We have structured our capital plan as a set of four related projects, the first three which we are seeking funding from the Community Opportunity Fund Grant.
- Dog Play Area
- Improve the existing fitness path adjacent to the proposed dog play area
- Remove a dangerous listing tree and trim the remaining tree grove to reduce maintenance
- Par Course or Adult Workout Equipment Center (Funded through Eastern Neighborhoods CAC)
Dog Play Area
As discussed above, key stakeholders identified the need to activate the unused western section of Franklin Square to decrease crime. It should be noted that the community supported the concept of a dog play area at Franklin Square for a long time; the current design is actually an updated concept presented by Studio Green in 2006 and was the result of a long public process undertaken by FoFS to revitalize the park.
A fenced in dog run would bring many people to this unused area. It would also provide a safe place that allows dogs to exercise off leash and provide a social nexus for residents and dog owners.
Currently, there are many park users who let their dogs off leash in Franklin Square and this has created conflict since there is no barrier between the dog and other park users. The enclosed Franklin Square dog play area would provide needed infrastructure for dogs to have a safe release-valve in the city, while at the same time providing a comfort zone for non-dog owners using the park.
The proposed dog play area design emphasizes a beautiful, low maintenance and environmentally sensitive space to meet the needs of both dog-owners and non-dog owners alike. Maintenance will be reduced by replacing 6,500 square feet of sod with synthetic turf that will be permeable, provide a durable surface for heavy use, and is easily maintained with an irrigation system for regular flushing. Low-water and native plants will be used throughout with signs posted to educate the public about the environmental benefits. Poop stations with shovels and/or biodegradable bags will be available.
We will also improve safety by removing one of two listing eucalyptus trees cited by an arborist as posing a safety hazard for park users; the other tree fell onto the soccer field without any warning on March 31, 2014, destroying the fencing and closing off the soccer field for a week (See Appendix B: Photo Gallery). The remaining grove of trees will be trimmed back, reducing park maintenance by removing the amount of debris that falls onto the soccer field. Two lamps will also be added, improving safety and visibility along the western corridor of the park. Regular park clean-up days will focus on maintenance and litter clean up in the dog play area.
We conducted five community meetings to generate ideas and to receive feedback on our proposals. All five meetings were well attended with 186 attendees collectively. Our 6th community meeting is scheduled for April 4, 2015, with an Easter Egg Hunt expected to attract many families and Spanish speakers.
Trumark Urban, a local real estate development company with a proposed mixed-use condominium project at 346 Potrero Avenue, has made a pledge in the amount of $50,000 ($10,000 towards the clean-up series) to be allocated towards the park in collaboration with FoFS and SF Recreation and Park. Additionally, the company committed to a clean-up series at Franklin Square for 2+ years that will involve 150+ volunteers and amount to over 600+ hours to assist with re-landscaping and park maintenance, including litter and sanitation maintenance for the dog play area and par course. Furthermore, Trumark Urban will have residents at their proposed project contribute funds through their HOA (Appendix G: Letters of Support) estimated to total $13,000 annually to help maintain Franklin Square and the proposed projects; an innovative partnership to maintain San Francisco parks.