September 2010 Newsletter

Greetings Friend of Noe Valley Rec Center,

Volunteers are needed for this year’s Halloween Fun Fair on October 31st at the Rec Center.  Please join us for an important planning meeting for the upcoming Halloween Fun Fair on September 15th. We NEED your help to make this event a success!

Lots of news about recent changes at the park including new staff andnew (fewer hours).

Lots of Upcoming Events:

Also, we’ve included a letter from Recreation and Park Department’s Geenral Manager about the budget cuts and staffing model.

This month’s featured photo is the beautiful new bulletin board that was installed last week at the Rec Center.  Funded by the Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center, the new bulletin board will hopefully help communicate park news even to those who don’t subscribe to this newsletter!


Call for Volunteers for Halloween Event, Planning Meeting on September 15th at 7 PM.

The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center is starting to organize a Halloween event for this Halloween.  To make the event a reality — we need a few event volunteers. Please join us for a planning meeting on Wednesday, September 15th, at 7 PM at the Rec Center.

New Staff Start at Noe Valley Rec Center

New staff recently started at the Rec Center in the past few weeks at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Welcome to:

Joe Scott, Facility Coordinator for Upper Noe
Karla Rosales, Recreation Supervisor
James Wheeler  Manager of Leisure Services

The new staffing is part of a  larger citywide Recreation and Parks department reorganization that became effective on August 17th.  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.

On the upside, under the new Recreation Model, the community is supposed to have more access to providing input about what we are interested in seeing in terms of porgramming. If you have ideas about Rec and Park offered programs you’d like to see at the Center, please contact Joe Scott (new staff)_and cc: Kate Haug (Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center volunteer.

New Rec Center Hours: Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

The City’s financial crisis has led to budget cuts for the Department of Recreation and Parks and one of the effects at our park is reduced hours of operation of the indoor facilities.  The interior Rec Center facilities will now be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Our current understanding is that the bathrooms (near children’s playground) will be opened even on Sundays.

The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center sent a letter of concern about the new hours to the Rec and Park Department General Manager, Phil Ginsberg, and also to District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty. If you have an interest in advocating to more hours at the park, please do so. We fear the hour cuts will be with us until the City budget improves.

Here is the notice we received from Rec and Park Department:

The Following will be Standard Hours of Operation for your Neighborhood Recreation Center

Tuesdays: 9:30AM to 9:00PM

Wednesday: 9:30AM to 9:00PM

Thursdays: 9:30AM to 9:00PM

Fridays: 9:30AM to 9:00PM

Saturdays: 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Please contact Permits and Reservations at 831-5500 for rental information during closed hours

*NOTE: Exterior restroom open hours are posted at restroom entrance

Volunteers Needed for new plantings at the Rec Center, Saturday, September 11 at 9:00 AM

Kate Haug from Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center will be tabling on Saturday September 11th. Come out and meet her and/or help with the plantings project being sponsored by the Ladybug Gardeners.
A note from the Ladybug Gardeners led by Joan Lionberger (
Next meeting of the Ladybug Gardeners will be September 11th at 9-12pm at the park.  The City gardener (Charles or Shanan) will be there working on planting new plants and will need all your help
I’m sorry but on our work day I will be at a meeting and, therefore, will not be able to join you.  So please check in with the gardener or Carol for jobs around the Park.
If you look around the park you will notice that the plants are doing good – new fenceing is going up where new plants will be going in – birdhouses and birdfeeders are about the park
Our plan in October for a no work day but a get together at 10am for coffee at XO Cafe so we can see what our future plans are – We have to bring a plan to the City for our goals at the Park.

Bring gloves, tools, water, your family and invite your neighbors for some fun in your neighborhood park.

Feminine Wiles: A Litquake Production at Upper Noe Rec Center on October 7th

The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center has invited Litquake to stage an event at the Rec Center on October 7th. Save the Date!

Witty women take the stage and read from their most recent books: novelists, cultural critics, poets, and more. Elif Batuman, Marisa Crawford, Katie Crouch, Thaisa Frank, Joyce Maynard, Kaya Oakes, and Shawna Yang Ryan.
Friends of Upper Noe Recreation Center, a community sponsor

Thursday, October 7
7-9 pm
Admission: Free

Books will be available for sale by Phoenix bookstore

Back to Rec Night at Upper Noe Rec Center on September 29th, 6-8 PM

Join Rec and Park on Wednesday, September 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for an evening of fun, music and activities for the whole family.  Meet your recreation facility’s newest team members and learn about our Department’s new recreation model.  Join Rec and Park at one of 34 sites across the city, including your local recreation center and swimming pool.   There will be an event at Upper Noe Rec Center.

For more information, visit this event announcement from Neighborhood Parks Council.

Bring an Event to the Upper Noe Rec Center

We would love to see you bring more (and interesting) 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.



Letter from Recreation and Parks Department General Manager

A letter from Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of Recreation and Parks Deparment was circulated on July 27th about the new Recreation Model and Budget Cuts.

Dear Friend of Recreation and Parks,

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department strives to provide clean, safe and fun parks and quality recreational programming, regardless of ability to pay, for all San Franciscans.

As you may know, after consecutive years of serious budget cuts to our department, this year, we were asked to reduce our budget by an unprecedented $12.4 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year.   We creatively solved much of our budget cuts through revenue proposals, but staffing reductions were unavoidable.  In order to preserve public recreation given the cuts we have suffered, the department has adopted a new, more efficient recreation model that is a high-performing industry best practice.  It is one that allows us to better deliver great recreation programs, such as youth or adult sports, visual and performing arts, child development activities, after school programs, senior recreation options, outdoor adventuring and more.

We are focusing our resources at our 25 full-service recreation facilities.  Your neighborhood Recreation Center will be staffed by a Facility Coordinator, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the facility.  You will also see a Program Coordinator there who will ensure robust programming is delivered at your facility – and citywide.  These staff will partner with neighborhood leaders serving on a seven-member Community Recreation Council to ensure that relevant programming and events are provided at your site.  From this collaborative effort, we will provide you the active and exciting recreation activities that you’re looking for – delivered by part-time recreation professionals who are expert in their field.  At your neighborhood Clubhouse, we will seek to provide recreation activities that are similarly responsive to neighborhood need with the help of community partner organizations that share our mission to provide quality recreation and community services.  Your local clubhouse will also be available for community events, birthday parties and other special occasions.

Our nine pools will remain open, although some pool schedules are being adjusted to more efficiently deploy our lifeguards and swim instructors. Our pools will also be supported and guided by Community Recreation Councils.

Throughout this summer, we have conducted a robust and highly competitive hiring process to support this new recreation model.  While we do not have the budget to hire everyone we wish, we are really pleased with the talent and dedication of those who are being selected.

We appreciate your support of public recreation and your local recreation directors.   In our new recreation model, you will see familiar faces as well as some new ones at your favorite facility.  While budget times are tough and change is hard, we are confident that this new model will help us preserve public recreation — and rejuvenate it.

We appreciate your patience, your support and your passion for recreation and parks.

For fall program schedules and program registration, please visit us online, or call us at (415) 831-6800.

Get out and play!
Phil Ginsburg
General Manager

District 8 Candidate Forum on City Parks, October 12th at 6 PM at Glen Park Elementary School

Each election year, Neighborhood Parks Council hosts supervisorial candidate forums that focus specifically on park, recreation, and open space issues. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s knowledge of and positions on these subjects.

“Ensuring that there is a strong voice for parks and open space at City Hall is paramount to the success of our neighborhood parks,” Meredith Thomas, NPC Executive Director explains. “It is through the work of dedicated community volunteers that our parks flourish as an oasis to our daily lives, but it is with the support of their supervisors that our parks can continue to thrive.”

Join us at your district’s forum!

D8: Tuesday, October 12th, 6-8pm, Glen Park Elementary School Auditorium

Click here for more information about District 8 Candidate Forum.


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 (

Friends of the Noe Valley Rec Center