FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2021
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Esprit Park is one step closer to a $7.7 million renovation designed to balance the needs of its growing Dogpatch community—from families to fitness enthusiasts to dogs and their people, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and University of California San Francisco announced today.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized Rec and Park to accept a grant of $835,000 from the UCSF Board of Regents to be used for design services managed through the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District. The grant is the last piece in a $5 million donation from UCSF toward the project and the last approval needed before breaking ground. The remaining funding for the project is provided by $2.7 million in Eastern Neighborhoods Development Impact Fees.
The conceptual design for the project, which will make the 2-acre oasis more resilient to increased use while honoring the original design of a multi-use meadow bordered by trees and shrubs, was approved by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission in February.
The park’s 40-year-old forest will be refreshed and protected and planted areas will be expanded. The park’s large lawn will be configured to better separate off leash dogs and general use areas. Paths will be made more resilient and compliant, and designed to offer varied opportunities for strolling and jogging. Seating and picnic areas will be increased and dispersed throughout the park. Nodes for exercising and children’s play will be tucked into the park’s green perimeter.
“Reimagining Esprit Park has been a long process with a lot of passionate community input. I’m thrilled that we are finally moving forward with improvements. Esprit Park is an oasis and neighbors in District 10 deserve to enjoy it for generations,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton.
Esprit Park was created as a privately-owned park in the early 1980’s by the Esprit Corporation, which had its headquarters on Minnesota St. and given to the City in 2001 as a result of strong community advocacy. A 2005 renovation included landscaping, irrigation and drainage improvements.
“Green space is vital to a neighborhood’s health and wellbeing,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “This renovation ensures this well-loved treasure will stay robust and resilient for years to come.”
Dogpatch, once an industrial maritime neighborhood, has experienced significant growth over the past several decades. As its residential density continues to increase, so has the needs for recreational amenities.
“UCSF is proud to support the preservation of parks and open spaces in San Francisco’s Dogpatch community by contributing $5 million to the Esprit Park renovation project,” said UCSF Vice Chancellor for Community and Government Relations Francesca Vega. “Parks are critical to our communities, a green space for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. We look forward to seeing the rejuvenated recreational offerings for residents.”
“Esprit Park has become even more important as the City has approved the addition of over 2,500 new units of housing in Dogpatch, with more to come. The renovation project will allow Esprit Park to accommodate more intense and varied uses while remaining a green oasis. The Green Benefit District is grateful to UCSF for the funding, to Rec Park staff for their patience as neighbors have considered options for the park, and to the community for helping shape the future of Esprit,” said Dogpatch and NW Potrero Hill Green Benefit District Executive Director Julie Christensen.
The renovation of Esprit Park was among the projects selected for funding by the Dogpatch Community Task Force, formed by UCSF in 2016 to identify and discuss potential impacts of UCSF’s proposed development in the neighborhood and determine steps to help address them. UCSF
The task force, composed of Dogpatch and Potrero Hill neighbors and merchants, city staff and UCSF, held a series of public meetings over eight months.
Additionally, Rec and Park in partnership with the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District conducted extensive outreach and solicited feedback on proposed designs through advisory group meetings, community meetings, online surveys and a playdate for families.