SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Turk-Hyde Mini Park, an oasis for preschoolers and their parents in the heart of the Tenderloin, re-opened with updated play equipment and landscaping, as well as a redesign to make the space more accessible and conducive to gatherings, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today. Mayor London N. Breed cut the ribbon opening the new park, along with District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, local nonprofit organizations, and community members.
The renovations were completed using $1 million allocated from the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, $500,000 from the 2019 Open Space Fund, and $700,000 from the City of San Francisco.
“We are putting the funds that voters approved to good use, and are making sure that our kids have safe, clean and welcoming places to play outside,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “Every young person in San Francisco should have access to parks and open spaces, regardless of where they live. Thanks to the Recreation and Park Department’s efforts, kids and their families in the Tenderloin have another beautiful new park in their neighborhood.”
"The Tenderloin is home to many families and children who need access to open space but have far too little of it. For that reason, re-opening this park, newly renovated and beautiful, is a huge deal for our residents and has been long anticipated. I’ll continue to work closely with the community and city departments to ensure the park is safe, accessible and fully activated for our residents,” said Supervisor Haney.
Numerous studies have shown parks and open space improve mental and physical health, lower stress and help heal trauma.
“We are wired for contact with nature. Quality parks aren’t a luxury, they are a necessity, especially in dense neighborhoods like the Tenderloin. Spaces for playing and socializing make us happier, more creative and more resilient,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
As families relaxed at new tables, seating and a boulder terrace, the Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD) provided free creative activities, including art making for kids, collaborative coloring with a local muralist, and a performance by musician and youth advocate Tony Thomas.
"The Tenderloin is one of the densest areas of our city and is home to the most children, yet has the least amount of open space," said Simon Bertrang, TLCBD executive director. "We welcome the reopening of the Turk-Hyde Mini Park and look forward to collaborating with community members on ongoing programming including arts and wellness for all ages. We know from the success of Boeddeker Park that Tenderloin parks can be a welcoming space for calm, play, and connection among all of our neighbors."
With help from Mayor Breed, Supervisor Haney, and private philanthropy, TLCBD will fund two full-time stewards to staff the mini park from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week to ensure it remains clean and safe.
Community members helped shape the improvements through outreach conducted by Rec and Park, the Trust for Public Land, and Public Works, which participated in the planning, design and delivery of the innovative and inclusive new park.
“This reimagined park, developed by the City through a strong community partnership, brings a touch of nature into the heart of this compact urban environment – with natural stones and boulders and enlivened with plants to attract butterflies,” said Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried. “Together, the new design and planned multi-generational activities create a wonderful space for the Tenderloin.”
“The Trust for Public Land has been engaged in the Tenderloin for 10 years and we are pleased to celebrate the opening of Hyde-Turk with our partners and the Tenderloin community. The design reflects the community’s desire for a park that allows for play, performances, celebrations and multigenerational activities while connecting people to nature” said Alejandra Chiesa, Bay Area program director with The Trust for Public Land.
Community support was also provided by the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership, Central City SRO Collaborative, and Demonstration Gardens.
Turk-Hyde Mini Park is one of four parks serving the Tenderloin, and one of 33 total parks in District 6. A new mini park, Guy Place, will open this spring in Rincon Hill.