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Proposed Plans

South Park Design Goals

The goal of the South Park Improvement Association (SPIA) has been to capture the uniqueness of the neighborhood and apply it to San Francisco’s oldest and most enduring park. Targeted surveys and resident outreach efforts yielded a range of insights and ideas that will benefit the park, from better drainage, greater accessibility, increased seating, and improved play areas to a cleaner appearance, and a greater sense of safety.

South Park Design Proposal

The proposed design for South Park, provided by David Fletcher of Fletcher Studio Landscape Architecture, is one of meandering paths for strolling through the park with ample opportunities to stop, sit, and soak up the sights and sounds of South Park, much like George Gordon’s original design. Anticipated design enhancements will:

  Increase accessibility: Elongating pathways and increasing access to and through South Park will ensure full compliance with ADA requirements for ingress, egress, and allowable slope. 

  Enhance landscaping: Sloping the lawn from the center of the park to its perimeter will channel excess water to new bio-infiltration drainage areas to help eliminate water pooling and water-saturated lawn spots. New, lower curbing around the park perimeter will integrate strategically located drains suitable for storm water runoff from the street.

  Improve seating: Low walls used for terracing and grading will offer hundreds of linear feet of new seating and informal gathering areas throughout South Park.

  Increase usability: Full compliance with ADA requirements for furniture, lighting, play areas, stages, and more will increase park usage for all ages.

  Integrate play areas: Playground equipment suitable for children and adults will be strategically placed throughout the park, and will include dedicated play area for infants and toddlers.

  Improve water reclamation: South Park will use an underground cistern to supplement landscape irrigation needs. Solar-charged batteries will power the cistern’s pump.

  Enhance safety: Strategically located bulb-outs will serve as pedestrian access points to South Park. The bulb-outs will decrease the distance needed to cross the street to enter South Park while helping to reduce the speed of vehicles entering from Second and Third Streets. The bulb-outs will also incorporate curb openings that accept storm water runoff from the street. Plantings bordering the park will further discourage potentially dangerous midblock crossing.

South Park Timetable

Design schematics for South Park are scheduled for completion by the summer of 2013, with the securing of all construction and permit documentation slated for early to mid 2014. Actual construction should begin in the spring of 2015.

South Park Funding

The SPIA estimates the cost of the South Park project—design, engineering, permits, construction, and related expenses—to be approximately $3.5 million, with $3 million slated for actual construction. Close to $1.59 million is currently available for the project, of which the SPIA has spent about $30,000 on park design and environmental and engineering studies. Still-to-be-finalized fundraising efforts will help secure the balance of funding for the project.



South Park Improvement Association


San Francisco Parks Alliance


Eastern Neighborhood Community Benefit Fund


Community Opportunity Fund (2008 Bond)


San Francisco Rec and Park Bond Allocation


SPIA Fundraising Efforts (TBD)


Total Required Funding



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