San Francisco, California
Buena Vista Park Set To Unveil New Look After Long-Awaited Makeover
By Jonathan Farrell
This month, with the aid of combined civic and community help, San Francisco will cut the ribbon on one of the city’s oldest parks — Buena Vista.
The ribbon cutting for the park’s Southeast Hillside Erosion Control Project will take place on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Buena Vista East/West and Upper Terrace. The park has seen restorations that include a new mid-slope trail, a new stairway that leads from the street close to the summit, new erosion-oriented landscaping and signage.
The hillside park consists of over 36 acres at an elevation of 589 feet and is a favorite spot to walk dogs on leashes in designated areas or enjoy a panoramic view. Along with trail and erosion protection, the project will work to ensure that long-standing foliage will continue to grow.
"A new trail runs mid-slope composed of a firm resin surface making it ADA accessible," said Richard Magary, steering committee chair of the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association (BVNA). "New landscaping includes more native plants and irrigation.”
The project was completed to secure the hillside trails and stairways, as the soil itself is susceptible to erosion. "Buena Vista Park is really just one big sand dune set almost in the middle of San Francisco," he said.
According to Magary, even though the project was initially approved, it got placed on hold until funding could be obtained last year through a bond initiative passed by voters in 2008.
"One-point-seven million of the bond money was designated for construction contracts through Recreation and Park Department, as a substantial part of the park along Buena Vista East, from the Duboce Avenue/Buena Vista Terrace intersection, to Upper Terrace have been restored and renovated,” he said.
The official project broke ground last March 16, but it has actually been a decade-long endeavor, according to Magary, a resident of the vicinity for over 30 years who has dedicated himself to caring for the park since retiring nine years ago.
"We residents of the Buena Vista Park area have been involved in this on-going improvement project since 2001," he said. "The city only affords it three gardeners. It needs our care. The response to our efforts has been universally positive.”
While many efforts have been made to maintain the park with its walking trails and underbrush since its inception over a century ago, Buena Vista has been subjected to the social-economic changes of what had once been a stately middle-class neighborhood with finely painted Victorians.
“Today, the neighborhood again features beautiful homes, many younger families and neighbors who support making the park enjoyable for all,” he said.
BVNA organizes a volunteer gardening in the park the first Saturday of each month, at 9 a.m. For more information, e-mail BVNA@ix.netcom.com.