After nearly six years playing a critical role at Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF) will be leaving the park. The Club is very proud of the impact we have had through our work at the park over the past six years. “We are very confident that we made an outsized contribution to the Tenderloin neighborhood and ensured that this beautiful new park opened and remained safe and inviting for the residents of the Tenderloin community,” said BGCSF President Rob Connolly. “The park pushed us to expand our core mission and drove us to be a community convener, park ambassador, community-event host, and much more. We did all of that, and more, at a very high level.”
We are pleased to announce that on October 1 the YMCA of San Francisco will step into the Master Tenant role that we played these past six years at Boeddeker Park. We are confident that the park will continue to excel. We will support the YMCA of SF and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department with whatever they need to ensure this outcome.
The YMCA of SF has been a part of the Tenderloin community for many years and was one of the original anchor tenants at Boeddeker Park, providing hours of programs, significant leadership, and more.
BGCSF will continue to operate its highly-successful Tenderloin Clubhouse at 115 Jones, 209 Jones, and 201 Turk, and will support the many wonderful community efforts that are helping to create safe and livable conditions for everyone in the Tenderloin.
Boeddeker Park underwent a full-scale renovation and was re-opened in December 2014. The community has benefited from 70 hours of park activation per week, including several yearly community events. It is a safe haven for residents (housed and unhoused) and is a symbol for what has been going right in the Tenderloin. The re-opening of this formerly unsafe and under-utilized public park in 2014 positively activated the entire community and redefined the neighborhood.
The dramatic transformation of the physical space was led by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the Trust for Public Land, with many important funders. The robust activation of the park, including daily programming, have been key to the park’s success. BGCSF and the YMCA of SF led this effort. Significant funding support, leadership, and advocacy for the full project was provided by the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership (Saint Francis Foundation), to advance the collective impact model. Together, these partners, plus other City agencies, other nonprofits, and local schools have helped make Boeddeker Park a safe and positive place and significantly improved the quality of life for nearby residents.
Creating the depth and breadth of park activation that has occurred has been no small feat. In order to positively activate the park for 44,000 annual park-goers, we needed to harness the skill and passion of key partners. In addition to the Rec and Park Department and the YMCA of SF, Glide Memorial, City Academy, Safe Passage, TL People’s Congress, La Voz Latina, Friends of Boeddeker, Demonstration Gardens, and SFPD, have been key partners in park activation. Together, these partners facilitated many important outdoor and indoor services and activities such as after-school youth development programs, early childhood parenting classes, peer wellness, art therapy, senior activities, and much more.
Additionally, BGCSF has been a driving force for annual events that bring a greater sense of safety and neighborhood pride, such as the Holiday Tree Lighting, an annual backpack giveaway, SFPD’s National Night Out, and Boeddeker Park’s Five-Year Anniversary Celebration.
“The strength of the Club's work has been our ability to listen to the different community-based organizations and residents, both housed and unhoused, and partner with them to create a safer, more inviting, and healthier Boeddeker Park,” said Mike Vuong, Tenderloin Clubhouse Director. “This level of connectivity has shown that amazing things can be accomplished when a community comes together.”
Replicating the Park’s Success
Boeddeker Park is looked at as the model for how to activate and re-envision open spaces, including two other Tenderloin parks — the soon-to-be-open Turk/Hyde Mini-Park and Sgt. Macaulay Park. The strong work at Boeddeker Park led to the creation of the TL Park Network to ensure the impact of Boeddeker Park stretches to neighboring parks and streets. In the recent City & County of SF Park Maintenance Annual Report, Boeddeker Park was the fifth highest-scoring park in San Francisco out of 200 parks.
Thank You to Staff
We want to acknowledge and thank the many staff members who were champions of our Boeddeker Park effort over the years.
Mike Vuong, Patrick Roddy, and Peter Corea have been the front line of the effort at Boeddeker Park and all have a lot for which to be proud. As well, the entire Tenderloin Clubhouse team, former Clubhouse Directors Pat Zamora and Esan Looper, Maxine Wilson, Harold Love, Joni Lachman, and many more people have worked hard to launch, support, or fund the park. We are grateful to all of these colleagues for the hard work, patience, and care that they brought to Boeddeker Park.
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco is proud to have been part of this extraordinary park for nearly six years. It is widely acknowledged by elected officials, Tenderloin police officers, residents, merchants, various City departments, and other community-based organizations that Boeddeker Park has been an incredible success story.