Choose your favorite summer recreation and you will find it at Camp Mather in the High Sierra. In a setting unparalleled in the West, your family can take advantage of the many activities available at San Francisco’s own vacation land. Campfire entertainment, sport activities, supervised recreation programs for children, fine dining, all are yours at very reasonable rates.

Camp Mather is the San Francisco family camp that was built as a sawmill for the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the 1920’s 150 miles east of San Francisco near the Hetch Hetchy Valley. The border of Yosemite National Park is a mile up the road and Yosemite Valley is 18 miles south. The camp is beloved by many as an off-the-grid refuge from city life and is a treasure for generations of SF families.

You can all your favorite outdoor activities in this locale of spectacular beauty. Crystal clear lakes, surging streams and quiet mountain forests surround Mather and offer unlimited recreation to visitors. Water sports abound with swimming at Birch Lake and Pool. Fishing is plentiful in any of the nearby mountain streams and lakes. There are miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, all at their scenic best within these tranquil surroundings.park2

Fun-filled days are capped with entertaining nights of dances, campfire songs, skits and games. From dusk to dawn, an air of relaxation prevails throughout the Camp slowing down the quickened pace of modern life. An experience in dining awaits you as hearty home cooked meals are prepared and served to you three times daily, cafeteria style.

For more information, ail or call (415) 831-2715.





Rec and Parks’2016 Community Report highlights the department’s accomplishments in 2016. Here are some of the impressive numbers are listed below.

59,000 people registered for 4,147 classes or programs and there 76,938 hours of programming, including 475 summer camps. 7,004 scholarships were provided, representing $1 million in scholarship funds.

Since 2010, Rec and Park has hired a total of 36 Gardener Apprentices as full-time gardeners for our 220 parks and open spaces. For the third year in a row, apprentices made up at least 50% of all new gardener hires. During their apprenticeships, participants commit to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as an academic component of 360 hours of course work in horticulture practice, plant identification, and other related curricula provided by City College of San Francisco.

This past year, Rec and Park’s Youth Stewardship Program (YSP) served 60 schools and youth organizations, partnered with 87 teachers and led 2,670 students of 207 field trips in our parks, focusing on topics like restoration, wetland ecology and urban agriculture.

Rec and Park’s partnership with the City Fields Foundation resulted in 21 field renovations at nine parks and has increased playtime on our fields by 90,000 hours per year. Rec and Park reduced potable irrigation by 38.6% from the 2013 baseline. Overall water conservation from all sources is down 37.3% from the 2014 baseline.

The full report is available here







Stern Grove Festival’s 79th Season continues this month on Sunday afternoons in Stern Grove at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. All performances are free and start at 2 p.m.

July’s lineup: July 10 – San Francisco Symphony; July 17 – Joan Osborne’s Soul Revue, John Brothers Piano Company; July 24 – Julieta Venegas, La Misa Negra; and, July 31 –  San Francisco Ballet.

There is no public parking area at Stern Grove on concert Sundays and parking in the area is extremely limited. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation: the M Ocean View, K Ingleside, 23 Monterey, and 29 – 19th Avenue lines all stop nearby.

Bicycles can be stored with the Festival’s free bike valet at the main entrance to the park at 19th and Sloat. The valet service will open at 10:00 a.m. and close one hour after the concert ends. Bikes are not allowed in the Concert Meadow or Esplanade area of Stern Grove.

Limited reserved seating are available by joining Friends of Stern Grove Festival. More information and the complete 2016 summer lineup of performers are available at





San Francisco has the fifth best park system in the country, according to The Trust for Public Land’s 5th annual Park Score Index, which was released on May 26. The Trust rates parks systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Minneapolis has the best park system, narrowly edged out Saint Paul for the top spot after the cross-town rivals tied for first in 2015. Washington, DC, placed third, finishing one spot ahead of neighboring Arlington, Virginia. San Francisco, Portland, New York, Irvine, Boston, Cincinnati and Madison rounded out the top 10.

ParkScores are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation & senior centers.

Among the cities evaluated by ParkScore in 2016, San Francisco provides the greatest park access, with 99 percent of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park. Overall, San Francisco’s score was hurt by the relatively small size of its’ parks. An average park in our city is 1.8 acres, less than a national median of 5.1 acres. Duboce Park is about four acres.



Park funding as a share of the City’s total budget has eroded over the years, leaving our parks in need of more stable funding to address park needs such as fixing broken playground equipment, replacing broken sprinklers, and keeping trails cleared and safe. In 2000, Rec and Park received 2.1 percent of the general fund but in 2015 received only 1.2 percent. Rec and Park spends 99 percent of its maintenance budget on emergency repairs and preventative maintenance is all but gone.

The passage of Prop B in the June 7, 2016 election provides just over $1 billion in new, sustainable park funding for 30 years, without raising taxes. The measure will draw an annual increase of $3 million for park repairs over the first 10 years and parallel the city’s percentage revenue growth after that.

Prop B builds upon the Open Space Fund overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2000, fulfilling San Franciscans’ intent to provide a sustainable funding source for parks. Prop B extends the Open Space Fund – a property tax set-aside – for an additional 15 years through 2046. Prop B ensures the City’s General Fund contribution to RPD gradually increases over time, cannot fall below 2015-16 funding levels, and ensures stable funding for the next 30 years.

Prop B requires Rec and Park to develop equity metrics and an analysis of funding and service levels in low-income neighborhoods and disadvantaged communities, and to submit annual recommendations on how to provide equitable and sustainable funding for parks, playgrounds, and open spaces in every neighborhood of the city.




The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce released the results of its 2016 CityBeat Poll in March, and while there remains a great deal of angst over a number of issues facing our city, Rec and Park fared pretty well in the survey. 70% of San Franciscans gave Rec and Park department services a favorable rating, the highest approval rating of any other city agency polled. 13% gave the department unfavorable ratings. Additionally, 48% of respondents felt the condition of parks was getting better, up from 38% just two years ago– again, the highest rated city service in the poll. Just 14% felt our parks were getting worse.

In Rec and Park’s winter recreation survey, a whopping 92% of respondents gave Rec and Park programs a favorable rating and would recommend their class to family and friends. On March 19, Rec and Park’s summer day camp registration began with more than 5,000 registrations in the first hour alone. Overall, more than 10,000 people registered in the first weekend, a testament to the quality, affordability and popularity of Rec and Park’s programs citywide.city3

A week later, San Francisco Magazine released its 2016 City Report Card, an assessment of city services including schools, parks, housing and transportation and also gave our park system high marks with a solid A-minus, citing new renovation projects, investment and access to all residents.

These numbers are significant because they confirm that Rec and Park is headed in the right direction and is being recognized by the people who matter most, the people who use and rely on our parks and programs each and every day.



The goal of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project is to provide a safe, clean space for the city’s children and families to play and gather on weekends. Schoolyards that are normally closed on the weekend are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. So far, 28 public schools are enrolled and new locations are opening every month. The goal is 80 schoolyards.

The closest ones currently are at Alvarado Elementary School, Grattan Elementary School, and New Traditions Elementary School, none really that close to Duboce Park. Future sites that will be closer to Duboce Park include McKinley Elementary School, Ida B. Wells High School, John Muir Elementary School, Everett Middle School, Sanchez Elementary School, and Harvey Milk Elementary School. A map of all the schools participating and the planned expansion to other schools is available on their website,

The project was started by Supervisor Mark Farrell and the annual budget of $300,000 does not cost San Francisco taxpayers a cent. The money is raised from private donations or grants. Parents and school staff originally expressed concerns that campuses and schoolyards would be damaged, but that has not been the case. Spokesperson Gentle Blythe said, “Over the seven years of the program’s existence, there have only been a handful of incidents of vandalism or theft at schools that were part of the program, and these incidents appeared to take place outside of the program hours.”


The Controller’s office released their 50-page Park Maintenance Standards: Fiscal Year 2014-15 Annual Report on November 25. This report contains a summary and analysis of park evaluations performed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and recommendations for improving the park evaluation and maintenance program. This is tenth annual report on the condition of the City’s parks, but this is the first year that the Controller’s Office and Rec and Park staff evaluated parks based on new park standards, which build on the previous standards to provide greater clarity, reduce evaluator interpretation, and allow for deeper analysis of the results.

The citywide annual park evaluation score was 85.2 percent. Most parks scored between 80 and 90 percent with 43 parks scoring above 90 percent and only 4 parks scoring below 70 percent. In general, a score of 85 percent means a park is well maintained and in good and challenges in a variety of park features and provide more complete information to the public. Features considered include restrooms, trees, table seating areas, outdoor courts, ornamental beds, dog play areas, green space, athletic fields, lawns, hardscape, buildings and general amenities, and children’s play areas.

District 8 had the third lowest score among San Francisco districts with an 84.5% score, ahead of only District 11 at 78.1% and District 10 at 82.2%. Duboce Park scored 85.8%. Other scores for parks in our area:  Corona Heights 93.6%, Alamo Square 85.0%, Buena Vista Park 81.6%, Dolores Park 79.5%. But D8’s Children’s Play Area Scores were third highest at 83.7% and D8 scores also were third highest in Cleanliness and Litter & Debris with a 93.5% score.

For the full report, visist

E-News from SF Rec and Park – March 6, 2013

SF Rec and Park Events Calendar


The proposal to establish citywide park closure hours from midnight to 5 a.m. in San Francisco parks was approved by the Board of Supervisors by a 6-5 vote on Monday.

Rec and Park officials said nearly $1 million is spent annually to clean up illegal dumping and vandalism, including destroyed toilets, stolen metal, smashed vehicle windows, burned benches, damaged grass, and graffiti.. “The purpose of this ordinance is to address significant problems of vandalism, dumping, and metal theft…that cost the Recreation and Parks Department about $1 million a year, and almost exclusively happen in the middle of the night,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener. “I hear from Recreation and Parks employees; when they leave work at night, everything is fine, and when they return at 6 a.m. the park is trashed.” A third to a half of Rec and Park maintenance work orders are dedicated to repairing vandalism.

Vandalism has been a big problem in Duboce Park. Graffiti remains a constant problem. Windows at the Photo Center have been broken, copper wire was stolen from an underground site near the Rec Center resulting in a lack of electricity in the building and, the mosaic thrones in the playground were damaged when they were used as a fireplace. Trees and plants have been cut, damaged, and stolen. Transients camping in the park at night have been leaving trash, including used needles, in a number of Duboce Park locations.

Parks near each other currently have different hours. Duboce Park has closure hours, while neighboring Alamo Square and Buena Vista parks have not. Golden Gate Park has signs in some areas saying closed midnight to 5 a.m. but 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in others. San Francisco is the largest city in the country without city-wide park hours. It is already illegal to sleep or camp in the parks between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. (Section 3.13 or the Park Code).

The proposal faced sharp criticism from homeless advocates who argued that the proposal would primarily affect the homeless people who sleep in the parks overnight. Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said the legislation would be displacing “very vulnerable people who are currently residing in these parks.”  Violators could receive a citation of $100 or steeped penalties such as misdemeanors.


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