September 2014 Newsletter

 Newsletter | September 2014
Did You Know?
Friends is seeking a knowledgeable native plant enthusiast to help direct care and development of our Native Plant Garden.

Fall Registration
Ladybug Gardeners Rally Behind New Crew
Native Plants Prosper at Upper Noe

The Field Gets a Fix
Recent Happenings at Upper Noe
Canine Corner
Volunteer Opportunities
Community Events

Fall Registration

With the first session of Fall classes underway there is still room for you to get out and play with SF Rec and Park -- especially, in the second session. See the daily schedule of Upper Noe programs and registration info.

Food Class Cancellations – Baker John regrets that he will not be able to teach this fall. The Art of Holiday Cooking, The Art of Baking Bread, Home Cooking 101, Food in Jars, and Petite Bakers are cancelled. Look for most of these to resume in Winter session. Future Chefs remains on schedule.
Flag Football (Coed) needs a few signups to fill out the teams in the 10-11 year old (Wed 4:30-5:30) and 12-13 year old (Wed 6:30-7:30) sections.
Girl’s Basketball is still open. Tasters Choice Girls in Sports (Wed 4:30-6).
Women’s Indoor Soccer on Friday nights from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. is a great workout.
All levels welcome. Drop-in fee only $5.


Ladybug Gardeners Rally Behind New Crew

Ladybug GardenersCome work with the Ladybugs this Saturday, Sept 13 from 9 a.m. to noon as they do some end-of-summer gardening and scope out ideas for some exciting changes.
Recently, the grounds crew at Upper Noe reorganized, which means a new perspective on the gardens. Leading our new gardeners is Park Section Supervisor Wayne Kappelman. Wayne, a 12-year veteran with Rec & Park, will manage a scaled down but talented crew of seasoned gardeners. Together, they have already made a major dent in backlogged maintenance.
The backlog was created when injuries and other types of leave, and pressing problems at other locations, depleted our local staff, making it difficult to handle the workload by traditional methods. So, Wayne is organizing a smaller crew into a squad that that has the knowledge and skills to handle every situation. The new crew will come en masse maybe once a week or so, in contrast to the usual practice of having a regular gardener two or three days a week.
Our former staff, including Park Section Supervisor Teresa O’Brien who has been in and around Upper Noe for many years, continues to serve in nearby parks.
Come on out and see what is growing in the gardens.

Native Plants Prosper at Upper Noe

Upper Noe NativesWith an exceptionally dry summer, one would think that any plants lacking irrigation would wither and die. However, natives of California, adapted specifically to our fickle rainfall, are thriving in the northwest corner of the park.
The Native Plant Garden is a labor of love launched in 2011 and spearheaded by former Friends chairwoman, Kate Haug. Using a bare patch of land left over from the building’s renovation, Ladybug Gardeners, Rec & Park gardeners and local volunteers installed an array of plants supplied by Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center. Additional natives found homes outside the fence along Sanchez Street. Friends continues to buy and plant replacements and new species. One new addition is doing extremely well; Island Bush Poppy is a shrub with bright yellow flowers.

The Upper Noe Community Recreation Council is interested in developing an educational program around this garden. It would provide children with knowledge of California horticulture and the benefit that native species play in our ecosystem. For instance, this garden remains green in summer without irrigation while providing food and shelter to birds, butterflies and bees.
Currently, we are seeking a native plant enthusiast to help monitor and maintain this garden. If you have the knowledge, a little bit of time, and a love for these plants, please contact or inquire at the Rec Center office.

View garden details at .

The Field Gets a Fix

Soccer TotsAfter six seasons of hard use, the athletic field is getting some intensive love and care. Gardening staff recently aerated, seeded and fertilized the entire field. Regular sprinkling will continue. Park Service Area Manager Steve Cismowski says even though Rec & Park has a mandate to reduce watering during the drought, the deteriorated condition of the turf makes this work necessary. Gardeners are minimizing water use between sprinklings by hand watering and working closely on the bare patches.
James Lick girls' softball teamThe goal is to have the field in top-notch shape again for spring baseball. At right is the James Lick girl’s softball team, which calls Upper Noe home field. Of course, Soccer Tots and the myriad other users will benefit as well.

So far, there are no plans to close or to reduce use of the field but a wet winter will have that effect and help the grass rebound. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Recent Happenings at Upper Noe

Uni & Her Ukulele

Uni and her UkuleleUni & Her Ukulele squeezed out pure magic last month in the playground. Children and parents were delighted by her sweet melodies.
This was the final concert of the season. Friends’ Concert in the Park series will resume in the spring.


Canine Corner

Joby's BeachJoby's Beach - It is always social in Joby’s Run and large parties have gathered on these warm, sunny afternoons. Folks linger longer to discuss the issues of the day, neighborhood news, pet care and politics.
The recent addition of an umbrella adds a festive touch as well as comforting shade. It completes the beach atmosphere created by the surface that has become extremely dry and sandy now that the drought has forced Rec & Park gardeners to shut off the sprinklers. The official order is to forego water use for anything that isn’t growing.


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) 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)

• 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 September 13. All ages welcome, no experience necessary, community service hours credited. Even an hour would be a big help! Please email ladybugs (at)

Community Events

At the Rec Center

September 13
Ladybug Gardeners
9:00 a.m. - noon
Help keep Upper Noe beautiful.
Bring a hat and gloves.

September 17
Community Recreation Council / Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center
7:00 p.m.
Recreation Center kitchen
Get involved and help shape programming and events at Upper Noe


Outside the Center

September 13
Diamond Heights Health and Safety Fair
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
SF Police Academy
350 Amber Drive off Duncan Street
Disaster preparedness, health, and social services information for people of all ages. Child car seat safety checks. Free live music, snacks, popcorn and beverages, and prize drawings. Handouts and children’s activities include bouncy houses, face painting and safety workshops with parents.
For more info: 415-282-4647 , (Betsy).

October 18 - 19
Trolley2014-sm11th Annual San Francisco Trolley Dances
Tours from Church Produce, 1798 Church Street, to City College of San Francisco
6 tours daily at 11am, 11:45am, 12:30pm, 1:15pm, 2pm, 2:45pm.

Contact if you have an event that you would like to list.

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