Funding Secured For Panhandle And Buena Vista Park Improvements

Funding Secured For Panhandle And Buena Vista Park Improvements
Photo: Envios / Flickr
By Amy Stephenson - Published on July 08, 2014.
For months, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC), Haight Ashbury Merchants Association, North Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NoPNA) and Friends of Buena Vista Park have been lobbying London Breed's office to secure funding to improve both portions of Buena Vista Park and the pedestrian path in the southern portion of the Panhandle. Now, it seems they have succeeded. 

The latest edition of HANC's newsletter reports that back in April, HANC put forward a request to Rec and Park for $1.1 million to rebuild the paths in the Panhandle and implement a tree maintenance program at Buena Vista. Breed was all over the plan for the Panhandle, but had to pull in Supervisor Scott Wiener for the plan for Buena Vista, since it's technically in his district.   

From there, the conversation shifted to include increased police presence in the park. The resulting funding looks like this: 

  • Buena Vista Park: $1 million for police presence, $100,000 for tree maintenance
  • Panhandle: $500,000 to be doled out over the next two years, $250,000 each year 

We reached out to Michelle Welch, who clarified that $1 million in police presence is to be spread around parks all over the city. But even a fraction could go a long way towards reducing the crime in and around Buena Vista Park (examples here and here), but it remains to be seen whether $100,000 will be enough to address some of the other problems BVP has faced, including litter removal, engaging new volunteers to help with upkeep, reducing fire hazards, and managing vegetation, all of which were concerns brought up by Isabel Wade of Friends of Buena Vista Park back in February. Last month, Wade told SFGate that she prefers to stay out of the park after heavy rains, when branches are likely to fall. 

If you want to learn more, there's a HANC meeting this Thursday at 7pm at Park Branch Library, where they'll talk about housing, minimum wage, and other November ballot issues. On hand will be a panel comprised of Chelsea Boilard (Coleman Advocates for Youth), Corey Cook (USF’s Leo McCarthy Center for Public Service), Tim Redmond (San Francisco Progressive Media Center and the Public Good), and Conny Ford (SF Bay Area Labor Foundation).