June 2011 Newsletter

Newsletter | June 2011
Did You Know? 

Upper Noe Rec Center will be open on Mondays
from June 6 to Aug 12?

This month’s updated hours:

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tot Room:

9-1 p.m.



3-9 p.m.

9-1 p.m.


9-1 p.m.

Greetings, Friends! Read On…. 

Leading Ladybug Joan Lionberger Digs In
Saturday Tot Concert
Soccer and Summer Classes for Tots
Win One for Upper Noe Recreation Center
Brazilian Movie Nights
Upper Noe Neighbors Meeting
Sandbox, Part III: The Return of the Pit


joan ladybug gardener Of Lions and Ladybugs
Lead Ladybug Gardener Joan Lionberger has run the volunteer gardening program at Upper Noe for more than two years, but her roots there are more than a century old: Her father was born on the site where Upper Noe now stands.

“The house my dad was born in was moved up Sanchez to Randall as they were going to build the park,” said Lionberger, who still lives in the Sanchez Street house she was born in 65 years ago.

Lionberger was 10 years old when the center was built, and she had her gym classes there when she went to St. Paul’s High School. Later, when her three sons were born in the early 1980s, the park had turned for the worst, she said.

“It became a gang haven.”

Many years, much money and much neighborhood love later, the center is what we see today, and a lot of credit can go to Lionberger for keeping the grounds green.

“Now that I’m semi-retired, I said ‘This is my time to give back to San Franciscans,’” she said. “I love gardening—it relaxes me.”

Lionberger contacted the center’s gardener, Shannon Miller, and asked how she could help. Budget cuts have meant more parks for Miller to care for, she said.

“Shannon has to spend most of time cutting the grass in the field, so she doesn’t have much time for weeding or planting,” she said.

Lionberger’s volunteer Ladybug Gardeners meet on the second Saturday of each month to finish what’s left: planting flowers, planting native and drought-tolerant plants as well as weeding, weeding, weeding.

Children are enthusiastically welcomed: She creates projects to introduce them to plant life or something unusual around the park, leaving time for the parents to work and socialize. Sometimes the kids leave food in the park’s 15 birdhouses, which were built by her husband, Mike.

“I wanted to get them around so the kids can explore and point them out to the families,” she said.

(Three birdhouses have been stolen in the past two years. Looking at the bright side, Lionberger’s son quipped, “That means somebody really likes them!”)

The number of Ladybug Gardeners waxes and wanes, from a low of two people up to 20 when parents and students from nearby Fairmount Elementary School helped out. Together they have stopped soil erosion on the north and south sides of the park, added flowers and rooted up weeds, said Lionberger, who estimates she spends about six hours a month working the center’s grounds.

This month Lionberger hopes to plant a flowering peach tree—the kind that droops to the ground—near the tennis courts to replace a tree that had died. In November, she will start a drought-tolerant garden on the west side of the building on Sanchez Street. No running water reaches the area. And in between? Find out by visiting the main gym office the second Saturday of each month. You’ll see a sign telling you where to go to help. Don’t forget your gardening gloves!

The Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center thank Joan Lionberger for her generous gift of volunteer time and spirit to Upper Noe. She has been and continues to be a thoughtful and steadfast steward of the park and a valuable member of the Noe Valley community. Her work adds to everyone’s enjoyment of the park.

Got irises? Plants or bulbs, Lionberger always needs more to plant behind the basketball court along 30th Street. She also needs birdseed and bird houses.

05-09-30 just we 3 v3

They Call Me Lucky Trio for Tots

Noe Valley Farmers’ Market favorite They Call Me Lucky will play for the little ones on Saturday, June 11. The guitar, bass and drum trio play an eclectic style of music that encompasses folk, rock, country and blues.

The 14-year-old band has played the Farmers’ Market 50 times since 2004, said Dennis Cabral, who plays guitar and harmonica. Cabral is a Montessori preschool teacher who works at an elementary school.

“I know all the kid favorites!” he said. The band will play both original material and cover songs.

This event is sponsored by The Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center through community donations. All families with children under the age of 5 welcome.

Soccer Classes for Tots
Children from 18 months to five years old can play soccer at Upper Noe this summer through SoccerTots, a private program that uses a variety of games to develop balance, movement, motor and listening skills.

These non-competitive classes are divided into seven categories by age, and parent participation is required in classes for children up to 3.5 years old. Classes are in the morning and early afternoon on Sundays and Thursdays between June 4 to July 31, depending on the class.

To see the schedule at Upper Noe Recreation Center, go to www.soccertots.com/classes, click on “Schedule — List View.” Click “location” in the grid to group classes at our site. You can then sort by class type, availability and day.

Registration for summer classes has begun. This summer, Upper Noe will offer a variety of classes, activities and events for everyone, including dance classes for seniors, yoga for adults and art and science classes for kids.

Tot classes continue to be the most popular, says Facility Coordinator Joe Scott. He hopes to build more offerings for little ones after summer camp has ended. This fall, he hopes to bring in teacher Mico Broadhead to teach a pre-Capoeira class called Macaquinhos Capoeira (Little Monkeys), in which kids ages three to five to learn the basic stance through a combination of martial arts, music and acrobatics.

See listings at  SF Rec Online. To search for our center’s programs, click on Programs tab, then click on “Click HERE TO SEARCH BY FACILITY OR ADVANCED SEARCH” and choose “Upper Noe Recreation Center.”

You can register for classes at SF Rec Online, but you must have a “family account” to do so. Click here to create a family account.

Go to Bat for your Rec Center!

Wax eloquent on your love for Noe Valley Recreation Center and you could win it a $250 gift certificate from Sports Basement for equipment and supplies. The San Francisco Parks Trust, a nonprofit park advocacy organization, is running the contest as part of its GearUp campaign, which raised money to fill the funding gap for equipment at new recreation centers.

To enter, visit the San Francisco Parks Trust website and click on the big, red heart in the lower right-hand part of the page.

Upper Noe Recreation Center will screen Brazilian movies the second Friday of every month, thanks to Capoeira instructor Mico Broadhead, said Facility Coordinator Joe Scott. Movies are planned to start at 6 p.m. and run to 7:30 p.m., but please call the main office 970-8061 to confirm.

UNN Makes History

The Upper Noe Neighbors will discuss Historic Preservation at their meeting Wednesday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Upper Noe Recreation Center auditorium. Representatives from the Historic Preservation Commission, an architect/advocate who has been involved in preservation battles and a representative from the Duboce Triangle Association will come.

If you are interested in knowing more about UNN or would like to join their mailing list, please contact Vicki Rosen, president, at vickimrosen (at) gmail.com.

Sandbox Saga Continues, Still

Finding an appropriate cover for the sandbox continues to be a challenge. The cover must be safe but easy to remove and put on. The diameter of the sandbox is 16 feet—different than that of a hot tub—making an “over the counter” solution difficult to find. The design cannot have any parts sticking out that could cause a child to trip nor can it have moveable parts that might injure children’s fingers.

The Friends of Upper Noe have funds to donate toward this project if anyone is able to come up with a solution which meets the safety and usage requirements determined by SF Rec & Parks. If you have ideas of how to help, please contact Facility Coordinator Joe Scott at joe.scott (at) sfgov.org.

Volunteers Needed

  • Serve a two-year term on Upper Noe Recreation Center’s Recreation Council and help shape programming at the center.

Please contact Joe Scott, facility coordinator, at 970-8061 or email him at joe.scott (at) sfgov.org. You can pick up a form at the center or email him your name, home address, phone numbers, email address, occupation, employer name and address, SF residency status (Y/N) and areas of interest and or goals.

  • Tabling on June 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. This opportunity is ongoing. We need volunteers to tell people about our organization during our free family concerts in the Auditorium the second Saturday of each month: June 11, July 9 and August 13. Come meet your friends and neighbors and let them know about the Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center!

Please contact Kate, kate (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

  • Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center is organizing an elementary school fair that will feature public, private and parochial schools from Noe Valley, Glen Park, Bernal, Outer Mission and Potrero Hill. We need people contact the elementary schools and local preschools and to help on the day of the event, Sunday, September 25, in the morning. Parents for Public Schools will also be participating. Sponsored by the FoNVRC.

Please contact Kate at kate (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

Community Events

June 8
Upper Noe Neighbors meeting
NVRC auditorium
Wednesday, June 8
7:30 p.m.

June 11
Live Music in the Auditorium (tot room)
They Call Me Lucky trio
Saturday, June 11
9 to 11 a.m.
The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center is glad to sponsor Saturday morning live music  in the Auditorium/Tiny Tot room at the Rec Center. Tot room open, too! Come by with your child, enjoy the music, and perhaps also put in a little time with the Ladybug Gardeners. (See below.)

June 11
Volunteers needed for Ladybug Gardeners

Facility grounds
Saturday, June 11
9 a.m. to noon

June 23
RPD budget, first hearing
City Hall, Board Chambers, Room 250
Thursday, June 23
Meeting starts at 10 a.m., but RPD is not the first department.

June 30
RPD budget, second hearing
City Hall, Board Chambers, Room 250
Thursday, June 30
Meeting starts at 10 a.m., but RPD is not the first department.

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 Recreation 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 Recreation Center

Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center  www.NoeValleyRecCenter.com