This week, Boeddeker Park, the Tenderloin's largest public open space, will mark the fifth anniversary of a major renovation that revamped it into a community-built gathering and event space.
The park originally opened in 1985, but was completely overhauled in 2014, thanks to a $9.3 million renovation led by San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department and the Trust for Public Land.
The revamped park has been essential to the Tenderloin, which houses the densest population of lower-income residents in the city, and has the most children per capita of any San Francisco neighborhood, according to SF Rec & Park spokesperson Tamara Aparton.
Rec & Park offers free space in the park's clubhouse for kids' organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club (BGCSF), the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA, and Tenderloin Safe Passage, to conduct regular programming. Some events target adults as well, including parenting classes, art therapy and activities for neighborhood seniors.
The park's renovation, and the increased activation of the area in and outside of its gates, have provided the community a new safe space that is welcoming, said BGCSF's Caitlin Stockdale.
The park's daily programming "and robust activation have been led by [BGCSF] and the YMCA of SF," Stockdale said.
"Also, significant funding support, leadership, and advocacy for the full project was provided by the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership," which is led by the Saint Francis Foundation," she added
Now, BGCSF and the other anchor tenants of the park are collaborating to identify strategies to ensure its success is sustainable. This includes identifying funding opportunitiesfor new programming, as well as supporting ongoing events intended to help unite the neighborhood.
An anniversary event at the park, to be held at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, will acknowledge the park’s importance in the neighborhood and celebrate its success in building a clean, safe space and a stronger community.
Speakers at the event will include District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, former District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, Rec and Parks general manager Phil Ginsburg, Assemblymember David Chiu, and Boeddeker Park BGCSF clubhouse manager Michael Vuong. The speakers are expected to start around 5:45 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.
The first Tenderloin Tree Lighting and holiday party organized by our resident leaders. Thanks Santa for stopping by! Love this community which leads with love. pic.twitter.com/moqQZykIUe— Jane Kim 金貞妍 (@JaneKim) December 19, 2018