit onwhat the garden admission fees are . so the botanical, gets them for free. conservatory and japanese tea garden a reduced rate and for nonresidents you'll see for adult a flexible rate depending on what time of year or what day of the week people are visiting. they vary by garden more importantly than that we want these gardens opens all and they are all anticipating in the museums for all program. they provide free admission. there's a national program that looks into that benefit and it applies to both residents and nonresidents providing free access to the gardens . there's a broader sf program with medi-cal and ebt cards and provides free access to the gardens at any time or those who need, who are on those assistance programs . also going back a few days a
week and months where there's free admission as you can see down belowthree hours varies by garden . a few other provisions that are in this agreement. the museum storeand gift shop , thebotanical will not operate the conservancy as well as the store . the japanese tea garden t area and gift shop will continue to be maintained existing concessionaireunder an agreement with the department . for events and permits those are primarily private events such as weddings and special ticketed events open to the public. the botanical will assume oversight of those events at the conservatory of flowers as well as the gardens. these events will be structured to ensure minimalimpact on public access . generally they are done inthe evenings when the gardens are close . we do a number of them at the
conservatory of flowers and then weddings that are done in the botanical art. to the public. people understand people are allowed to come through. the revenue will be split between the botanical garden society and rpd for the maintenance fund. just a coupleexamples of events to remind us all . flour ps piano which is an amazing free event open to all nice blue which was an event the conservatory did and was ticketed. so one complication we have is the conservatory of flowers ran a deficit during covid due to a number of factors. it's indoors and almost all museums ran a deficitduring this time . it was indoors close much longer due to covid. the opening wasreally uncertain .
staff was retained during that time. the closures overlapped 2 significanttourist seasons and they also had unexpected expenses during those times . that added to thedeficit so the total deficit was just over 1 million. it has now been working diligently to reduce that amount and is now just under 800,000 . the botanical garden society had agreed to reimburse the parks alliance for the outstanding amount and then the botanical gardenswe paid that amount over three years of garden funds reducing the amount that would ultimately go to the garden improvement fund . the proposed leaseamendment is supported by the board of directors of the botanical gardens and and francisco parks
alliance . staff urges that you approve this new agreement. thank you. >> you dana. >> excuse me. we have to take public comment first . >> clerk: if there's public comment on items seven you can dialá three to be addedto the queue tospeak . does anyone have their hands raised ? >> we have 11 people on the call and four hands raised currently. >> clerk: you will have two minutes to speakand when the light says you are unmuted you can talk . >> caller: good day commissioners. and i online? >> clerk: yes you are.
>> caller: this is dawn calling. i'm a san francisco native, third generation and i've raised for a year, hopefully a fifth will be on its way. i run a local lan sleep supply business, oldest in the state and in that time have also served on the botanical garden society 15years , i'm workingon 20 now . and i'm here tospeak in favor of this merger . bringing this network of the three iconic cultural institutions of san francisco under one management will provide focus, a long needed focus and enhancement to the programming and its environmental action and inclusivity . the botanical garden society has been partnering with san francisco rack and parts for
many years but over the last 10 to 15. >> successfully.and now has what i consider a proven record of public enhancement. and focused management which we have raised the botanical garden to a internationally recognized institution and world-class attraction . this overall, free institutions will create organizational and operational efficiencies i think ringing us in line with our mission. bringing people to nature. so we have a vision here.it's a vision of creating a unified conservation and cultural organization which will really enhance visitor experience and communityengagement. again, i think this is a smart
idea for san francisco and for the community . commissioners, thank you for yourservice as well mister ginsberg and thank you for the opportunity to you today . >> tank you. next speaker.>> caller: can you hear me? >> clerk: yes, we can hear you. >> caller: i am rachelmartin , executive director of the california state parks foundation. a former elected member of the san francisco board of education, 23 year resident of san francisco's richmond district and proud member of the botanical gardens . i'm calling to voice my strong support for the proposal. it makes a huge amount of sense to combine these horticultural sites and visitorattractions under one roof to realize operational efficiencies and better serve and engage the communities . i dothink that an organization
to manage the entity that the botanical gardens . i'veknown them both professionally and personally for over a decade . it hasbrought the organization investment , numbers and energy and i have the utmost confidence in her professional expertise and ability to lead this new organization. i want to highlight the botanical gardens long relationship and educating the children of san francisco plants and horticulture including my own children who are periodically partof the third-grade science curriculum . during the pandemic the botanical gardens also provided educational opportunities to students as a respite . the botanical gardens ... there's someinterference, i don't know if somebody is unmuted .
the botanical garden conservatoryand japanese tea garden are incredible outlets for san francisco and we also know there's work to doto ensure these places continue to transform into aleading environmental and cultural institution because san francisco killer deserves no less . this is a way to accomplish this lofty goal andi wholeheartedly urge you to support these amendments . thank you for your time . >> clerk: thank you . >> caller: my name is mary ellen hannibal . and i am an author and journalist for 20 years i worked for the botanical garden, san francisco medical garden writing and editing its publications when that was a print production. now i'm currently on the board so over these 20 years i've worked to really try to amplify
the incredible contribution the garden makes to supporting biodiversity, not only here in san francisco but also globally because as we all know we have this incredible climate here in san francisco and the garden can growplants that are endangered or extinct in the wild . in my 20 years the garden has had productive leadership but now has leadership in november that is incredibly beautifully suited to the mission of the garden and all the gardens of golden gate park to better amplify and engage the public with biodiversity law that is underway all over the globe. so the garden grows the plants and we happened to save them and also creates incredible habitats for those migrating through birds and insects, bees
and others. we also haveincredible leadership right now on the board of trustees . so this garden is a really, is poised to step up into the horticultural realm to another level and making the gardens of golden gate park into a concerted unified entity will help that very immeasurably. not very immeasurably i guess just immeasurably. anyway, thank you very much everyone for your comments and work on behalf of the gardens of golden gate park. >> clerk: next speaker. >> caller: good morning commissioners. my name is del maxwell and i'm chair of the san francisco botanical gardensociety board of directors and a 21 year
volunteer of the botanical gardens . first in the nursery and now in the california native garden and children's garden and also a major donor to the garden. i consider myself invested in the success and future of the gardens of golden gate park. i'm here to speak in favor of the amendment to ask the conservatory of flowers and japanese tea gardento the leasing management agreement the san francisco botanical garden society . like many leading botanical gardens we are lucky to also have a pennies garden and conservatory within walking distance of each other. all three entities arelocated within the cultural hub of golden gate park . this is a great opportunity for a more comprehensive experience for residents and visitors to the city and for the elevation of all three organizationsinto a stronger more effective leading cultural and conservation organization . our board is very excited by and committed to this new partnership model and of 100
percent in favor ofthis amendment . ithank you for your consideration . >> clerk: that was for speakers, hasanyone else raised their hand ? >> there is one more hand raised. >> clerk: next speaker. >> caller: can you hear me? >> clerk: we can hear you. >> caller: my name is john goldsmith, a 30 year san francisco resident, california native and also a certified master gardener and certified rosarian, roast specialist with the american rose society. i'm contacting you because i believe this is a private nonprofit partnership that has gone a ride and that i believe that golden gate park is the crown jewel of san francisco
and biodiversity is key to our existence and longevity. with that i'd like to point out that the botanical garden society has muscled out all the local long-term nonprofits tha have used the hall of flowers as a rental . it has become tooexpensive . meanwhile, the botanical garden society salaried persons continue to go up. the rose society can no longer meetthere. they have not been there for several years now. it started in 1945 . our history is being paved over bypowerful nonprofits . filled ginsberg is not a gardener or environmentalist and i would like to see rec and park manage all of golden gate
park , removing these nonprofits such as the botanical garden society and sf parks alliance. they are all in on the take, taking public tax dollars in the name of the environment and i find it very shameful and i'm hoping that this fbi probe of city corruption extends into rex and park cause our assets are being taken away and sold to the highest bidder. with that i'd also like to add that wehave a website . we are hoping to preserve our environmental assets in the castro . thank youfor your time . if anyone else would like to speakyou can dialáthree to the added to the queue . we can move on, i just wanted to doublecheck . doesanyone else have you there and raise ? next speaker.
>> my name is claire myers thank you commissioners and good morning to everyone . i want to say that i'm not at my computer so i'm a little, i've been struggling to get online here but i've heard everything . until now actually i'm in the middle of a children's field trip that i'm part of chaperoning but i'm also a member of the botanical garden board. i'm a lifetime resident of the district where my mother and grandmother, my grandmother roosevelt taught school for 40 years and i want to the i'm very much in favor of this and ou and emerging history institutions . i fully concur with the contributions that stephanie lindner has made to the committee this morning. i wanted to the user and
experience as a lifetime resident of a few blocks from golden gate parkgrowing up and also raising my children there . it is a very important i think to show that these institutions can coexist independently and together to have the management and response responsible governance to do so i think they're fairly for every institution butmore importantly to see the relationship of these three institutions . coexisting not only mimics what we're trying to explainto children in terms of biodiversity and cultural awareness , it is so much easier to visit the three institutions if they are working in coordination with each other. entry, i've had so many visitors over the course of my life visit one but not the
other two. just because it's too complicated for them as tourists to conceptualize visiting them all at the same time. and just from the user and i want to represent how i'm immersed in raising children right now in san francisco and wantthem all to be able to visit . with their families and i think that's the organization has, we had it all at our fingertips right now. it'sorganized . >> clerk: sorry, your time is up. does anyone else have their handraised paul ? see no further colors, public comment is closed . commissioners. hello colleagues. so i being you went to a lot of the documents and i want to
thank stephanie and dana for presenting. i think it's a great shared vision. i like the idea. as a resident and voter that the three parts are being combined in the ticketing and operations will be merged but have a concern . i know the parks alliance kept the conservatory open during thepandemic . and maybe data, you can explain a little bit more moving forward about the history of this ethicist loss. i'm just would you like some clarification onthat . >> i'm happy to do that. i'm going to make sure i get mine document open and can
explain it adequately. sorry about that. there was a number of different factors. both on the revenueand expense side . that caused the deficit to happen one, revenues came in significantly below expectations . apart alliance did get a loan which helped significantly. it did help but revenues hit over the total period first by closer and second by limitations on admission . that caused revenues to really come way below expectation. the conservatory also was in a growth period . it had started night other activities that were making at a fun place that people enjoyed knowing about and going to so we're already expected to increase. and but yet, they lost all the revenue or their pt spring season so that was one piece of it. the other thing that happened
is just before the pandemic hit the office space that they have been using which they have a lot of very old infrastructure behind it that needs to be replaced. there was a mold problemand they had toreplace it . so had to be funded . so that was a couple hundred thousand dollars of expense as well. those factors all added together to cause that deficit. since that time, there's been tremendous belt-tightening. awareness of expenses and while the covid deficit was at one point $1 million is now down to 800,000 and we expect operations to continue to reduce it it will continue. it will exist most likely at thetime of the transition . >> 1000. is it correct to say and i'm on operations committee. and trying to really grasp what
operations is about and wrapped and park can you just, is it correct that under the existing agreement the city is required to reimburse the park alliance for the operation? >> the existing agreement provides if there was an operating shortfall that the city, subject to budget authorization would reimburse the cost over the manyyears. there have been surpluses and there have been deficits . and when there was a deficit it's not paid back the next year and there was a surplusit got pushed forward or used for capital improvement . it's just there's always been an ad and flow. that's the way businesses happenand like all other museums during the pandemic , this was just an extraordinary event. and resulted in that deficit.
technically the agreement does havelanguage in it, yes . >> i see all the advantages. i think it's still an excellent idea to reduce this expenditure and it would become kind of a national institutional botanical garden but however, even though the lease says the city is required to reimburse the park alliance for this deficit,
additional funds to go into the gardenimprovement fund . and they would cover it out of their own accounts . at the date of any transition, whether it's fromtheir own fundraising or their existing funds . the moneywould not come from city funds . >> i think that's better when you're creating a new lease like this. i think these things should be brought forward now so dana, i want to clarify that you're saying that the san francisco botanical gardens has agreed that the future admission revenue will not be used to cover their pandemic loss? >> yes, we spoke to them and they are willing to do that. stephanie, couldyou comment on that or would you be willing to comment on that ? >> yes, sure. this is really about fulfilling our mission and vision to connect people to the planet
and each other and as you heard from many ofmy board members called in , they are very eager and excited to make this happen andthey think this is a worthwhile investment in the future . we are confident that we are going to be able to provide an improved garden experience across all three sites and make the gardens fully sustainable. for example, the merger alone is probably goingto save around 400,000 in administrative costs . and whilethis is certainly not ideal , covid losses are a fact of life. indoor museums, that's what the conservatory was. it's bouncing back and we believe it will continue to bounce back and we are allabout build back better here at the garden . so we can overcome that.
we will work with the parks alliance throughout the transfer of assetsand accounts and all that . they are committedto making this work and committed to what's best for the gardens as well . >> clerk: colleagues, if you have something to share maybe president buell a motion can be made for an amendment. >> we have a couple other commissioners who want to be first. >> president: let's hear from other commissioners and see if we can't structure a motion. >> clerk: commissioner jupiter-jones i have your hand up first. >> i have a couple questions. it definitely makes sense to me. i'm all for the efficacy of it, but my first question was just around given with any merger of multiple organizations, has
there been any projections or any thought about any loss of jobs or is anyone going to lose their job and not that that would make it not possible but just kind of if someone could speak on that and then the second question i have is my assumption because we're hearing that all of this would be a great way to save on admin costs. and what i'm interested in is hearing on maybe some of the ways that this is going to help to increaseaccessibility and equity . for these gardens. i'm very much interested in how golden gate park can become just a little bit more accessible to the neighborhoods that are so close to it.so i'm assuming we hear all this stuff saving money and how it's going to allow for folks to maybe focus on that i would
maybe like to hear that part of it of how this merger would allow the gardens to invest more time in community engagement on the southeastern side of the city and really like trying to get more folks who don't usually use the gardens or feel like the gardensare in place for them . this would help with that . >> i can address if you feel comfortable. i'm happy because her very articulate. wetalk about these issues a lot . >> so commissioner, we do not anticipate any layoffs on the nonprofit side and i believe the same is on thecity side . we do not anticipate any layoffs as a result of this merger. likely both at the garden and the conservatory, we made significant cuts at the beginning of the pandemic. and we have not fully staffed backup in anticipation of
hoping this would happen. and so we do not believe that in fact i think we will be hiring with this merger. in terms of being able to provide more programming to more people from all across the city and beyond, we really hope that this will raise our sites when it comes to philanthropic support and that we will be able to attract grants from leading philanthropic institutions and donors to help really underwrite the cost of providing free and programming and certainly that caninclude transportation . we were really delighted this summer to partner with the department on a program through summer together and we hope to continue more opportunities like that. i should say that pre-áuntran4á
we serve 13,000 schoolchildren from across the city and it came from all districts. so we're also very much accessible by public transit . i've been writing muni since i arrived in sanfrancisco and there were six lines that take you here to the garden . we actively try to promote that in our material. >> i would just like the commissioner, we did speak with these finances and the mask does matter. we focused on the way that we think the gardens can operate more efficiently. that is not the driver here. the driver is the sort of grand vision and putting the botanical on the map for what it is which is really should be considered one of the best nature and environmental institutions in the country . and we did a lot of research, a
lot of homework and we had experts come in and look at other gardens and how they operate and we know that most botanical gardens across the country include on its campus 80 garden and a grow house or a conservatory. and the botanical has just done such an amazing job over the last 10 years or so in managing education, community outreach. it already is read to san francisco residents. and we're extremely confident that this will fulfill a vision of elevating the stature both for the visitor and as a significant cultural asset nationally by doing this. so the program vision that guides us is not necessarily the benefits but particularly after covid being able to
eliminate some of the ... not staff or the educators or the horticulturalist's but some of the duplicative administrative functions and costswe incurred by operating these three institutions separately . this is just also smart.>> president: ic commissioner griffin's hand up. commissioner. >> i want to thank my fellow commissioner jupiter-jones for raising the issue of potential loss of jobs. that was definitely one ofmy concerns . thank you for asking that commissioner and i'm satisfied with the answer . the other question i had was what wasraised by one of the colors .
i was concerned about the so-called accusations. i won't call them accusations of nonprofits not being able to use the conservatory at all or not theconservatory , i'm sorry. the botanical gardens. can somebody talk about that? >> i can talk about that because ioversee the county fair building. the botanical society does not oversee allocation of spaces at the county fair building . that has remained underus because just to ensure they have storage areas, they have the ability to hold meetings . we go through an annual allocation. for the past 18months they have held meetings , we're just barely getting the county fair building back open. there are two different road societies. i couldn't quite follow which one hewas representing . we have the annual mother's day
rose show that happens at the county fair building. those predecessor organization , we're just in the middle of doing the allocations and i tested my team to say let's make sure is there something happening there that i don't know about but maintaining that and the hourly rates for a guarding group meeting is seven dollars an hour. we haven't pushed them out at all. we've worked closely with them to ensure that and that's one of the reasons the county fair with reckoned part works for a variety of those different shows and things done by a variety ofdifferent organizations . so if the caller is still on the line and he can reach out i'm happy toengage him about that . >>president: that was a very satisfactory answer . so what you're saying is the hall of flowers remains with
the department. it's not affected by this merger. >> we do have big flower shows like the orchid. if you want your son for saturday and i don't know, there's twoworkgroups so i get confused . but if you want your meeting on saturday you willfind yourself bummed a lot because one of the other groups is doing a show . but outside of that we work really hard. they have their patterns every third tuesday. every fourth thursday they have their meetings and then we work around our holidays when ones get mixed up to try to make that happen. it's an incredibly laborious handholding process and it's something we care about. as i said the 20/20 to process
is being finalized and i'll take a look at itwith my team . >> president: thank you for your answer. i want to say i'm definitely in favor of thismerger . >> any other commissioner comments? >> i want to clarify what was brought up. thank you everyone for chiming in . so that we can start out with a clean slate and if the both the botanical gardens and the park alliance have this willingness to help us with this debt, i think we should maybe make an amendment. a motion to amend. having read over the document i think it's contained somewhere, correct me if i'm wrong. to removesomething in section b . >> i spent some time and raised this with the city attorney talking through what we would
do to address the issue so that city funds were not going topay this back . and the two things we would do if anyone has that agreement open in front of them is exhibit e which has to do with the flow of city funds, we would strike subparagraph 1b which is a paragraph that says the covid deficit would be paid back to the botanical society out of city funds so we would strike that and we have to tweak and work with the city attorney's but we would amend section 27 so far be that refers to the deficit and replace that they would pay the deficit and replace it with what is much more standard language in the transition agreement like this and say that the parties will arrange fortransfer of books and accounts as necessary . so that removes the city's
obligationfor that test . >> president: thank you dana. commissioner louis, i want to compliment you for taking the initiative to seek to improve this agreement and to work out what i think is a better product and if i'm hearing you correctly, then you can provide the exact language but we would be removing section b from exists exhibit e and expressing the sentiment of this commission on the modifications that you outlined. is that correct dana? okay. >> i thought you were testing me orsomething . i was checking my twitter feed. >> president: with that the chair would entertain a motion to approve this document as amended and outlined bydana and
by commissioner louis . could i get, it's been moved, is there asecond . any questions, comments. the secretary cancall the role . >> on the motion for amended agreement,commissioner buell . [roll call vote] >> president: it is unanimous. thank you dana for the hard work and thank all of those folks at the botanical garden and the park alliance and everybody that's got there finger in this five. i think it's a better document
and i agree withthe general manager . the product that ends up here is going to put the golden gate park on the map in a way it hasn't been in the past and reflects the real value of all three of theseinstitutions so thank you very much . so what's next on our agenda. executive session? >> first we will take public comment on all matters pertaining to the closed session and then i will ask everyone else who's not meant to be here for the closed session to jump off the call and sfgov tv will stop broadcasting while we are in closed session but before the public hangs up i want to make sure if there's anyone on the line would like to make a comment on item 8 which is our closed session you can dial áthree to be added to the queu to speak . doesanyone have their hands raised ?
>> a lot of people are dropping from the call, we have three. >> for those of you watching or still on the call, if you'd like to join us afterwards for general public comment for some of the other items on our agenda, stay tuned on sfgov tv. we will be back on and you can call back on the same number for now if you are on the call , ... we should close public comments first. if you could unmerged the web tax and anyone who's on the call who we will be having anot general public comments coming up. i'm going to read offthe number
for you to call. you can dial 415-655-0001 . and the access code today is 2493 569 4649. so commissioner, we are now in open session and i need a motionand a second on whether you'd like to report on the actions taken in closed session . >> i'd like to make a motion that wenot report on theactions taken in closed session . it's been moved, is there a second moved and seconded . any questions or comments? all those in favor could you please call the role. [roll call vote] motion carrie
. >> i will now the need a motio and a second whether to disclose any or all discussions held in closed session >> i make a motion we not disclose anything discussed in closed session .>> moved and seconded, with the president please call role. i think commissioner halsey seconded that . [roll call vote] okay. it's unanimous. weare now on i am 6,general public comment . sorry , my apologies.
>> item 9. >> general publiccomments continued from four . at this time members of the public who were not able to address the commission may address the commission on items within subjectmatter jurisdiction within the recreation and parks commission that do not appear on the agenda today . if you'd like tocomment you can dial á3 to be added to the queue. doesanybody have their hands raised ? >> there are zero colors online . >> paul, will you let me know if anyone comes out because i know that woman did want to comment during an old public comment so we can check and see if she's there and president buell can check inseeing all colorspublic comment is closed . commission matters . >> commissioner halsey.
>> president, i have a racial equitymoment for today's meeting . the subject is ruby bridges. and i'm sure that the name that's been a year to the commission and to staff and to the viewers and listeners today. she was the first african-american child to desegregate the all-white william frantzelementary school in new orleans louisiana . this was in november1960 . she was six years old atthe time . on that first day and throughout that whole year of school she was escorted to school to and from my four federal marshals. and the first day when she was approaching campus she actually associated experience with mardi gras. because she said there was a
bunch of grown-ups shouting and throwing things. now, yesterday the local media focused on martin elementary school in south san francisco. this brave teacher there deborah carlino has been working for four years to have ruby bridges some sort of recognition . two months ago the california state senate unanimously passed a resolution to recognize ruby with a ruby bridges walk to school day.and that day actually happened statewide this week. the group that's trying to get national recognition for this day going forward today, ruby bridges is 57 years old. she is married. still living in new orleans.
she has four sons. and she is the chair of the ruby bridges foundation which promotes tolerance, respect and appreciation of differences. and in light of this week being the first that we've seen of ruby bridges walk to school day in california , i thought she would be very fitting subject for us to get near the closing of ourmeeting this afternoon . >> thank you commissioner. thatwas very nice . any comments or questions on the commission? i would also like to thank commissioner halsey for that. madam secretary. you are on mute, madam secretary. >> i usually don't make that
♪ ♪ ♪ >>.♪ ♪ >> >> 5, 4, 3, 2 , 1. cut. >> we are here to celebrate the opening of this community garden. a place that used to look a lot darker and today is sun is shining and it's beautiful and it's been completely redone and been a gathering place for this community. >> i have been waiting for this garden for 3 decades.
that is not a joke. i live in an apartment building three floors up and i have potted plants and have dreamt the whole time i have lived there to have some ability to build this dirt. >> let me tell you handout you -- how to build a community garden. you start with a really good idea and add community support from echo media and levis and take management and water and sun and this is what we have. this is great. it's about environment and stewardship. it's also for the -- we implemented several practices in our successes of the site.
that is made up of the pockets like wool but they are made of recycled plastic bottles. i don't know how they do it. >> there is acres and acres of parkland throughout golden gate park, but not necessarily through golden community garden. we have it right in the middle of [♪♪♪] >> i just wanted to say a few words. one is to the parents and to all of the kids. thank you for supporting this program and for trusting us to create a soccer program in the bayview. >> soccer is the world's game, and everybody plays, but in the united states, this is a sport that struggles with access for certain communities. >> i coached basketball in a coached football for years, it is the same thing.
it is about motivating kids and keeping them together, and giving them new opportunities. >> when the kids came out, they had no idea really what the game was. only one or two of them had played soccer before. we gave the kids very simple lessons every day and made sure that they had fun while they were doing it, and you really could see them evolve into a team over the course of the season. >> i think this is a great opportunity to be part of the community and be part of programs like this. >> i get to run around with my other teammates and pass the ball. >> this is new to me. i've always played basketball or football. i am adjusting to be a soccer mom. >> the bayview is like my favorite team. even though we lose it is still fine. >> right on. >> i have lots of favorite memories, but i think one of them is just watching the kids enjoy themselves. >> my favorite memory was just having fun and playing. >> bayview united will be in
soccer camp all summer long. they are going to be at civic centre for two different weeklong sessions with america scores, then they will will have their own soccer camp later in the summer right here, and then they will be back on the pitch next fall. >> now we know a little bit more about soccer, we are learning more, and the kids are really enjoying the program. >> we want to be united in the bayview. that is why this was appropriate >> this guy is the limit. the kids are already athletic, you know, they just need to learn the game. we have some potential college-bound kids, definitely. >> today was the last practice of the season, and the sweetest moment was coming out here while , you know, we were setting up the barbecue and folding their uniforms, and looking out onto the field, and seven or eight of the kids were playing. >> this year we have first and second grade. we are going to expand to third, forth, and fifth grade next year bring them out and if you have middle school kids, we are starting a team for middle school.
>> you know why? >> why? because we are? >> bayview united. >> that's right. >> once i got the hang of it a little bit, you know, like the first time, i never left the court. i just fell in love with it and any opportunity i had to get out there, you know, they didn't have to ask twice. you can always find me on the court. [♪♪♪] >> we have been able to participate in 12 athletics wheelchairs. they provide what is an expensive tool to facilitate basketball specifically.
behind me are the amazing golden state road warriors, which are one of the most competitive adaptive basketball teams in the state led by its captain, chuck hill, who was a national paralympic and, and is now an assistant coach on the national big team. >> it is great to have this opportunity here in san francisco. we are the main hub of the bay area, which, you know, we should definitely have resources here. now that that is happening, you know, i i'm looking forward to that growing and spreading and helping spread the word that needs -- that these people are here for everyone. i think it is important for people with disabilities, as well as able-bodied, to be able to see and to try different sports, and to appreciate trying different things. >> people can come and check out this chairs and use them. but then also friday evening,
from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., it will be wheelchair basketball we will make sure it is available, and that way people can no that people will be coming to play at the same time. >> we offer a wide variety of adaptive and inclusion programming, but this is the first time we have had our own equipment. [♪♪♪] . >> my name is dave, and i play
defense. >> my name is mustafa, and i am a midfielder, but right now, i am trying to play as a goalkeeper, because they need a goalkeeper. >> soccer u.s.a. is a nonprofessional organization. we use sports, soccer in particular to engage communities that can benefit from quality programs in order to lift people up, helping to regain a sense of control in one's life. >> the san francisco recreation and park department and street soccer u.s.a. have been partners now for nearly a decade. street soccer shares our mission in using sport as a vehicle for youth development and for reaching people of all ages. rec and park has a team.
>> i'm been playing soccer all my life. soccer is my life. >> i played in the streets when i was a kid. and i loved soccer back home. i joined street soccer here. it was the best club to join. it helps me out. >> the tenderloin soccer club started in the summer of 2016. we put one of our mini soccer pitches in one of our facilities there. the kids who kpriez the club team came out to utilize that space, and it was beautiful because they used it as an opportunity to express themselves in a place where they were free to do so, and it was a safe space, in a neighborhood that really isn't the most hospitalable to youth -- hospitable to youth playing in the streets.
>> one day, i saw the coach and my friends because they went there to join the team before me. so i went up to the coach and asked, and they said oh, i've got a soccer team, and i joined, and they said yeah, it was he for everybody, and i joined, and it was the best experience ever. >> a lot of our programs, the kids are in the process of achieving citizenship. it's a pretty lengthy process. >> here, i am the only one with my dad. we were in the housing program, and we are trying to find housing. my sister, she's in my country, so i realize that i have a lot of opportunities here for getting good education to help her, you know? yeah. that's the -- one of the most important things that challenge me. >> my dad was over here, making
some money because there was not a lot of jobs back home. i came here, finish elementary in san francisco. after that, i used to go back to my country, go to yemen, my country, and then back here. last time i went back was a couple years ago. >> i came here six months, i know nobody. now i have the team has a family, the coaches. amazing. >> i'm hoping for lifelong friendships, and i'm super inspired by what they've been able to achieve and want to continue to grow alongside them. >> i love my family, i love my team. they're just like a family. it's really nice. >> street soccer just received a five year grant from the department of children, youth and family, and this is an important inreflection point for street soccer u.s.a. because their work in our most
important communities is now known beyond just san francisco recreation and park department, and together, we're going to continue to work with our city's most vulnerable kids and teach them to love the beautiful game. >> i want to tell everybody back home, i hope you all make it over here and join teams like this like street soccer u.s.a., and live your life. get a better life. >> right away, just be patient, and then, everything will be okay.
>> shop and dine in the 49 promotes local businesses, and challenges residents to do their shopping within the 49 square miles of san francisco. by supporting local services in our neighborhood, we help san francisco remain unique, successful, and vibrant. so where will you shop and dine in the 49? >> i am the owner of this restaurant. we have been here in north beach over 100 years. [speaking foreign language] [♪♪♪]
>> good afternoon. welcome to this cold dreary day. a day with challenging news. i want us to be optimistic. as you look behind you and see this rather uninspiring playground across the street. i want you to envision a space for gardening and gathering. in this block arts and entertainment with a memory walk celebrating this community's history.
behind us basketball and barbecue. behind us all ages kids to seniors. all ages play space. then the fifth block for active recreation otherwise known as sports that is the dream here that this community has been working on for a long, long time. that is because of leadership of the two elected officials behind me and because of this community wherever so close to being able to actualize. we don't do these projects alone. obviously, today, we celebrate the western edition community. the supporters most active in re-envisioning and addvo indicating for change at buchanan mall.
i want to acknowledge a few groups including the african-american arts and culture, trust for the san francisco parks aligns thattoge. along came senator weiner who called us and said i want to do something in buchanan mall. he knows the park system in and out and has delivered $5 million to this project. we have a big grant pending that
we are supposed to hear from any day to be another $5 million. we have another grant that is pending which will be 3.5 to $4 million. we have two other sources of funding mapped out. if they come to pass we have the $25 million to make this vision a reality. i want to thank everybody, but today is really acknowledging and celebrating this community but the elected leaders who made it happen. i will turn it over to our park champion and chief, mayor breed. >> mayor breed: thank you for being here today. it is wonderful to be here to celebrate this incredible milestone. there is a lot of history that goes into what we are doing here. in fact when i served as executive director of this buildin complex. myself and so many community
members. we had a vision for what we knew this space could be. vendors, people who saw the things and products they made from this community, performances, events, recreation, open space. this buchanan mall many years ago when i was a kid used to be the space that we gathered in, hung out in, roller skated in. blasted boom boxes when we had to walk around and use batteries to power them. this was an amazing community. then we experienced a lot of challenges. a lot of gun violence, death, destruction, lack of resources, things changed considerably in this community. this once vibrant area that brought all of our communities together where we were one
community, this area bay like a -- became like a ghost town. people weren't using it in the same way. fast forward years later when this community during the height of that violence we decided to come together and take our neighborhood back. we worked with folks like tyrone in green streets and hayes valley and the entire community to provide opportunities, to try to transform our community. something was still missing. what we did more recently a couple years back is invest resources into activating this space. you can see the lights and the seniors and people coming out to enjoy the gardens and sitting in the open spaces. there is so much that needs to be done. this has to be an area for all people who live in this community. now when i was a kid, again, we
start up at oc, plaza east, slide down the slide, walk next to buchanan park and the playgrounds and up and down the block. we want to see that happen again. we want to see people from this community enjoy and use this space. the plan is to make it the kind of space that is usable, that is welcoming. that makes everyone feel that they are welcome to be here. we can use this space. hopefully we don't have to go through a lengthy permit process, bill ginsburg. we used to use it. now it is city bureaucracy. we will deal with that another day. this was so important one of the most recent bond $2 million was dedicated to this particular project.
getting us to this extraordinary place was our champion and addvo cat in sacramento senator weiner bringing in $4.8 million. [applause] >> the resources to make this a reality is driven by this community. this community that raised me, that is near and dear to my heart, this community that has suffered for so many years and deserves it more than anything else. not only what i am hoping for to make sure this is reality. when you think about it when you visit other countries, they have marketplaces, vendors and people where you just go and pick up
what you need. there are so many talented and creative people i have met during my time at the cultural center where they sell shay butter and clothing. the african-american art and culture complex are in stones town selling things they made. they are from this community. we want to make sure that this place is also a destination, a place to showcase how special it is, how talented people are. it will give us so much hope for the future. for the possibilities what it can be. i am excited about the money we have and we will get to finish this project for this community. i can't thank senator scott weiner enough. there are so many priorities and he made this project one of
things budget asks priorities. i am very much grateful. we will do everything we can in the city to make sure this project, promise made to this community is fulfilled. i want to turn it over to state senator scott weiner. [applause] >> thank you, madam mayor and thank you for your leadership on so many issues around parks and otherwise and your commitment to western addition. i want to say, and i say this a lot. in an era where government is criticized so much and so many challenges in doing basic things, san francisco rec and park department has done an extraordinary job managing this massive park system. san franciscans don't fully appreciate how unique this park
system is. it is so big and varied with with so many park props. renovating every rec center, park, tennis court because of the dennosity of voters and -- generosity of the voters. it is exciting. it is a bright spot especially during a difficult few years. hear it for rec and park. [applause]. we had a good budget year in the state. we were able to fund some local projects that you don't always have the good budget years. when i thought about what made sense, the buchanan mall project made all of the sense in the world especially coming out of this pandemic. certain communities were
impacted much harder than others. we need to be very clear we are investing in all of our communities. we are not going to be leaving communities behind. the western addition community. it is an amazing community that struggled at times and has not always got what it needs from government. the mayor has changed that. we need to keep pushing in that direction. congratulations to the community. i look forward to celebrating all five blocks. it is amazing. let's keep working. thank you. [applause] >> we have a couple more speakers representing the group of people that are really driving change, which is this community. it is one thing to fund the project. you have to have the project to fund. that takes work and community convening and creativity and
persistence. first speaker is eric flores for trust for public land. it is such an important partner. we have been able to do a lot, but sometimes government can't do it all on its own. we need partners, friends, supporters, philanthropy. the trust for public land is a steadfast partner and has gone deep and understands the importance of the history of uncovering and celebrating the history of the space. it is my pleasure to bring upper rick. [applause] >> hello. thank you, phil. i am eric flores community organizer with the trust for public land. i am so honored to be here to celebrate this milestone. we are proud to support this
project. we believe all communities deserve high-quality space and beautiful parks. this community here is no exception. it is many, many long years of continued engagement, visioning, planning, dreaming. what does it mean for the community? how will there benefit the people of the neighborhood? increasing lighting, safety, beautification. connecting all sidewalks together to use by the community. fostering social interaction and recreation between youth and elders and families. developing opportunities for skills training and job creation. of course, celebrating the rich and diverse histories of the neighborhood and incorporating into the design of park itself. this project is so much more than just creating a beautiful park. we see this effort as an investment in the community that is affected by systematic
injustices and wrongdoings over many decades. we cannot undo the past. this started with and will continue to uphold the community as the center and upload their voices leading change to the future. it is incredibly inspiring to hear the hopes and dreams for the youth, knowing the history, having a sense of opportunity and following in the footsteps of leaders, activists and ancestors. the project is no longer just a project on paper. it is real thanks to everyone here and strong dedication to see this built. i would like to acknowledge phil ginsburg and the rec and park staff and for the deep commitment.
lydia for strong leadership in bringing in her youth voice. tyrone for his work with green streets. i would like to thank our leaders, senator weiner, mayor london breed and supervisor preston for their support for this project. our fundders come together to invest in this community. i would like to acknowledge the soma community for strength, resilience and add so cassie. there is to much work to be done. this is a huge milestone in-turning vision into reality. thank you. [applause] >> our final speaker today is the most important. tyrone mullins.
he is representing the community. tyrone has worked really, really hard with community on this project with citizen film. he has helped organize community, give voice to community. it is my pleasure to bring him up to say a few words. [applause] >> first, thank you forego me to be able to come up here and show my voice. you are correct. the work we put in was a collective. collaboration and what it means. the work we put in behind-the-scenes stuff was a lot of heavy load. she won't take the
acknowledgment but the glue that makes this stay together. i want to acknowledge senator wiener and mayor breed. thank you for making this a priority. i don't have to tell you how much this means to us. there is a lot more work to be done. i am committed. that vision you have seen. i will help see it through. 36 years old and i was part of that group that detoured some of the community in this area. we was part of the gun violence. we lost a lot of people. we hurt a lot of people. we hurt this community. not only my personal road to redetermination and one to create a better quality of life for my kids, my brother's kids and everybody else's kids and
the elders who still remain. who knew it from the time and to create community again. it was two things that happened that got me to buy in. first, when we talked about the project. phillip with trusts for public land made the hayes valley playground and they did that over. i told him we wasn't happy about that. he said i have seen many people from the community at the meetings. i took that as a challenge to be present to know that somebody from my dynamic won't have our voices heard. i am with that. behind that shannon from plaza east a part of developmental process at green streets was
shot on clarke street. unfortunately, i knew that more than likely it came from my side of the neighborhood. we had a decision to make in that moment. we had been in a position with the green streets to do work in hayes valley and plaza east. we had trust andage with us being from here. fully immersed in the project will create opportunity for it to be something beautiful here. the vendors, people being able to create and earn a positive dollar, those drive me in this project. the garden to talk about things like farm to table to teach
people to properly feedsem selfs. to be aware what they are putting in their bodies. i lost my mom two years ago to digestive systems complications that is from not being educated what to put in our bodies and take care of ourselves. knowing we can create a safe space where people can earn an honest dollar and feel safe with the community pan have it be for everybody. it is a push we haven't seen since the panthers being able to say empower one another and ourselves no matter what the bias may be of me or how i look, to my core i am about my people. i know that i have a responsibility as someone who
survived and seen. i am standing here today. i have got work to do. i have got work to do. i thank you. i will go over my listing of other community people to acknowledge. for buchanan leaders. jackie henderson. norma robertson brown, mattie scott, betty miller, marie mccull lum in the back. walker, charles, thomas censor. shannon wats.
roger lee, sharon lee, chambers, janet white, james and dr. cheryl davis. [applause] to our youth leaders, lydia, sasha and thomas. those young ladies are on the mural by the senior building with me or breed on there as well. i thought that was to have them realtime be acknowledged as they grow and develop to show people what they was part of coming up in this neighborhood and what that would mean to other young ladies being acknowledged with the likes of mary rogers and mayor breed. lastly, we want to pay homage to
those who passed. alice lang and eugene white. i want to send a piece to not only my mom but my grandmother louis harvey whose shoulders i stand on. as a little kid her taking me to the filmore center, different meetings where you would not want to go. she would say it is down, seat something or be quiet. she was primping me for this moment. my brother told me this morning you was being prepped to speak and you didn't know it. to share my personal story november 2009 i shot a man on fullerton street and withent to prison for it.
black man in my neighborhood. i stand here today. when i stand on fullerton street and be able to do this work and know that i am guided by something bigger than myself that got me on this journey to do this work here. i want to say rest in peace to a friend who passed two weeks ago mental health complications. had it been more active stuff should have joined to give support to be more productive. you know what i mean? these are things i think about when i wake up. i know it another to be he -- i know to be here is a blessing. i got work to do. thank you. [applause] >> a few more quick thank u.s. i did want to acknowledge
barbara thompson very involved in the project showed up at every single community meeting and event. thank you for your love. to the rec and park team. lauren chavez has given love and energy. stacy at the capital program and special thank you to the rec and park commission in representing the commission as one of our newest commissioners. mayor, we will deliver for you and senator we will deliver for you. thank you very much everyone. [applause]
check one two. it's that time. first, let me introduce phil ginsburg, the general manager of park and rec is going to introduce the mayor. let's welcome phil ginsburg. >> happy holidays everybody. >> welcome back after a really difficult couple of years. welcome back to golden gate park. it's crazy out here. first thing i want to do is let's hear it for our incredible mc. unique. all right. so my job is to welcome you all to the annual lighting of our
beloved uncle john tree and the kickoff of the lights. brought to you by the recreation and parks department. the san francisco parks alliance, illuminating the conservatory of flowers and the national memorial grow. all right. i only have about 20 more minutes. it will be good. so let's talk about how important this celebration is. this special v.i.p. i'm going to bring up in a second has been lighting holiday trees and and menoras all over the city for a week. there's only one city holiday tree and it's right behind you. let me tell you a little bit
about this tree because to understand this tree, to understand our city and to understand golden gate park. this tree, uncle john's tree named after john mclaren who was the longest serving parks director in city history, 56 years. madam mayor, do you know the second? uncle john's tree is a cyprus and it was planted in 1986. of the that's 125 years ago. this ceremony tonight this ceremony tonight has been going on since 1930 which is the first time this tree was lit. so we are here on its 91st year which is pretty mazing.
and madam mayor has been coming to this tree lighting since 1970 started by mayor liota. for 51 years. that's longer than the mayor's been alive. so with that history in mind, golden gate park is always magical during the holiday season and this year, madam mayor, it's bigger and better than ever. so let me tell you, let me walk you all we're going to light the tree. afterward, we're going to walk down to that music concourse for part two to see the magic. one of the most popular installations of all timeses, this is an illuminated meadow of interchanging lights. it's fantastic.
right across from intwined and a little closer to us is the circle of light and it did it just two nights ago and you see the conservatory of flowers. and then you keep walking past how many people went on the sled tonight. let's give it up for the recreation and parks department. and then we keep going and all the trees around jfk, they're all lit up and then we work our way into the music concourse and there's doing to be free music on that big old 150' ferris wheel is lit up. that's how we celebrate the holidays in san francisco. all right. so a few thank yous and i'm going to bring up the woman who's in charge of lighting this tree, but i want to thank all of our wonderful artists
and performers, charles is here. of the joshua hubert has lit up all the trees. oliver did the circle of lights. dana king who did the incredible exhibit monumental reckoning and the music concord, ben davis who's here. i want to thank you to all our partners and then behind me, we had some amazing people the incredible department heads. our entire recreation and park commission. our staff who worked so hard to put this on and then a special
thank you to our parks program. in our san francisco police department and offer safe spaces. that's what parks are. safe spaces. healthy recreations for park visitors of all ages, for building jobs and leadership skills boosting college readiness and giving kids a good time. over the last four years, rec and park has hired 100 kids from our park program in just four years. we have 100 kids working for us, but tonight, they're only job is to help us with the count down. our park champion and chief. she's everywhere. she's keeping people working. she's keeping people happy because she loves the fun and
she loves her parks and she's been all over the last couple of weeks lighting trees. but tonight, madam mayor is the night. so give it up for our mayor. the honorable london breed. >> first of all, i don't think i've ever seen this many people at this tree lighting and it just makes me so happy because as you know last year, we couldn't come together in the same way, but we're here to celebrate the holidays and it just takes me back to when i was a kid and i used to beg my grandma, please, mom, i want this doll for christmas and please, mom, can we go downtown to woolworth where we can get toys and have fun and my grandmother would say only if you did good. only if you did your homework, only if you listen. and i tried my best. i did the best i could.
but during the holiday season, i can't help but think of the memories when i was a kid and what the time that i spent in san francisco and looking at the kids here now and thinking about the memories that they're creating. they're going to remember the days that they came here with mom and dad and grandma and uncles and just a different program to light this tree. so just remember this moment, remember where you are and remember who you were with because today, we're creating memories. and i want to take this opportunity to really thank the rec and parks department for all the work in this pandemic. let me tell you. this pandemic has been hard on so many of us and because our parks were still open and available to us, it was really the only sanity i'm sure many of us had especially the parents and i want to thank
them for their work and all the commissioners that are here. thank you to the families and all the people in san francisco. last but not least, before we light this tree i know we're tired of hearing talk, i just want to say we're at 70% of san franciscans vaccinated. so i am really excited about continuing to re-open our city. continuing to enjoy the holidays. so at this time, it is time to light the largest tree in san francisco to celebrate the holidays. happy holidays, mayor christmas, happy hanukkah and all the holidays in between. phil, can we get this thing starting? count it down. you can help me count it down.
>> when i look at an old neon sign that's working or not working, i feel the family business that was in there. >> since 2009, citywide, sf shines, has supported businesses and sites like the ones that receive new neon signs. >> you know, sf shines is doing an amazing job to bring back the lighting and the neon glow of san francisco. >> sf shines is such an amazing program, and i can't think of another program in another city that gives matching gunned funds to store owners, mom and pop owners, and if they've got
a neon sign, they've really got a great way to advertise their business. >> this is a continuation of the sf shines program. >> focusing other neon signs is relatively new to us. of the seven neon signs, we've invested about $145,000. >> a good quality sign costs more, but it lasts infinitily longer. as opposed to lasting five years, a good neon sign will last 15 to 20 years. >> in san francisco, the majority of neon signs are for mom-and-pop businesses. in order to be able to restore these signs, i think it gives back to your community. >> part of the project has to do with prioritizing certain
signs in the neighborhood based on their aesthetics, based on their current signs, and base on the history. in the time that we've been here, we've seen a number of signs restored just on eddy street. >> there are a number of signs in the tenderloin and many more that are waiting or wanting to be restored. i have worked with randall and al, and we've mapped out every single one of them and rated them as to how much work they would need to get restored. that information is passed onto sf shines, and they are going to rank it. so if they have x budget for a year, they can say all right, we're going to pick these five, and they're putting together clusters, so they build on top of what's already there. >> a cluster of neon signs is sort of, i guess, like a cluster of grapes. when you see them on a corner or on a block, it lights up the
neighborhood and creates an ambient glow. if you havy got two of three of them, you've created an atmosphere that's almost like a movie set. >> some of the hotel, we've already invested in to get those neon signs for people to enjoy at night include the elk hotel, jefferson hotel, the verona, not to mention some we've done in chinatown, as well as the city's portal neighborhood. >> we got the fund to restore it. it took five months, and the biggest challenge was it was completely infested with pigeons. once we got it clean, it came out beautiful. >> neon signs are often equated with film noir, and the noir genre as seen through the hollywood lens basically
depicted despair and concentration. >> you would go downtown and see the most recent humphrey bogart film filled with neon in the background. and you'd see that on market street, and as market street got seedier and seedier and fewer people continued to go down, that was what happened to all the neon strips of light. >> the film nori might start with the light filled with neon signs, and end with a scene with a single neon sign blinking and missing a few letters. >> one of my favorite scenes,
orson welles is chasing rita hayworth with neon signs in the background. >> i think what the office of economic and workforce development is very excited with is that we'll be able to see more neon signs in a concentrated way lit up at night for visitors and most especially residents. the first coin laundry, the elm hotel, the western hotel are ones that we want to focus on in the year ahead. >> neon signs are so iconic to certain neighborhoods like the hara, like the nightcap. we want to save as many historic and legacy neon signs in san francisco, and so do they. we bring the expertise, and they bring the means to
actually get the job done. >> people in tenderloin get really excited as they see the signs relit. as you're driving through the tenderloin or the city, it pretty much tells you something exciting is happening here. >> knee an was created to make the night more friendly and advertise businesses. it's a great way of supporting and helping local businesses. >> there's so many ways to improve public safety. the standard way is having more eyes on the street, but there's other culturally significant ways to do that, and one those ways is lighting up the streets. but what better way and special way to do that is by having old, historic neon signs lighting up our streets at night and casting away our shadows. >> when i see things coming back to life, it's like remembering how things were. it's remembering the hotel or the market that went to work seven days a week to raise their money or to provide a service, and it just -- it
>> everything is done in-house. i think it is done. i have always been passionate about gelato. every single slaver has its own recipe. we have our own -- we move on from there. so you have every time a unique experience because that slaver is the flavored we want to make. union street is unique because of the neighbors and the location itself. the people that live around here i love to see when the street is full of people. it is a little bit of italy that is happening around you can walk around and enjoy shopping with gelato in your hand. this is the move we are happy to provide to the people.
i always love union street because it's not like another commercial street where you have big chains. here you have the neighbors. there is a lot of stories and the neighborhoods are essential. people have -- they enjoy having their daily or weekly gelato. i love this street itself. >> we created a move of an area where we will be visiting. we want to make sure that the area has the gelato that you like. what we give back as a shop owner is creating an ambient lifestyle. if you do it in your area and if you like it, then you can do it on the streets you like.today.
>> (clapping.) >> i've been working in restaurants forever as a blood alcohol small business you have a lot of requests for donations if someone calls you and say we want to documents for our school or nonprofit i've been in a position with my previous employment i had to say no all the time. >> my name is art the owner
and chief at straw combinations of street food and festival food and carnival food i realize that people try to find this you don't want to wait 365 day if you make that brick-and-mortar it is really about making you feel special and feel like a kid again everything we've done to celebrate that. >> so nonprofit monday is a program that straw runs to make sure that no matter is going on with our business giving back is treated just the is that you as
paying any other bill in addition to the money we impose their cause to the greater bayview it is a great way for straw to sort of build communicated and to introduce people who might not normally get to be exposed to one nonprofit or another and i know that they do a different nonprofit every most of the year. >> people are mroent surprised the restaurant it giving back i see some people from the nonprofit why been part of nonprofit monday sort of give back to the program as well answer. >> inform people that be regular aprons at straw they get imposed to 10 or 12 nonprofits. >> i love nonprofits great for
a local restaurant to give back to community that's so wonderful i wish more restrictive places did that that is really cool. >> it is a 6 of nonprofit that is supporting adults with autism and down syndrome we i do not involved one the wonderful members reached out to straw and saw a headline about, about their nonprofit mondays and she applied for a grant back in january of 2016 and we were notified late in the spring we would be the recipient of straw if you have any questions, we'll be happy to answer thems in the month of genuine we were able to organize with straw for the monday and at the end of the month we were the recipient of 10 percent of precedes on mondays the contribution from nonprofit monday from stray went into our post group if you have any
questions, we'll be happy to answer theming fund with our arts coaching for chinese and classes and we have a really great vibrate arts program. >> we we say thank you to the customers like always but say 0 one more thing just so you know you've made a donation to x nonprofit which does why i think that is a very special thing. >> it is good to know the owner takes responsibility to know your money is going to good cause also. >> it is really nice to have a restaurant that is very community focused they do it all month long for nonprofits not just one day all four mondays. >> we have a wall of thank you
letters in the office it seems like you know we were able to gas up the 10 passenger minivan we were innovate expected to do. >> when those people working at the nonprofits their predictive and thank what straw is giving that in and of itself it making an impact with the nonprofit through the consumers that are coming here is just as important it is important for the grill cheese kitchen the more restrictive i learn about what is going on in the community more restrictive people are doing this stuff with 4 thousand restaurant in san francisco we're doing an average of $6,000 a year in donations and multiply that by one thousand that's a lot to