The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department unveiled improvements to Golden Gate Park’s Carousel Plaza today.

The renovations were funded with $960,000 from Proposition 40 grants and $300,000 in Open Space funds.

The construction on Carousel Plaza replaced the asphalt plaza with colored concrete, stonewalls and stairs, a trash and recycling storage area, and landscaping work.

The Recreation and Park Department has received nearly $50 million from the state of California for improvements to Golden Gate Park from Proposition 40, a 2002 statewide ballot initiative for improvements to parks and environmental protection.

On the west end of the plaza a new staircase was added, which included tile work provided by staff and patrons from the adjacent Sharon Art Studio, which provides art classes for children, adults and seniors.

The handmade tiles include abstract designs, memorials for lost pets, tributes to the San Francisco Giants, and pictures of cupcakes and ice cream.

The improvements to the Carousel Plaza follow major renovations to the nearby children’s playground in 2007. The Proposition 40 grants have largely gone to the playground renovations, as well as new restrooms and a nearby lawn bowling area.

A third phase of planned renovations will turn the existing barn space into a birthday party and picnic area that could be rented for private parties.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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