January 2012 Newsletter


 Newsletter | January 2012
Did You Know?

The center has a lost & found?

This month’s updated hours:

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.






(varies, depending
on rentals)









Ring in the New Year with Recreation!

Facility Coordinator Here to Stay
Circus Finelli Returns to Rock the Tots
Ahead at the Recreation Center
Pay Any Way
Belly Up to Upper Noe
All Is Not Lost
An Opportunity to Improve the Park
Volunteers Needed



Facility Coordinator Here to Stay

Upper Noe Recreation Center may have finally found a long-term facility coordinator, just in time for a new year of exciting programming.

Cheryl Woltjen stepped into the role in December and has set to work fulfilling her goal of getting the best programming into the safest and spiffiest facility possible.

“I want it to be a place where you and your kid can feel safe and have a good time in our programs,” she said.

Woltjen joined the Recreation and Parks Department in 1991, working as a substitute instructor. The bulk of her experience lies in working with younger children.

“At the beginning, I was mostly with the afterschool programs,” she said. She was primarily located at Richmond Recreation Center and the Douglass Playground and Midtown Terrace clubhouses.

Woltjen believes the department’s new structure, implemented about a year ago, allows facility coordinators to focus holistically on one site.

“I can really devote all my attention to the well-being of the whole place,” said Woltjen. She hopes to enlist the help of park users by urging them to contact her right away when they see any problems.

Her experience means she knows who to call for what problem when.

“I have the pulse to all the different people I need to contact to fix things,” she said. “I don’t have to start from scratch.”

She is joined by Levi Johnson, the site-based program coordinator who is responsible for adult fitness programming across the city. There are four additional part-time staffers who help set up and break down equipment and staff the office.

A Chicago native, Woltjen now lives in Alameda with her husband and two of her three daughters, ages 17, 25 and 30. An occasional jazzercizer, Woltjen gets most of her exercise while perched on her bicycle. The flat topography of the East Bay island allows her to use her bike like a car, running errands to the store, for example.

Her daughters keep her on her toes, and so will the devoted park users. Wotljen already attended her first Community Recreation Council meeting in December. (See article below.)

She wants park users to know that there is some flexibility in programming and therefore open hours in the gym and auditorium.

“People should call to confirm so they’re not inconvenienced,” she said.

Circus Finelli

Circus Finelli Comes to Rock the Tots

Circus Finelli will wow the crowds at January’s second-Saturday tot concert, Jan. 14 from 9 to 11 a.m.

The four-women clown troupe specializes in irreverent, cartoonish circus comedy set to the beat of a wide range of instruments.

“We do acrobatics, juggling—funny things,” said Luz Gaxiola, who plays accordion, trombone, kazoo, bombast and theremin. Gaziola is joined by Mahsa Matin on guitar, trombone, trumpet and exotic percussion contraptions, Verka Zaskodna on vocals, duck horn, and melodica, and Molly Shannon’s backup dancing.

You can see a video of Circus Finelli here. (Scroll down the page about half way.)

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

Ahead at the Recreation Center

Want to get some exercise while your little one makes art?

The suggestion of such a combination class drew a lot of enthusiasm from members of Upper Noe’s Community Recreation Council at its second meeting Dec. 14.

New Facility Coordinator Cheryl Woltjen wrote down programming suggestions bandied about by five council members. Levi Johnson, the site-based program coordinator who is responsible for adult fitness programming across the city, added a few ideas too.

Programming for young children remains a priority. Possibilities include a Mommy and Me yoga, a Mommy and Me crawling class and a Strollercize class that would thread through the neighborhood.

Staff hope to make more use of the site’s stage, potentially opening up more programming while keeping the auditorium open for tots. The new adult belly dancing class on Thursday afternoons will start out on the stage, Johnson said. If its popularity grows, it would move down to the auditorium floor, he said. (See article below.)

A spontaneous board-game club for tweens has taken center stage Fridays after school. So far a handful of parents have wrangled the dozen or so participants, making room chess, Jenga and other games. A generous donation from Blue Orange Games instantly doubled the number of options available to the children.

Neither program is in the winter schedule; however, belly dancers can pay per class and at present the game club is open to all comers. (Parents are encouraged to stay if their children are less mature.)

Other programming possibilities included a Friday night movie series that would appeal to children and parents alike and a dog training or dog exercise class.

“We’re trying to build senior and afterschool school-age programming,” Wotljen said.


The council also continued discussion on how best to store the auditorium’s many toys during programming for those who don’t use them. Woltjen has asked the department’s capable carpenters to look at the site and come up with ideas for a custom-built solution.

Debit 2

Pay Any Way

Upper Noe is now equipped to take your money three ways: credit, debit or cash. You can register and pay for an entire term or pay for just a drop-in class.



Belly Up to Upper Noe

Adults looking for an interesting fitness regimen can shake it up at the center’s new Belly Dancing Class on Thursdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on the auditorium stage.

Though the class wasn’t organized in time to make it into the winter schedule, hip shakers can drop in and pay $5 for each class.

All is Not Lost

Lost that baby blanket that grandma spent months knitting? What about a cherished stuffed animal or toy? Frazzled parents will be happy to learn that Upper Noe Recreation Center has a lost & found inside the hallway across from the office. Come claim your goods!


An Opportunity to Improve the Park

Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center would like to reconfigure the sandbox area or the back patio, two capital improvements that are eligible for funding from the Community Opportunity Fund.

The fund is part of the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks General Obligation Bond, and the third and final round of applications are due in June.

The final round of projects will divvy up $1.25 million. Applications will be released in March, and required workshops will happen between March and April. Applications will be due in June, and winners will be announced in September, according to the department’s website.

Last year’s winners ranged from stairway beautification at Lincoln Park to an adult fitness area at Boeddeker Park, with grants between $6,500 to nearly quarter million dollars awarded.

The public monies must be matched by private funds, so please email us at info (at) noevalleyreccenter.com with your ideas.

Volunteers Needed

Serve as a greeter for the free concerts. The Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center need a “friend” to help us greet families during our monthly free concert. Let them know about our mailing list and introduce them to our small group. Our greeters hand out flyers and accept donations for the concert series. The next opportunity will be Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Even volunteering for one hour would make a big difference!

• Help advise the city on what programming should be offered at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Serve a term on the Community Recreation Council and help shape programming. A teen member is still needed! Please contact Cheryl Woltjen at 970-8061. The form is available on our website and at the center. Please either drop it off or mail it to: Cheryl Woltjen, UNRC, 295 Day Street, SF, 94131.

• Distribute our new Friends of NVRC postcard. This newsletter is distributed to nearly 1,000 “friends.” Make sure interested neighbors know about our group by helping distribute our informational postcard around the neighborhood. Please email molly (at) noevalleyreccenter.com if you know of a good shop or cafe to distribute the postcards. Or you could help put them somewhere frequented by park users.

• Lead a new event. Are you interested in organizing a new event at the Center? Maybe a game night or movie night? Please let us know by emailing info (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

• Develop a new plan for the sandbox area or some other park addition. If you know of a person who wants to help re-imagine and re-engineer the sandbox area, please let us know. We are also looking for someone who could add a new creative addition to the park. We have limited space, but we’d love to see a new activity area or artistic addition to the park. The Friends group is looking for suggestions.

• Garden at the Park. Help keep the park beautiful by volunteering with the Ladybug Gardeners on the second Saturday of every month. All ages welcome, no experience necessary. Even an hour would be a big help! Please contact us at info (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

Community Events

January 11
Upper Noe Neighbors meeting
7:30 p.m.

Update on the recent sexual assaults.

January 14
Tot Concert
9 to 11 a.m.

Bring your under fives to jam with Circus Finelli.

January 14
Ladybug Gardeners
9 a.m. to noon
Rec center grounds

Turn weeds into plants each month with the Ladybug Gardeners. Please bring gloves and a trowel. Lead Ladybug Joan Lionberger has gloves, projects and things to see for the kids, too.

January 18
Upper Noe Community Recreation Council
7 p.m.

Help determine programming and priorities for Upper Noe Recreation Center.

Outside the Center:

January 14
Friends of Billy Goat Hill
Saturday, January 14
1 to 3 p.m.
Billy Goat Hill, Castro and 30th streets

Help the Friends of Billy Goat Hill keep the steep park looking good.


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