By Bonnee Waldstein
Final plans for improvements in the active recreation areas and trails of Glen Canyon Park were unveiled at a community meeting on Thursday, June 9.
By this time, residents who attended most or all of the nine community workshops and eight focus groups were almost chummy with the Rec and Park, Trust for Public Land, and WRT landscape architect folks who guided us through the process of fashioning a wish list into some reality-based, doable projects.
With the $5.8 million available from the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, plus $900,000 for trails improvements, several priority projects emerged:
n A welcoming entry plaza, with a path and native garden leading to the recreation building.
n Elk Street sidewalk enhancement and Sussex Street pedestrian crossing.
n Access hiking trail leading directly into the canyon.
n New tennis courts
n New, larger play area (the playground will be 500 – 600 square feet larger than originally planned).
n Recreation building repairs to include heating, gym floor and accessible bathroom.
These are called Phase One improvements. They will be presented to the Recreation and Parks Commission in late summer. By fall, detailed plans for the improvements should be presented to the community. The final design, construction drawings, bids, and contract awards will come by winter 2011 and spring 2012. Construction is anticipated to begin sometime after that in 2012.
Future improvements could come in a Phase Two, and would depend on whether another bond issue is passed in 2012, grants become available, and if certain projects are funded by the SF Public Utilities Commission and SF Metropolitan Transportation Authority, among others; plus other fundraising efforts.
These projects would involve considerable expense, and include:
n Comprehensive recreation Center renovation and expansion.
n Improved athletic fields and baseball diamonds.
n Major Elk Street sidewalk improvements from Chenery to Bosworth Streets.
n Natural glade area enhancements and creek daylighting.
Even this doesn’t complete the long list of future projects the community is clamoring for: Silver Tree renovation and site improvements; hillside restoration, nature challenge area and exercise stations, wayfinding and interpretative signage, and picnic area and overlook.
The plan for the trails retain the three major trails — either side of the creek plus the hillside — with connectors that make sense. The creekside trail will be made handicap accessible. Steep dropoffs will be stabilized. Access will be improved with solutions such as box steps, but the rustic quality will be maintained.
There was a sense of achievement at the conclusion of this final (for now) workshop, with most people feeling that they’d had their say and were heard as well.
It is hoped and anticipated that Supervisor Wiener will help keep the ball rolling. His legislative aide, Gillian Gillette, has been actively involved in most of the meetings so far and has given the group a lot of encouragement.
The upcoming issue of the Glen Park News will have more details about the community’s efforts to build a vision of a better Glen Canyon Park.
To view drawings of the proposed changes, and a lot of related information, go to: