Boeddeker Park

246 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA, 94102, USA

Project Partners: 

The Trust for Public Land worked with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, The Friends of Boeddeker Park, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (the “BGCSF”), The YMCA Shih-Yu-Lang Central Branch, Tenderloin Safe Passage, The Tenderloin Police Station, Department of Public Works among other agencies, organizations and community groups.

What started this project: 

Boeddeker Park lies in the Tenderloin, an extremely high-density neighborhood in central San Francisco, with little public space nearby. The initial planning team was The Trust for Public Land and San Francisco Parks and Recreation. The team’s overarching vision that everyone deserves a vibrant, quality park within walking distance of their home was especially relevant to this underserved community. Within a 10-minute walk of the park, there are 50,000 people, with only 0.15 park acres per 1,000 people.

Goals: 

The new park’s design is inclusive, providing something for everyone—including active and quiet spaces, activities for young and old, and opportunities for community gatherings, small groups, and individuals’ mental and physical health. Key design elements are active community spaces, quiet individual spaces, safety and security, and universal design. Sustainable design was a top priority for Boeddeker Park’s designers, funders, and partners, and as a result, the park earned 2 stars as a pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative.

Process: 

Working closely with many local partners extensive community outreach was conducted to reach the diverse population, holding public meetings and forums at the site as well as at nearby youth centers, senior centers, and churches. Key design and programming decisions resulted from these community forums. The Tenderloin community crafted the vision for the park, selected park amenities, and was an invaluable partner in designing the stewardship and programming plan. The community vision was for the park to be fun, safe, and welcoming for all.

Results: 

The extensive community process resulted in a park design that meets its community’s needs and therefore will result in long term success. The partnerships formed during the design process have resulted in strong community ownership of the park and will continue to activate and sustain the park. The result is a new landmark park and clubhouse that serves as a mod¬el of civic engagement, inspiration, sustainable design, and adaptability.

Project Tagline: 

The rebuild of Boeddeker Park – the largest open space in San Francisco’s most dense and diverse neighborhood – is a remarkable story about community engagement, sustainable design, and public-private partnerships. Before the rebuild, Boeddeker Park was nicknamed ‘prison park’ because of the imposing fences that crisscrossed the site. The park was not utilized, felt unsafe to most neighbors, and had almost no amenities. A six-year process to fundraise for, design, and construct the total renovation has transformed the space into a safe and inviting community hub. The rebuilt one-acre park was designed through a participatory process and includes a state-of-the-art clubhouse, basketball court, walking path, adult fitness equipment, children’s play area, lawn, and plazas for community gatherings and a garden. A pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative, this small park efficiently incorporates sustainable design features and serves the community by providing amenities for all.