DogFest returns to Duboce Park on Saturday, April 22th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This annual event is a celebration of dogs and kids benefitting McKinley Elementary School, a K-5 public school at Castro and 14th Streets.  The festival offers something for dogs, kids, and parents of both breeds. 
There are lots of great competitions for dogs and their human owners and celebrity judges will pick winners in eight categories: Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, Best Ears, and Best Lap Dog. Register your dog to be part of the contests at sfdogfest.com.
There’s also the Most Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show category. Here’s how that works: the winners of each of the main categories (bark, trick, etc.) and anyone who wants to buy their way in for $50 will be entered in the final contest of the day, the Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show contest. The audience will then vote for their favorite dog by putting donations into different buckets for the different dogs. At the end, the dog with the most donations will be crowned Best-In-Show. It really is corrupt, but it’s all in good fun with the goal of raising the most money possible for the school.
The very entertaining Daniel Handler, best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket, will once again be the Master of Ceremonies for the Dog Show. The celebrity judges include: Leah Garchik, Chronicle columnist; the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; and, Neal Gottleib, found of Three Twins Ice Cream.
There’s also entertainment, a raffle, a silent auction, a Chow Zone, a Rescue Zone, and a Kid Carnival featuring carnival games, bouncy houses, balloon animals, face painting, children’s activities, baked goods, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. 
All the proceeds from the event goes directly to support the academic and enrichment programs for more than 350 children at McKinley. For more information, the schedule of events, or to register your dog for a contest, click here
If you’ve thought about planting a tree in your front yard or sidewalk, Friends of Urban Forest (FUF) is offering you a chance to participate in a tree planting on Earth Day, Saturday April 22 in the Duboce Triangle, Lower Haight, and Hayes Valley. To get a tree, you have to sign up by March 15.  at http://www.fuf.net/duboce/.
There are many benefits to planting a tree. Besides making our streets more beautiful, trees also: increase property values; produce oxygen, clean the air and reduce global warming; reduce flooding and water pollution; calm traffic and absorb traffic noise; increase revenues in shopping districts; and, may help reduce crime.
Most of FUF’s tree planting costs are covered by grants and donations. Property owners make a co-payment for a “Tree Package” on a sliding scale from a minimum amount of $135 up to $500 for people who wish to cover the full costs.  The Tree Package includes the tree, permit processing, and site preparation including concrete removal.  
Eight trees were planted at the last FUF planting in the Triangle on May 14, 2016. Since 1981, FUF has planted more than 51,000 trees, totaling 47% of the San Francisco’s street tree canopy. Their staff and volunteer teams visit each tree at least four times during the critical first five years after it’s planted. The teams assess the health of the tree, ensure that its supporting stakes and ties are sound, and prune it as needed. 
For more information, please contact Esmeralda Martinez at (415) 268-0772 or info@fuf.net or visit the FUF website.
Rec and Park is offering more than 90 different camps this summer, including 12 art camps at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts. There are two-week camps for each of four age groups (7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 years old) that offer intensive art making where campers can explore and develop their artistic abilities in art, dance, theater, and technology. The activities require the ability to follow multi-step processes and normal hand dexterity. 
Drop off is no earlier than 9:30 a.m. and pickup is no later than 3:30 p.m. Extended care is available from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Details can be found in the 2017 Summer Day Camp Guide, which is available at the Rec Center or online at sfRecOnline.org. Summer Camps begin June and end in early August and are led by talented art specialists. 
Registration begins on March 18 at 10 a.m. and spots fill almost immediately, so sign up early to reserve a spot. The fee to participate is $430. Rec and Parks does offer Recreation Scholarships to eligible individuals and families. Ongoing eligibility is dependent on attendance record. Please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify. Campers should arrive with a healthy lunch, snack, and water bottle daily.
31 Spring Classes for Tots & Youth, Teens, and Adults begin at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts this month. Courses for Adults & Teens are available in Art, Digital Arts & New Media, Textiles, Dance, and Fitness/Yoga. Classes for Tots & Youth include Art Embroidery for Kids, Digital Sound Arts, Little People’s Art Studio, and Kids Knit and Crochet, and Tot Space – Roly-Polys. 
Spring 2016 Class registration began on March 4 at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center and online at sfRecOnline.org. The complete catalogue of classes and activities is available here.
Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day on Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m.-noon.  We will be working in the planting circle near the Pierce Street steps and plan on doing some weeding and planting. We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener and all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves will be provided.  
Contact rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370 for more information or with any questions or comments. Our volunteer day is always the second Saturday of every month. 30 minutes or an hour of your time makes a big difference in the appearance of our park. Volunteers gave more than 187,000 hours of their time and energy to improving our 225 parks and recreation facilities in 2016.
Many areas of the park that were fenced off are now open again, including the new grass near the Potomac Street benches and a huge section of the Dog Play Area. However, three areas remain fenced off to allow those areas to recover from the recent winter rains: the southeast corner near Duboce and Steiner streets, an area near the house on Steiner Street that abuts the park, and a small area in the middle of the Dog Play Area. 23 athletic fields around the city remain closed due to wet conditions.
A new drinking fountain was installed near the Muni stop and includes a water bottle refilling station and dog water bowl at the base. 
Using funds from our last Tag Sale, Friends of Duboce Park is working with Rec and Park to repaint the fading playground equipment and replace the two metal perforated staircases that are rusting, leaving sharp edges on the rusted areas that could cause injuries. The painting will probably take place in the next month or two after the new stairs are installed. 
Graffiti remains a constant problem and Rec and Park does a good job of removing it within 24-48 hours of receiving a report. All of the problems listed above were reported on the SF311 app or in an email report to Rec and Park. You can always also just dial 311 rather than using the app.
The Harvey Milk Photo Center offers numerous introductory photography courses as part of their Winter and Spring 2017 class schedule. Two courses starting in the next two weeks are featured below. The complete class schedule and description of courses are listed atharveymilkphotocenter.org.
There are two Instructional Photo Walks at Lake Merced and Fort Funston this Friday and Saturday, March 11-12 from 7-10 a.m. There will be discussion of several conceptual ideas for nature photography and students will be able to try out several techniques such as fill-flash, depth of field, color balance, lens choice, macro photography and capturing atmosphere. You will need a digital SLR camera and the ability to use it in manual mode. A variety of lenses, a light tripod, extra batteries and CF or SD cards are recommended. 
The class will meet at sunrise at Lake Merced to catch the early bird atmosphere of Lake Merced’s moisture rising off the lake surface, fishermen, and rays of sunlight through the trees. Sunset Ft. Funston offers the chance to capture low flying hang gliders, the ocean, bouncing packs of dogs, and everything the beach has to offer in a place that offers many geological formations and a great variety of flora and birds.
Artistic Development will teach you how to Mat, Frame, and Present Your Photos in a one-day class on Saturday, March 18 from 12-3:30 p.m. Learn from a fine art photographer the easy methods and tools for matting and framing your work, including preparing your work for presentation and finding affordable ways to enhance your images. This workshop will include a hands-on instruction and demonstration. Students can bring examples of their work for the demonstration.
The Photo Center is looking for volunteers to help run their wet darkroom and digital lab. Contact the Center at 415-554-9522 to sign up. Established volunteers are welcome to take a complimentary course of their choosing each season.
The Photo Lecture Series continues at the Photo Center on Thursday March 30 from 6-8 p.m. The free event showcases three local photographer’s work in a show and tell format every other month. Each photographer shares their body of work as well their approach in creating the work. If you are interested in being one the presenters and telling your store, please email the Center at harveymilkphotocenter@gmail.com or call (415) 554-9522.
The opening reception for Nocturnes & Noir photo exhibit took place on February 11p.m. and the remains on view until April 2.The show is curated by Tim Baskerville, Director, The Nocturnes Night Photography Group and Dave Christensen, Director of the Harvey Milk Photo Center. According to the Curator’s Statement, the title of the exhibit hopes to shine some light on two schools of thought regarding Night Photography (NPy). 
The first, a romanticized landscape photography of Nocturnes, traces its origins to the late 19th century, the Pictorialism movement, and later on, the efforts of the Photo-Secessionists. The second style of NPy – Noir – was heavily influenced by German Expressionism, Surrealism, and associated, as early as the 1920s and 1930s, with the newly formed cinema, which attained its apex in the Classic Film Noir period of the 1940s and 1950s. Photographers like Bill Brandt and Brassai echoed the dark vision of the Film Noir tradition with surrealistic content; punchy, “contrasty” scenes; and heavy darkroom manipulation.
The Randall Museum in Corona Heights Park has been closed since of July 1, 2015 and is expected to reopen in this Spring after $8 million of improvements. Randall Museum offers children and adults a place to explore, investigate and create from the natural world at a spectacular site overlooking San Francisco. The Randall features a live animal exhibit displaying native California animals, vibrant interactive exhibits, and classes for children and adults in the arts and science. Until the reopening, the museum’s classes and live animal exhibit will remain at the Mission Arts Center at 745 Treat St.
Work will resume on the Panhandle Pedestrian Safety Project after coming to a halt due to all of the rain. Pathways may be temporarily closed during construction but not during commute hours. The scope of the work includes: installing new benches, trash receptacles, and surface mounted bike racks; installing way-finding signs; and, installing striping on the north side of the park for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. 

Construction at Alamo Square is currently on track for a spring opening as the contractor will soon be installing the remaining turf, repaving pathways, and putting finishes in the new restroom. The Recreation and Park Commission recently approved additional funding for drainage upgrades and repairs in the park, which will be made concurrent to the paving repairs. 

The Rec and Park Commission unanimously voted to deny a permit for a free Summer of Love 50th anniversary concert to be held June 4 at the Polo Field in Golden Gare Park. Diane Rea, manager of permits and reservations, stated that after nine months of work, the event promoter Boots Hughson had still failed to supply adequate information about how security and crowd control would be handled. 
There was also some question about the anticipated size of the crowd since the event promoter advertised online that he event would attract a crowd of 80.000 to 175,000, but told Rec and Park that the crowd would be no more than 30,000 or 40,000. Further, the promoter said that free medical services and adequate security would be present, but the providers mentioned that there no such deal was made. 
South Park, San Francisco’s oldest park, reopened on March 7 following a $3.8 million renovation project. Improvements include a variety of different programmatic spaces, including a children’s play area, a large open meadow, plazas of varying scales, and a variety of areas designed for sitting and/or picnicking. Work began in fall 2015 and was supposed to reopen in September of last year, but drainage issues and rain created delays.
Patricia’s Green, the little park in Hayes Valley at Octavia Boulevard, always seems to have dramatic art installations. The two sculptures currently there, Trillian and Dodi from Bay Area art collective HYBOCOZO, change colors at night and will remain in place until the end of the year. 
SF Deltas, San Francisco’s newest sports team, opens their season at Kezar Stadium on Saturday, March 25 at Kezar Stadium. The SF Deltas are a professional soccer team in the North American Soccer League whose home field will be at the historic Kezar Stadium this coming season. For more information or to buy tickets, please click here
Fruits and veggies are coming to theGeneva Community Garden a few blocks from the Balboa Park BART station after neighbors gathered for a ground breaking event for the new garden on February 9 after advocating for it for nearly three decades. Funded by the 2008 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the City’s General and Open Space funds, the new community garden will be one of 39 such gardens in the city. There will be more than 50 raised garden boxes when it opens this summer. 
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has a 70% favorability rating based on poll results released on March 1. This rating tops the popularity of the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry and ranks the Department well above celebrities Katy Perry and George Clooney.
 “I’m thrilled to say that we are more popular than baseball and napping on Thanksgiving. While it hurts, we can see why Meryl Streep’s favorability beat us by 2 points,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “I am proud of our staff for the great work that led to this ranking; I’ll remind them to keep up the good work if we are going to catch up to ice cream and apple pie.”
Among all city services voted on, Rec and Park received the highest favorability according to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s Dignity Health CityBeat Voter Poll, announced at the Chamber’s 167th annual breakfast meeting on March 1. CityBeat Breakfast brings together 1,000 of the Bay Area’s top business and civic leaders to apply fresh thinking to today’s greatest economic, political, environmental and humanitarian challenges.
Another recent report, the Citywide Benchmarking Report, issued by the Office of the Controller on February 16, states that San Francisco spent $213 per resident on recreation and parks compared to an average of $151 in other cities. The reports also state that San Francisco residents spent more time in open spaces, with 33 visits annually, more than double the 14-per capita average.
Annual Membership dues for a Supporting Member are $25 per person and entitle you to voting privileges and participation in the governance of the organization. Your dues help cover the few costs we have, such as our website, newsletter, movie nights, and insurance. 
Your tax deductible membership is gratefully accepted and should be sent to Friends of Duboce Park, 79 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Friends of Duboce Park are a 501(c)(3) organization. General Membership is still available at no cost but does not carry any voting privileges. Another way to show your support is by getting involved. If you are interested, please contact President Doug Woo at doug@friendsofdubocepark.org.
Our Mission Statement includes the following: “to organize and represent the collective interests regarding Duboce Park; to beautify and promote safety within Duboce Park; and, to initiate and/or support beneficial neighborhood projects on behalf of Duboce Park.”
Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 
Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. Summer Day Camp Registration Opens. Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. Spring 2017 Class Registration Begins. Visit sfrecpark.org/register. 
Thursday, March 30, 6-8 p.m. Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visitharveymilkphotocenter.org.
Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 
Monday, April 10 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo on CPMC Davies Campus. Visit dtna.org.

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