Buena Vista Park is San Francisco's first neighborhood park and the third largest park in the system. It is currently overwhelmed with vagrant camping, creating huge litter, health hazards, soil erosion and vegetation damage. In addition, there is a long-deferred need for forest management and fire hazard reduction. Our park deserves better! This petition is designed to start a public process that can encourage a more coordinated effort by City Agencies to deal with Buena Vista's short and long-term problems, and a parallel effort by neighbors and day visitors to the park to suggest solutions, expand volunteer efforts, and consider financing options to bring more resources to the park.
For further information, to receive meeting notifications or to volunteer with petiton distribution please contact: IsabelWade@gmail.com
We ask that the following immediate steps be taken to address the decline of our park:
1. Coordination of effort: can the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) please provide a PLAN of enforcement of park codes (i.e. no camping, no littering) indicating the roles and responsibilities and a schedule of action for all relevant agencies (i.e. SFPD, Sheriff’s Dept, RPD). The plan should detail by key problem area what they are each doing, indicating who is in charge and how and with whom the public communicates related to the following:
• Litter removal
• Campsite removal and no camping enforcement
2. Increase police presence in problem areas of the park and at critical times;
• Increase foot patrols
• Increase warrant checks of out of state cars on perimeter
• Establish a trial for one month with SFPD personnel present at 5pm each evening at problem locations, along with Social Services, to prevent campers going to the park; move the intervention to key points around the park to have maximum effect.
3. Establish specific signage at key points of entry indicating the NO CAMPING policy.
4. Vegetation Management Improvements: improved caretaking of the perimeter vegetation will increase positive use of the park and discourage negative users
• Extensive, professional pruning around the perimeter to reduce appeal to campers of overgrown vegetation for hidden camp sides (please consider authorizing volunteers to assist with this activity)
• Lift the view line of trees on the perimeter to allow for longer views into the park
• Improve watering around the perimeter to protect existing plant material and enhance visual appeal of the park
• Institute massive, on-going mulching around the perimeter once pruning has taken place; this will remove trails into the park and assist with our serious erosion problem
• Reduce fire hazard with immediate dead wood removal and/or chipping program
5. Create new volunteer opportunities to assist with the urgent need to monitor and improve the maintenance of the park.
• Accommodate individual volunteer schedules during the week and on Sunday
• Re-direct current volunteer efforts in the short-term to focus volunteer energy on perimeter tasks and improvements; provide a quarter plan for Volunteer Activities and locations that can be posted on a website
• Give highest priority to larger work parties that might be available mid-week or on Sunday to assist with specific projects (groups to be solicited by neighbors included).
Long-term Planning and Action
We are aware that a longer-frame Plan of Action and more resources are needed for the park and are determined to support these efforts. Longer-term steps needed to improve the park include:
• The development of a detailed Operations Plan for staff and volunteers
• The development of a detailed Capital Plan for infrastructure, including the forest resource and an erosion control element
• Evaluation of funding options for the park to improve maintenance and capital assets
Thank you for your consideration of our request.