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Great Explorations: Douglass Playground And Upper Douglass Dog Play Area

Great Explorations: Douglass Playground And Upper Douglass Dog Play Area
Photos: Laura Thompson/Hoodline
By Laura Thompson - Published on June 20, 2016.

Carved into a steep expanse of green along Douglass Street between Clipper and 27th streets, Douglass Playground and Upper Douglass Dog Play Area attract neighbors to a hollowed-out hill, framed to the west by steep cliffs.

The infamous Gray Brothers operated the Blue Rock Quarry here in the 1890s, manufacturing bricks and paving stones for the growing city—and terrifying residents with explosions and rock slides. But these days, the only slides that exist on the site are of the playground variety.

Douglass Playground.

The upper and lower sections of the park are separated by a steep wooded slope, so they effectively function as two separate parks. The lower section of the park, built into the grassy bowl created by the quarry, is accessed through a gate at the intersection of Douglass and 26th streets. Here, you'll find a clubhouse, playground equipment, a large field, picnic areas, restrooms, a tennis court and a basketball court.

Douglass clubhouse.

On a recent sunny Saturday morning, a children's birthday celebration was in full swing, complete with a bounce house, a piñata party and a picnic. The clubhouse and picnic area can be reserved for group gatherings.

Douglass Playground picnic area.

Up the hill at Douglass and 27th streets is the Upper Douglass Dog Play Area, open as an off-leash dog run. The large field is surrounded by towering trees, offering your furry friend sun, shade and a place to run free. The park is accessed through a double gate to prevent dogs from running out into the street. There is a hose for rinsing off and a water fountain.

The Upper Douglass Dog Play Area.
During the rainy winter months, the dog park is closed, to allow the grass to regenerate. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department posts these annual closure notices at the park and on the website. In addition, the dog park is closed for maintenance on Wednesdays.
The Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park help maintain the park.

Want to get more involved with the dog park? The Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park (FUDDP) is a group of neighborhood residents that promotes safe and responsible off-leash dog recreation at the park. The group has a Facebook page, with postings about park updates and cleanup days.

Getting there: The Muni 35-Eureka bus stops at Diamond and 26th streets, one block from the park. The park has limited wheelchair access. On-street parking is available.