February 2014 Newsletter

 Newsletter | February 2014

Did You Know?

Spring Registration 
March 1

Day Camp
March 15

Rec center hours :

Tue - Fri
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


1 - 3:30

1 - 2:30

no free play

1 - 3

11 - 4:30
(varies, depending


12 - 3,
6 - 8:45

12 - 6

12 - 8:45

12 - 6

1:30 - 4:30

Steve Cismowski
Spring Class Registration
The Almond Brothers at the Playground
CRC Moves Forward with 2014 Goals
Where did Winter Go?
Former Mayor Art Agnos speaks at UNN
Canine Corner
Volunteer Opportunities

Steve Cismowski - Keeping Things Running

Steve CismowskiIf you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. Steve Cismowski was already doing his regular job as Park Service Area 2 Manager, managing dozens of parks on the north and east sides of the county, when he also assumed interim management oversight of Park Service Area 5 (PSA5), which includes Upper Noe, Eureka Valley and Glen Park rec centers as well as numerous other properties. Normally, PSA5 is a big responsibility by itself but with the Glen Park Rec Center renovation project, it is especially so. All told, he now manages a vast expanse of 70 some odd properties with 70-80 Park employees.

Steve is up to the job though. With a degree in landscape architecture, he joined RPD as a gardener in 1997 and he has progressed up the chain. His vast experience is our fortune.

"Everything consumes all of my time. It is a mixed blessing. I tend to pay very close attention to detail. Every project is pulling at me for attention at this point."  He makes the time, though, to meet with community leaders and do walk-around inspections of the parks, noting the long-range goals and the short-term necessities.

It has been five years since the Upper Noe renovation. With maintenance issues arising, is there a plan? "The goal is to have a specific operations plan for each facility,” says Steve.

Unfortunately, formulation of a plan waits because of an acute social crisis in Buena Vista Park. An unprecedented amount of homeless damage there is sapping time, energy and employees from Upper Noe. Additionally, we are down two employees locally. That spreads resources thinner than he would like. “We can't really sustain without some reprioritization as to what work is done.”

Volunteerism is a return on investment according to Steve. “The City needs to communicate with organizations that support our operations and provide the critical work that we cannot get to.” He wants to improve identification of the tasks, the priorities, and the gaps so that willing community members can take care of maintenance before it becomes an issue. Small things help, like pulling Ehrharta grass from ivy or just clearing the sidewalk of leaf litter so the place is attractive.

“Our focus tends to get pulled to hot maintenance issues, things volunteers can't do, like maintaining the ball diamond or irrigation systems.” Unfortunately, that often leaves a garden to fend for itself. Opportunities exist for minor pruning, weeding and mulching that help keep the park system alive while we are facing these drastic shortages.

Spring Class Registration
Registration opens at 10am on Saturday, March 1st. View spring courses online starting Feb 3. New to the schedule for Upper Noe is Girls Basketball for ages 5-13 on Wednesdays from 4 - 6 p.m. Register for classes at Upper Noe.

Summer Day Camps
Registration opens at 10am on Saturday, March 15th. View day camps online starting Feb 10.

Camp Mather Inclusion Week
May 31 - June 7
Registration closes February 7
Register at http://sfrecpark.org/destination/camp-mather/

TThe Almond Brothershe Almond Brothers at the Playground

Saturday, February 15 from 10 to noon. Mid-20th century pop, rock and folk standards -- Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, Buddy Holly, etc. -- performed by two energetic and talented young San Franciscans. Sam Faustine is studying opera at the San Francisco Conservatory; Zak Mandel-Romann is a founding member of Tumbleweed Wanderers.

CRC Moves Forward with 2014 Goals

After wrapping up a banner year of activity in 2013, the Upper Noe Community Recreation Council (CRC) is preparing more fun, frolic and friendship activity. May 17 will be a History Day event featuring music, arts and crafts, food, and much more. While the event will celebrate local history with memorabilia, timelines and such, the focus is on community and forming shared goals. The council welcomes everyone. The next meeting is Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. in the rec center auditorium.

Where Did Winter Go?

Winter is missingUnder a tree barren of leaves, kids and parents make the most of the warm, dry weather. So far, the lack of rain has not affected the park’s plants. While an upcoming drought management plan has been hinted at, Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg on Jan 27 stated that Rec & Park is not taking action on the drought yet but urges everyone to conserve water use at parks.

Former Mayor Art Agnos speaks at UNN

Upper Noe Neighbors is just one of the local organizations that takes advantage of the rec center to host community meetings. Neighbors recently came together to hear Art Agnos speak about the proposed Warriors arena on the waterfront and to discuss their opinions on the subject. 

Canine Corner

Micro aMicroDaphnend Daphne are locked in a challenging match of tug-o-war while Aden referees. 


Volunteers Needed

• Help advise the city on what classes should be offered at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Serve a term on the Upper Noe Recreation Center’s Community Recreation Council and help shape programming at the Center. 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 contact us at info (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

• Garden at the Park. Help keep the park beautiful by volunteering with the Ladybug Gardeners on the second Saturday of each quarter. The next date in 2014 will be March 8. All ages welcome, no experience necessary, community service hours credited. Even an hour would be a big help! Please email ladybugs (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

Community Events

February 12
Community Recreation Council
7:00 p.m.
Recreation Center kitchen
Help shape programming and priorities at Upper Noe.

March 8
Ladybug Gardeners
9:00 a.m. - noon
Recreation Center
Join in and help beautify the grounds

Outside the Center

February 8
Tech Search Party, Part 5
An annual smart phone scavenger hunt in Noe Valley.
All money raised goes toward improving the tech infrastructure at Alvarado Elementary, James Lick Middle School, and Marshall Elementary.
Info at www.techsearchparty.com

February 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27
NERT - Neighborhood Emergency Response Team
FREE Disaster Preparedness Training
Holy Innocents Episcopal Church – 455 Fair Oaks St
Thursday evenings
To register visit http://bit.ly/1cxowvc
call 415-970-2024


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!

Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center

Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center  www.NoeValleyRecCenter.com