Northside SF  

Playground to benefit from public fund drive
By Mary Beth Starzel

The Presidio Heights Playground, on Clay Street between Laurel and Walnut, has been the focus of a three-year fundraising campaign to renovate the site and its aging amenities, and is closing in on the $850,000 goal for the first phase. 

To date, a citizen committee has raised $450,000 and is striving to meet the first phase goal to renovate the little park to lift it from its present deterioration, according to Dr. Lucy Hume Koukopoulos. “The park was last renovated in the 1960s with vintage play equipment that is either now-rusted metal or wood impregnated with a solvent now banned, in addition to an infestation of rats in the deep ivy,” she said. “The park is in horrible shape, but the renovation plans – all of which have been vetted through public process and comment as well as city approvals – would make it an oasis for the many groups and populations that use it heavily,” Dr. Koukopoulos said.

Improvements include state-of-the-art equipment, more green space (from the 75 percent concrete at present), a tree house, a “secret garden,” a new basketball court, and seating throughout. The second phase ($150,000 more) will rehabilitate the small clubhouse that is operated by the City.
Those interested may visit the group’s Web site at and even make donations through the safe, online process. “This park is used by so many and we’re hoping that many more will come to its aid,” Dr. Koukopoulos said.

Mary Beth Starzel writes periodically for Northside San Francisco as a community resident.


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