June 2010 Newsletter

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Newsletter | June 2010
In This Issue 


Did You Know?

The auditorium at the Rec Center can be rented out by groups interested in hosting events?  There is an LCD projector, a screen, a full sound system, and a kitchen.

Greetings Friend of Noe Valley Rec Center, 

Summer camp started this week at the Upper Noe Rec Center.  If you are at the park during the day you might see summer campers running around in green Rec and Park t-shirts. The featured photo shows summer camp director, Marisol Visalli with two of the campers, Journey and Michael, both age 6.

Read on to learn about budget cuts, a cat visiting the sand box, a new soccer program for toddlers on Sundays, and recent park improvements. There is going to be a concert of the Sippy Cups (kids love them) with the Friends of Dolores Park Playground on 6/19, a Billy Goat Hilly Clean Up Day on 7/31, and you can help Noe Valley Rec Center with some gardening – this Saturday 6/12.

Rec and Park Budget Cuts Mean New Staff for Rec Center

The City’s financial crisis means fresh cuts for the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the effect on our park was featured in the June issue of the Noe Valley Voice.  The latest news is that on August 15th, the department will be moving to a new “Rebuilding Recreation Model” which is a bit hard to explain, but involves large amounts of staffing reorganization and a change to the way the city delivers programs to the rec centers throughout the city.  The effects on Upper Noe will be that our current Recreation Directors (Rocky, Tom, Sondra, Gayle) will likely leave the center, but there will be some new (but fewer) regularly-assigned staff to our facility.  At the same time, the department will be hiring new “Recreation Leaders” to provide classes and deliver programs to the community.

Rec and Parks has a powerpoint presentation about the new “Rebuilding Recreation Model” at the bottom of this page.

The Noe Valley Voice ran an article about the new staffing situation and budget cuts in its June issue.

Volunteers Needed to Garden at the Rec Center, June 12th at 9:00 AM

A note from Joan Lionberger (jrlion@aol.com):
This Saturday, June 12, 9am-12 noon we will be weeding and sweeping in the park – all we need is 1/2 hour of your time — the weeds are taking over!!  There have been only three of us out there once a month and we cannot do all the work with the gardener that has to be done.  The City is cutting back the help we need to keep the park up and keep crime out.  And if there are only three of us out on Saturdays they are going to cut the gardener another 4 hours an month!!!  Please, we need the gardener who now only has time to mow and water the lawn. We need more volunteers this Saturday!!
So, PLEASE come out for just 1/2 hour to help weed.  Bring gloves, tools, water, your family and invite your neighbors for some fun in your neighborhood park.

Cat in the SandBox Issue at the Playground

Recent visitors to the playground may have noticed or heard that there has been some issues around a certain unknown cat visiting the sandbox at night and leaving “gifts” of his/her presence to find.  There have evidently been 2 incidents in 2 months of people finding cat poop in the sand box.  The bottom line is parents should take normal clealiness precautions when their children are using a park sandbox. Here is what we’ve learned Rec and Park are doing on the “cat in the sandbox” issue:

As part of our regular maintenance routine, sand boxes are checked and cleaned on a daily basis. The sandbox at Upper Noe has been drenched with water several times since the cat feces was initially reported. There are  safety concerns about using any cleaning products in the sandbox, so they have had to hold off on any type of ‘disinfection’. We’ll continue soaking the sandbox on a weekly basis in order to leach out any impurities that might be residing in the sand.  Rec and Park’s Health and Safety division has been consulted on this issue.  For the near future, the staff will be putting a tarp on the sandbox for most nights of the week to discourage the cats. Staffing is the obstacle to installing a cover on the sandbox on a nightly basis.

All sounds fairly reasonable.  We’ve also learned that the City is planning on replacing at least some of the sand in the sandbox at some point this summer.  The sandbox is very deep and it is pretty hard to replace all the sand, but there will be some sand removed and hopefully nicer  sand added.  (The sand that is there now seems below par compared to sandbox sand in other parks… and the Park staff agrees.)  The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center volunteers have mentioned “get us new clean sand” many times to Park staff… and they appear to be committed to doing so.  The latest feline visitor only renewed the conversation. As usual, please report any maintenance or safety issues with the park or playground to park staff in the park office and/or the City’s 24X Customer Service Center: 311. Stay tuned/ watch out cats.

Recent Park and Rec Center Improvements

Since the park reopened in the fall of 2008, the Friends of Noe Valley group has continued to advocate for the update and maintence of the facility and grounds.  Here are some recent activities that have or will occur:

  • There is painting going on the outside retaining walls (the paint was starting to chip off).There is painting going on the outside retaining walls (the paint was starting to chip off).
  • There were repairs made to the playground surface where the surface was chipping away. (these were covered under warranty)
  • There was indoor lighting fixed in the rec center (again, a warranty issue from lighting that was not done correctly during the renovation)
  • There is a new LCD projector available for groups to use during the events in the auditorium. There is also a working projector screen. (Movie night anyone??)
  • The indoor heating was worked on throughout the winter, and is hopefully in good shape.
  • The City has ordered some anti-skateboarding protectors for the small retaining walls that are getting used by skateboarders as slider surfaces.

Soccer Tots Sign-Ups Next Week

Sunday mornings on the field at the Rec Center have turned into an awesome sight with scores of young soccer players gearing up to learn how to play soccer through the group Soccer Tots. SoccerTots offers child development classes  for children starting at 18 mos up to 6 years old. MiniSoccer leagues for children aged 4 to 7 years old provide an opportunity to play soccer in a small team format to maximize playing time.

Here is what we learned from Soccer Tots:

Registration is taking place now and our classes start 6/16.  Our sessions last 7 weeks and we will start registration for the next session (our summer session) at the end of July.  We are a soccer themed child-development program offering children engaging motivational, games to help improve balance, coordination, agility, self-esteem, social skills and overall fitness.  We are hoping to expand our program to weekday classes in Noe Valley.

Check out the Soccer Tots web site, and Contact Elizabeth Hannon at Soccer Tots:elizabeth@soctots.comBring an Event to the Upper Noe Rec Center

We would love to see you bring more events to the Rec Center.  Please let us know if you are interested in offering or hosting an event, we might be able to co-sponsor it with you.

The Friends group often frequently gets questions about how groups can rent the Upper Noe Rec Center.  Both the gymnasium and tiny tot room are available for rental.  Some groups rent the facility on a regular basis, and some groups just for one-off events.  To rent the space, the SF Park and Rec Department Permits and Reservations Office has created an Indoor Facility Request form in addition to the Outdoor Field Request form.

According to the flyer downloadable here, the cost of renting the indoor facility is as follows:

  • Gymnaisum: $77/hour (if staff needed), and $50/hour (without staff)
  • Auditorium (Tot Room/Stage): $72/hour (if staff needed), and $45/hour (without staff)
We added a new page to our Web site with all this helpful information on How to Rent the Facilities.



Friends of Billy Goat Hill Clean Up Day July 31st

The Friends of Billy Goat Hill (which is at the top of 30th Street) are sponsoring a Clean Up Day on July 31st.  Mark your calendars.

Sippy Cups Concert to Support Friends of Dolores Park Playground on June 19th at 4 PM
Coming up at Dolores Park Playground – The Sippy Cups!
June 19 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm

The Sippy Cups have graciously offered to take the stage for the benefit of Friends of Dolores Park Playground and our upcoming renovation. We are so close to reaching our financial goal that will assure we have the finest, most enduring play area! Our 3-year dream is about to be realized thanks to so many people. We’ve raised over $3.25m and need another $200k.

See the Sippy Cups!
Enter our raffle!
Tell your friends to come!

Friends of Dolores Park Playground is working to improve the childrens’ playground at Dolores Park. Check out www.friendsofdolorespark.org and subscribe to our newsletter list to find out more information about improvements to the playground and upcoming activities for kids in Dolores Park.Call for Volunteers

The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center is looking for a few volunteers to serve on our park. Please email me if you are interested in bringing events to the Center, identify issues for the newsletter, identify needs for purchasing at the park, etc.


Thanks for your interest and support of Your Park! Please contact us with any questions or suggestions. Let us know about any community events you are planning at the park so we can promote them.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors who use the Noe Valley Rec Center. We want this newsletter to help build the park community — please help us connect with members of the community.

Enjoy your Park!

Molly Sterkel (molly@noevalleyreccenter.com)

Friends of the Noe Valley Rec Center


Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center | www.NoeValleyRecCenter.com