Washington Square Water Conservation Project

Washington Square reopened in December 2019.


The SF Recreation & Park Department is pleased to announce the construction for Washington Square Water Conservation Project. The project includes replacement of the park’s existing irrigation system to conserve 2.2 million gallons of water per year, and will address saturated soil conditions on the main lawn and replace the aging pathways.

Closure Details

  • The Children’s Playground will remain open during construction
  • The Restroom will remain open during construction with periodic restroom closures to accommodate replacement of park pathways.
  • Anticipated closure duration – 6 months

Please visit one of the following alternate Parks during the short closure and don’t forget to shop local!

Background Project Information

In 2012 the Recreation and Park Department partnered with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop a Parks Water Conservation Plan for twelve parks with the greatest potential for water savings. Of the twelve parks surveyed, Washington Square was the highest user of water on an annual per-acre basis. Other parks in the program include: 

  • Balboa Park Washington Square Water Conservation Map (JPG) Opens in new window
  • Buena Vista Park
  • Golden Gate Park (GGP) Big Recreation
  • GGP Panhandle
  • James Rolph Park
  • Junipero Serra Playground
  • Larsen Ball Fields
  • Marina Green
  • Parkside Square
  • St. Mary’s Park
  • Stern Grove

Washington Square contains 1.5 acres of irrigated lawn and garden, and current irrigation water use is approximately 3,300,000 gallons per year. The project scope will replace the antiquated 65-year-old irrigation system. It is estimated the project will conserve 2,223,753 gallons of potable water annually - reducing annual water use by two-thirds. In addition to the PUC Large Landscape Grant, the department has secured funding to fully replace the park’s sub-drain infrastructure to address frequently saturated lawn and other site drainage issues.

Project Scope

  • Reduce existing water use by two-thirds; from 3 million gallons per year to 1 million gallons per year
  • Install weather sensing irrigation system
  • Plant new drought tolerant landscaping
  • Install new sub-drain infrastructure to reduce saturated soil conditions on site
  • Pathway repaving and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements Washington Square - Closure Diagram (JPG) Opens in new window

Project Funding Sources

  • SFPUC Large Landscape Grant Program: $625,700
  • City’s General Fund secured by Supervisor Aaron Peskin: $1,400,000
  • Rec and Park 2012 Park Bond Water Conservation Program: $1,025,700
  • Total Fund Sources: $3,051,400

Anticipated Timeline

Washington Square Park reopened in December 2019.

Additional Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or comments about the project, please email the project manager.

  1. What's New
  2. Documents & Materials
  1. Capital Project Update


    You may have noticed areas of grass are sometimes cordoned off at Washington Square this winter. Here’s the good news: Read on...
  2. Capital Project Update


    Washington Square Park is now open! And thank you to all of the partners that helped to make this a great project Read on...
  3. Capital Project Update


    We are in the third week of construction on the Washington Square project. Azul Works has been making great progress Read on...
  4. Capital Project Update


    Washington Square Water Conservation Project set to begin this week. Construction fencing will be installed Read on...
  1. Kelli Rudnick

    Project Manager Supervisor
    Phone: 1-628-652-6640