By Murray Schneider
The day couldn’t have been more beautiful for a ribbon cutting. With opening day Little League softball being played before him, Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg addressed a huge crowd of Glen Park neighbors at the official opening of the Glen Canyon Park Playground
“It’s a joyous day and a long time coming,” said Ginsburg, dressed in shorts and Rec and Park vest. “This is a special place, one that features the diversity of our park system combined with the diversity that’s San Francisco.”
Some of that diversity surfaced only moments before Ginsburg gained the microphone when a protester commandeered the mic and shouted that the crows should mourn the trees had been removed to make way for the playground.
The dozens of children behind the interloper, scrambling over the Explorer Dome and whisking down the slides, apparently didn’t hear him. The police did, escorting him to a waiting patrol car.
Not missing a beat, Ginsburg adlibbed, “That’s a civics lesson for you. Isn’t democracy and freedom of speech a wonderful thing?”
Then Ginsburg began his own speech, thanking neighbors, giving a shout out to Zoe Nordstrom who was largely responsible for preventing a freeway from trespassing through the 70-acre natural area, introducing Rec and Park Commissioners and a host of City officials, one of whom was District 8 supervisor, Scott Wiener.
“We take care of our parks,” said Wiener, “and renovation of them is so important. Now parents can leave their children off on Elk Street and we can all now enjoy the majesty of this park.”
Michael Rice, president of the Glen Park Association, followed Wiener.
“I watched a ‘soft opening’ from my window yesterday,” smiled Rice. “The kids couldn’t wait. There were so many smiles and so much energy.”
Like Ginsburg and Wiener, Rice also singled out Zoe Nordstrom, who still remains active in the community, even delivering home copies of the Glen Park News four times a year.
“There have been so many trees introduced, oaks and redwoods,” said Rice. “We want to see the trees grow and be here for a long time.”
Only moments later, with the help of two Rec and Parks commissioners, Rice, Ginsburg and Wiener and a gaggle of smiling kids cut the ribbon and Glen Park Playground officially opened.