Newsletter – February 9, 2023



Youth ages 10 to 13, can unleash your inner designer with Rec & Parks Tween Fashion Star class at Harvey Milk Center for the Arts. Classes are currently taking place on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. through March 7. Learn to design, cut, sew, and embellish your own original garments and accessories. Students will learn to sew by hand and with a machine, as well as techniques such as dyeing and printing. For more information and to register, click here.

Registration for other classes continues, offering courses for all ages: tots; youth; tweens & teens; adults; and, adults 55 and older. A complete listing of all courses, with descriptions, times, and costs is available online at or in the 64-page catalogue available at the Rec Center or Photo Center.

Rec and Park offer annual Recreation Scholarships to eligible, low-income individuals and families. Call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify.

Other classes available at Harvey Milk Recreation Center include: Ballet (for ages 5-7); Beginning Ukulele; BollyX; Chinese Folk Dance; Dance/Exercise; Healing Yoga; International Folk Dance; Little People’s Art Studio (for ages 2.5-5); Portfolio Development Workshop; Synthesizer; Textiles; Watercolor & Narrative for Seniors (55 and older); and, Virtual Creative Art Exploration (for ages 10-13). Courses at the Harvey Milk Photo Center are listed in the Photo Center article below.


Our next volunteer day in the park is this Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m.-noon. All gloves and tools are provided. Young children are always welcome! Even 30 minutes of your time makes a big difference in the appearance of Duboce Park.

Our volunteer day is usually the second Saturday of every month. Contact Rose at 415-255-8370 or for more information or with any questions or comments. Our past few volunteer days were cancelled due to rain and staffing problems.

Volunteers spent a whopping 400,000 hours in San Francisco parks and programs in the past year, an in-kind donation of more than $144.3 million to Rec and Park. The department hosted 7,2114 one-time and repeat volunteers in San Francisco parks.


The fenced portion of the Dog Play Area is scheduled to reopen on February 28. The area was fenced off on December for three months for turf restoration. The closed off area measures 12,960 square feet (1440 square yards or almost 0.3 acres). New sod was installed there; other areas in the park were aerated and seeded. All of these areas need time to recover grow.

The atmospheric river that drenched Northern California definitely resulted in the park looking greener but many of those green areas have sprouted invasive weeds that are difficult to get rid of.  San Francisco posted its second-rainiest day ever in over 170 years on New Year’s Eve and almost 8 inches fell in San Francisco between December 30 and January 8. That’s just over an inch shy of the historic 9.26 inches of rain that fell between that same period in 1861-62.

Irrigation repair in the park is almost complete. Michelle Pallavicini, Park Services Manager, explained in a September email, “The Irrigation lines and valves feeding east from the Recreation Center down through the People Only lawn have been breaking one right after the other. We are having a difficult time getting the plumbers to make the repairs. This has caused the issues of inconsistent watering patterns.“

Rec and Park ordered a new slide to replace the missing slide in the Children’s Playground and it was supposed to arrive in December but still hasn’t arrived. The climbing tube in the tot section has a crack and also needs to be replaced.


Margot Hartford’s show, Women in Color, opened on February 4 and continues through March 18. Margot has been a lifestyle photographer for over 20 years, photographing people and interiors for websites, magazines and for personal portfolios. Interior design and decorating has always been a passion of hers, and Margot has been invited to photograph some of the most beautiful residences in Northern California, Toronto, The Netherlands and other parts of Western Europe.

She said, “In 2019 I started to develop a series of photographs that focused the camera on women. I wanted to include women of all ages and ethnicities, but keep their identity anonymous. My goal was to depict strong, capable women in a variety of graphically simple images. My first decision was usually the selection of a prop, then I moved onto sourcing wardrobe and then finding an interesting location. I also chose bold colors whenever possible, in the wardrobe and for the backgrounds. Most of the models are my friends, mainly fellow artists, who I can always rely on.”

Winter Classes

Winter classes offered include: Adobe Lightroom Classic; Basic B&W Film Development; Beginning Adobe Photoshop; Cyanotype; Darkroom Essentials & Processes; Developing Your Personal Vision; Film Camera Basics; Getting to Know Your DSLR Camera; Introduction to Inkjet Printing; Matting, Framing, Presenting Your Photos; Mordencage; Photo Darkroom for High School Seniors; Photoshop Collage Class; and, Scanning and Digitizing Your Negatives and Slides. More information and details are available here.


Every three months, staff from the Controller’s Office partners and Recreation and Parks evaluate the condition of San Francisco’s neighborhood parks and playgrounds, civic plazas and squares, mini parks, parkways, and regional parks. The results of these evaluations are included in reports and dashboards on the Controller’s Office website and published on an annual basis. RPD uses these results to improve park conditions. Due to the COVID pandemic, park evaluations were paused from April 2020.

Citywide scores averaged about the same as in 2019, 2020, and 2022, scoring 92, 91.2, and 89.5 in those years. Duboce Park scored 92, 92, and 89.5 in those same years. Here’s how Duboce Park scored on various features (with the citywide average in parenthesis):

Buildings & General Amenities: 88.9 (87.58)
Children’s Play Areas: 81.1 (83.72)
Dog Play Areas: 89.6  90.47)
Hardscape: 94.1 (92.68)
Lawns: 81.3 (90.16)
Ornamental Beds: 95.0 (94.53)
Outdoor Courts: 91.7 (89.21)
Restrooms: 100.0 (91.14)
Trees: 95.0 (95.30)


The groundbreaking ceremony at Esprit Parkon January 20 marked the beginning of highly anticipated improvements to this popular neighborhood park. The renewed park will keep the spirit of the 2-acre park’s original design while bisecting its large grassy area into two meadows—the north for off-leash dogs and their guardians; the south for picnickers and families. The park will be ringed with new picnic areas and exercise equipment and will be more sustainable, with new native plants and disease-resistant trees.

into two meadows—the north for off-leash dogs and their guardians; the south for picnickers and families. The park will be ringed with new picnic areas and exercise equipment and will be more sustainable, with new native plants and disease-resistant trees.

The cost for a public restroom at Noe Valley Town Squarehas plunged to $300,000—thanks to a donation of a prefabricated modular unit and much of the labor required to install it. The donation additionally saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in professional and construction management fees and services.

Public Restroom Company and Volumetric Building Companies will donate a prefabricated modular restroom and associated installation work worth a combined $425,000.  The gift also allows Rec and Park to save approximately $491,000 in design, construction management and other regulatory and design review costs. The restroom will be installed in late summer.

Blanche, the swan who captured the hearts of generations of visitors to the Palace of Fine Arts, has died at 28. Blanche passed away on January 12 at her home in Sonoma County, where she retired in July 2022 after a lifetime at the Palace of Fine Arts lagoon. In 2011, Blanche was joined on the lagoon by Blue Boy and they quickly became mates and co-parents to their resulting cygnets. Blue Boy was a devoted but protective partner, prone to chasing off birds and humans alike during mating season. The couple shared a love for Recreation and Park Department gardeners. Blue Boy died in 2021 at 17, leaving Blanche as the sole swan to grace the placid waters.

The Recreation and Park Commission voted unanimously to expand the roster of dedicated pickleball courts to include Larsen Park. While the project to convert the existing sports courts takes place, the Stern Grove tennis courts will serve as a temporary pickleball hub. Our parks has 59 outdoor pickleball courts and 5 indoor pickleball facilities. Pickleball rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn and combines the elements of tennis, badminton, and pink pong. Rec and Park has worked to accommodate the growing interest in pickleball in San Francisco by significantly increasing the locations available to play pickleball. More information here.


Save the date.  Friends of Duboce Park’s Movie Night returns to Duboce Park on Saturday, April 29 with Top Gun: Maverick. The 2022 action film is a sequel to the 1986 Top Gun with Tom Cruise reprising his starring role as the naval aviator Maverick.

After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.

Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing film of 2022, grossing $1.487 billion. The movie will start around 8 p.m.  It has received 67 awards and 201 nominations, and six 2023 Oscar nominations, including best picture.


Coyotes continue to be spotted in our parks and on our streets. They are naturally wary of people but can habituate to our presence and the reliable food sources that we provide. San Francisco Animal Care and Control has these tips if you encounter a coyote:

•  Walk away. Keep moving away from the coyote. Don’t run.
•  Pick up small dogs and carry them if you see a coyote.
•  Do not let your dog interact with a coyote. Do not allow dogs to chase coyotes.
•  Keep your dog on leash – even in designated off leash areas – if coyotes are present.
•  If a coyote approaches you – shout, wave your arms, stomp your feet. The goal is to startle the coyote and encourage them to move away. It is unlawful to harass or injure coyotes.
•  Carry a cane/stick, an air horn or a whistle with you on walks.
•  Never let a coyote come between you and your child or pet.

More information is available at project


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, 71 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.

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, February 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact

Tuesday, February 14, 6:30-8 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Harvey Milk Center. Visit

Wednesday, February 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Park Station Community Meeting via Zoom.RSVP to

Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact

Wednesday, March 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Park Station Community Meeting via Zoom. RSVP to