Bringing Playgrounds to Underserved Communities
Building on the vision established as part of the planning process, the design team engaged the community in a series of workshops that brought together inter-generational groups, from seniors who have cared for the park for decades, to kindergarten students to develop the design concept. The outcome is a subtle but sculptural response to the context and the program, reflecting the community’s desire to celebrate the natural surroundings and topography of the site. In partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and SF Parks Alliance, Redwood Grove Playground and Group Picnic Area is one of the 13 playground transformations funded by the LetsPlaySF! Initiative. The new playground and picnic area serve the children and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods of Portola, Visitacion Valley, Sunnydale, Crocker-Amazon, Outer Mission, and the Excelsior.
McLaren Park is the result of the dedication of a diverse community and their collaboration with public and private organizations. The co-creative process, from visioning to designing and building the playground is exemplary of participatory design and community building through place-keeping. It is the first of many steps identified as part of the vision plan to incrementally restore and renew McLaren Park for current residents and generations to come.