Report Highlights the Best and Worst of City Parks

by Bonnee Waldstein

The twelfth annual report on Park Maintenance Standards has just been released by the City Services Auditor and the Rec and Parks Department. The report uses many criteria to assess how well the City’s parks meet a large number of maintenance standards, including:

Athletic fields
Building and amenities
Children’s Play Areas
Dog play areas
Hardscape
Lawns
Ornamental beds
Green space
Outdoor courts
Restrooms
Table seating areas
Trees
Graffiti
Cleanliness

For the second year in a row, the overall ratings have gone up, from 85% in 2015, to 88% in 2017.

For the third year in a row, children’s play areas are the lowest scoring feature, averaging 80%. The most improvement, 5%, has been in buildings and amenities and hardscape. On the other hand, there has been a 2% decline in restrooms and table seating areas.

The highest scoring district is District 1 with 92%, and the lowest is District 11 with 83%. The northern districts have the highest average scores.

Renovations funded through the 2008 and 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bonds are credited with many of the increases in parks quality. Together, these bonds invested $380 million in parks improvements throughout the City.

So — how does Glen Canyon Park measure up?

It’s hard to tell. For much of the year, the recreation center and surrounding areas have been under renovation. The report doesn’t seem to state a specific snapshot of time in which the park was evaluated. In addition, trails was not a feature that was rated, yet Glen Canyon Park has had significant improvements in its trail system.

The average score for District 8 is 89%. Interestingly, District 8 has the second highest number of parks — 21 (District 10 has 22.) Glen Canyon Park has not been highlighted with an average score, but it’s neither in the top ten nor the bottom ten.

The shining star of Glen Canyon Park is the tennis court, with a 100% score. There isn’t any feature in which the park is rated at the bottom.

With improvements in place for an entire year in Glen Canyon Park, perhaps next year’s report will be more revealing about where it ranks in relation to other City parks.

The report is loaded with a dizzying array of graphic statistics — dots, lines, bars, maps, and bell curves. You can view it all here:

http://sfcontroller.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Auditing/Annual%20Parks%20Report%202017%20%28final%29.pdf

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