Let’sPlaySF! Initiative

Program Status

The Let’sPlaySF! Initiative is a partnership between the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance - seeks to inspire creativity and play throughout the City. In the coming years, 13 playgrounds prioritized for improvement by a citizen task force will be reimagined and redesigned for this and future generations of San Francisco’s children.

After a robust and successful Task Force, our department is currently engaged in pre-planning activities for the entire Let’sPlaySF! Initiative (formerly Failing Playgrounds program) which includes scheduling, scoping, and project delivery strategies. This analysis requires consultation with subject matter experts and cost consultants.


Planning for specific playgrounds has begun for the following:

Recent Achievements

Program Background

San Francisco parks have over 135 Children’s Play Area’s (Playgrounds) scattered throughout the City, serving a variety of children’s age groups, neighborhoods, and needs. Given the need to narrow down the number of play areas that could be renovated, a Task Force, including stakeholders from citywide open space organizations, the school district, children’s advocacy and parent organizations, the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC), and child development experts, prioritized playgrounds for renovation. The Recreation and Park Commission appointed the Task Force in April 2014 and adopted its recommendations in December 2014.

The Task Force

The Task Force met seven times and included substantial public participation. After much discussion and analysis, the Task Force unanimously approved a list of 13 playgrounds to be prioritized for renovation, divided into two tiers. The Task Force recommends that all playgrounds containing Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) Pressure-Treated Wood be first prioritized for renovation. The division of such playgrounds into Tiers was based on low Household Median Income (HMI), high Youth Density, and low Parks Alliance Report Card grades.

  1. Bond Information
  2. Maps
  3. Meeting Materials
  4. Task Force Members
  5. What's New

San Francisco parks have over 170 children’s play areas (playgrounds), scattered throughout the city, serving a variety of children’s age groups, neighborhoods, and needs. The $15.5 million Failing Playgrounds Program will focus on renovating, replacing, and remediating dilapidated playgrounds throughout the City. Playgrounds (Children’s Play Areas) will be selected for funding by a Task Force co-hosted with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

The Task Force

The Task Force, which was appointed by the Recreation and Park Commission on April 17, 2014, includes a Rec Park Commissioner, leaders from children’s advocacy and parent organizations, children and family service organizations, and citywide open space organizations along with volunteers from the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC) and RPD’s GreenAgers program.

Future Renovations

The Task Force was challenged to identify criteria for Failing Playgrounds and apply it to playgrounds throughout the city. The Task Force made recommendations to the Recreation and Park Commission on playgrounds to prioritize for future renovations. Criteria that the Task Force considered included the following:

  • 2010 Census Data
  • Analysis of disabled access
  • Controller’s Office Proposition C evaluation data
  • Evaluation of open space and playground deficient neighborhoods
  • Parks Alliance Playground Report Card
  • The Physical Condition of the Sites
  • Presence of Pressure-Treated Lumber
  • San Francisco Unified School District playground locations

The Task Force started at the end of April and will continue through the beginning of summer 2015. The public was able to attend each meeting and participate through public comment. The Recreation and Parks Commission, informed by these recommendations, selected projects for funding.

Bond Report

View the full Bond Report (PDF).

  1. Cara Ruppert

    Project Manager Supervisor
    Phone: 1-628-652-6645