SAN FRANCISCO, CA –Juri Commons reopened today following a $1.9 million renovation honoring the Mission District park’s railroad history while featuring a seamless redesign with new plantings, an improved play space for children, grass for dogs, and an adult exercise area with fitness equipment.
In addition to a new tot area with a slide, swing, and monkey bars, the renovated park includes a separate nature exploration area where children can exercise their bodies and imaginations among logs, stumps and boulders. The area, designed to spark creativity, is the latest in a network of natural play spaces developed by the San Francisco Children and Nature Collaborative, which works to ensure equitable access to nature and its benefits for all children.
“It is an honor to be here today celebrating the reopening of Juri Commons,” said Mayor London Breed. “This historic park offers children, families, and neighbors a quiet place to gather safely and enjoy the outdoors in the heart of one of the City’s busiest neighborhoods. I want to thank Rec and Park, the SF Parks Alliance, the Juri Commoners, and everyone else who supported this project and helped revitalize this park into a space that will be enjoyed for years to come.”
“Juri Commons may be a small park, but it plays a big part in the lives of the many neighbors who visit daily,” said District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “After these renovations, Juri Commons is even more accessible for everyone who comes here to play with their children, walk their dogs and enjoy this urban oasis in the Mission.”
Juri Commons is a remnant of an old railroad right-of-way of the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, one of California’s first inter-city rail links which began carrying passengers in 1864. Today, the quarter-acre park cuts a narrow, diagonal slice through the block bounded by Guerrero Street, San Jose Avenue, 25th Street and 26th Street.
Juri Commons’ renovation pays homage to the park’s railway past. A new, smooth, and accessible pathway connecting the new features is embedded with rails. The existing mural, which highlights the park’s history, was reframed and refurbished.
A neighborhood group, The Juri Commoners, were instrumental in the renovation efforts. Through surveys and meetings, the community made clear its priorities in the renovation: preserving the character of the park as a hidden green oasis, a consolidated play space for young children, an adult active area, and a lawn area for dogs and people to enjoy.
“Connecting children with nature is at the heart of the Juri Commons renovation,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. ““This hidden oasis allows city kids to fall in love with the outdoors and become stewards of the environment.”
The project was funded through the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, Eastern Neighborhoods Developer Impact Fees, a Community Opportunity Fund grant procured by the Juri Commoners in 2016 and Let’sPlaySF!, a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and SF Parks Alliance. The campaign supports the transformation of 13 of San Francisco’s most timeworn playgrounds into dynamic hubs for creativity and family life.
“During a challenging year, we have seen the value and relief playgrounds bring to children and their families. Juri Commons is number nine of 13 playgrounds the Let'sPlaySF Initiative will renovate in San Francisco. We are grateful and honored to be a part of a campaign that brings so much joy to families,” said San Francisco Parks Alliance CEO Drew Becher.
“We are very pleased to have been able to seed this renovation with the Community Opportunity Fund grant, and grateful for additional funding from Let'sPlaySF and the Eastern Neighborhoods fund to enable a thorough renovation,” said Dave Schweisguth, leader of the Juri Commoners. “I'm most excited about the fundamental infrastructure improvements: the new path will make it safe and comfortable for everyone to walk or wheel through the park, and the new irrigation system will keep plants healthy and beautiful for longer.”
San Francisco Public Works provided construction management and landscape architecture design, highlighting connection with nature in both the park’s redesign and the nature exploration area.
“The renovation of Juri Commons creates a wonderful new space for nature play and offers a welcoming environment for kids, grownups and dogs,” said Interim Public Works Director Carla Short. “This reimagined park gives visitors an opportunity to commune with nature in the heart of an urban neighborhood.”