Jackson Park renovation and name change planning continue

Residents of Potrero Hill met on Zoom in October to discuss new designs, public art opportunities and potentially renaming Jackson Park. Participants generally wanted more open spaces and an American Disabilities Act-compliant community center with indoor and outdoor bathrooms.

There was also support to add a dedicated off-leash dog play area, a larger and more accessible learning garden, and reduce congestion at playgrounds. The current plans are to relocate the clubhouse, which will separate the two fields, thus increasing the distance between the goal plates. The pavilion and an addition would span 6,881 square feet.

Jude Deckenbach, executive director of Friends of Jackson Park (FOJP), a nonprofit that advocates for park improvement and associated funding, said draft renovation plans were developed before the COVID pandemic -19.

The planning department plans to complete the necessary environmental review by February 2022. The goal is to present the final design to the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission for approval this summer.

“The project cannot be tendered until all the money is on hand. Currently, we are awaiting the Impact Fee from the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee, which is expected to be allocated to our project in fiscal year 2024/2025. Once we get all the money, the SFRPD will go out to tender for the project… they select a contractor, construction can begin, ”Deckenbach said.

The OFJP has design documents, town planning documents that define the development and destination of the park.

“Once (these) are approved, the architects will produce the construction drawings,” Deckenbach said.

“The neighborhood’s increased use of the park for community gatherings and a place to safely relax outside the home during the pandemic shows why the renovation is needed. Softball and baseball are making a comeback and are important uses of the park. Still, we need to reserve more space for unscheduled uses, ”said JR Eppler, president of Potrero Boosters, whose members live in Potrero Hill, Dogpatch and Showplace Square.

According to Lauren Ewald, director of Fletcher Studio, the landscape architectural firm selected to design the Jackson Park renovation, the plan changes could include relocating, improving and expanding the clubhouse, relocating the grounds of ball, adding picnic areas and requesting the San Francisco Department of Health to install approximately 50 new “tree screens” around the perimeter of the park.

“There are currently 51 trees around Jackson Park. We plan to have 110 trees around the park. This will double the number of trees that line the park. We want to take the perimeter wall around the edge of the property and make it thinner. This way we push back the space for the park. You will be able to easily enter the park from any side, ”said Ewald.

The San Francisco Art Enrichment Ordinance requires that two percent of the gross construction costs of new parks be allocated to public art, or about $ 60,000 in the case of Jackson Park. The funds can be used to create panels near recreation grounds and facades near the pavilion. It would be difficult and expensive to preserve existing pieces, such as “The Child Sees: Big Snail Fish,” a set of glazed ceramic tiles encased in concrete near the clubhouse.

The artist approval process will take place in stages. The Commission will publish a call for tenders. Interested artists can submit nominations with their qualifications and images of previous work. A panel composed of a member of Commission staff and two arts professionals will select the artists for review by a larger team, usually composed of a curator, a client representative, two arts professionals and ‘a member of the community, who will select three artists to develop the site. specific proposals.

The three artists’ submissions will be posted online for public comment, typically for two weeks. The larger team then meets to interview the artists, review audience feedback, and recommend a proposal to move forward. The recommendation is presented to the Visual Arts Committee, a subset of the full commission, with the final decision made by the full commission.

According to Deckenbach, residents and the FOJP fear the park is named after Andrew Jackson, who has engaged in multiple human rights violations against Native Americans throughout his tenure as president.

Dr Jonathan Cordero, executive director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone (ARO) and visiting professor at the University of California, Hastings School of Law, said ARO was discussing its interest in this that Jackson Park be renamed to reflect the identity of the Ramaytush Ohlone people, who inhabited the San Francisco Peninsula when the Spaniards first arrived.

“We prefer not to use words that have spiritual meaning. Still, if the park is renamed with a word or phrase from Ramaytush Ohlone, the terms must mean something to us. Right now, as a group, we are discussing what words might be appropriate. We want to be deliberate and attentive to the words we choose, ”Cordero said. “We are consulting with a linguist to examine the origin of a few words on a list originally created by non-native academics, as some may be borrowed.”

“Surveys and community meetings are always helpful. Any kind of engagement that gets more park users to understand and agree on what needs to be done is important. The more members of the community who come together and speak out loud, the better, ”said Briony Doyle, FOJP Board Member.

“Community action and staying the course are the main determining factors in keeping the renovation on track,” said Elain Sprague Stuebe, FOJP board member. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We keep reminding the City of what we want and that we would like the work to be completed quickly.

Stuebe added that having Zoom meetings helped residents stay focused.

“It’s great to be in person, but meetings can get lost. Holding meetings on Zoom allows us to remove barriers such as clubhouse preparation, everyone’s parking and arriving on time. This meeting was an important step in seeing our vision so clearly through the series of presentations held. We have come together as a neighborhood and understand that the heart and soul of Jackson Park is having fun, ”said Stuebe.

Photo, top: The proposed open space on 17th and Carolina streets will invite users to enter the park from the sidewalk while eliminating existing slopes in Jackson. Courtesy of Fletcher Studio

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