Balboa Park Gets a Face Lift

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Last year Balboa Park was probably not on your radar for play dates with the kiddos. SF Gate reports that the park was run-down with old playground equipment, broken swing sets and even had a massive tree limb lying on the ground. Talk about danger! So if you witnessed it all in its dilapidated state and thought, this is not a great place for my kids, brace yourself for a new site for sore eyes! Thanks to public and private dollars, Balboa Park just debuted a newly redone park, complete with new playgrounds. With all of its new equipment and cleaned-up state, it’s going to be your kiddos next favorite spot.

Photo courtesy of Michael Macor via SFGate

Located in the Excelsior neighborhood, Balboa Park is a part of a community with a high concentration of little ones, which is why it was such a shame to see it in a dilapidated state, with potential hazards. But thanks to a multi-million dollar gift from Trust for Public Land, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department was able to boost their $900,000 budget to an eye-opening $3.5 million — this means extra play areas for the kids, and spots for picnics! The newly done Balboa Park includes an expanded play area for tykes, a skate park for their older siblings, renovated tennis courts, new picnic areas and many other family friendly features.

Photo courtesy of Michael Macor via SFGate

The new features of Balboa Park are not only amped up by extra swing sets and slides (there’s even equipment donated by the Exploratorium!), but the park as a whole is a mosaic that represents the community that built it. In this case, the community is displayed in the six stairs surrounding the re-imagined playground, which is filled with tile mosaics designed and illustrated by local high school art students. The illustrations display the diverse community of the Excelsior neighborhood, and are interspersed with words such as “family” in various languages.

Photo courtesy of Allie Gardner

This park wouldn’t have come together if it weren’t for the voice of the residents. John Avalos, SF supervisor, tells SFGate that “A lot of the works was done by families” and now Balboa Park, revived through a community effort, is one of “the greatest resource for families to stay in this city.”

Balboa Park (Google map)
San Jose Ave & Ocean Ave
San Francisco, Ca 94112

What is your favorite park and playground in the city? Do you plan on checking out this eye sore turned community playground? 

— Christal Yuen