Mountain Lake Park Playground to Undergo $3.5M Renovation

The playground at Mountain Lake Park in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond District is set to undergo a much-needed extreme makeover at the end of the month.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s $3.15 million renovation project will go towards updating the 30-year-old playground structure as well as its surrounding areas. Construction is scheduled to begin the last week of August.

According to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the current playground’s deteriorated wooden structure may possibly contain arsenic and other hazardous materials once used to treat lumber. The playground’s sand, which is difficult to keep clean, will be replaced by high-performance safety surfacing, according to San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs Connie Chan.

The updates are designed to meet the National Program for Playground Safety Standards, Chan said.

Upon the playground’s completion, which is expected in early fall of 2016, park-going families can look forward to an updated play area featuring nets, swings, jumping discs, see-saws, and a climbing nest of ropes and logs, according to Chan. Other new additions to the playground will include a play area geared toward toddlers and interactive pieces such as kaleidoscopes and megaphones throughout the play area.

“The design of the playground and equipment selection are exciting because they harmonize with the natural setting at Mountain Lake Park and include fun climbing features for kids of all ages,” Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Parks Alliance Matt O’Grady said in a statement.

The park will also feature a new seating and picnic area, the addition of a disability-accessible path surrounding the playground, and irrigation and landscape updates, according to Chan.

The project is funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, the city of San Francisco’s general fund, and a generous donation of over $300,000 from Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground, a volunteer group dedicated to the renovation of the area as a community gathering space for children and neighbors.

“After more than five years, we are thrilled to be at this final stage,” member of Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground Kate Green said in a statement. “It had been a truly collaborative process.”

The playground’s renovation follows a period of restoration for the San Francisco’s Mountain Lake area and its native wildlife by the Presidio Trust, according to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

“The Mountain Lake Park Playground renovation is a wonderful compliment to the revitalization of the lake,” Chief of Park Development & Operations Michael Boland said in a statement. “Children will be able to enjoy a beautiful new playground, and learn about the importance of a functioning natural ecosystem.”

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will be holding an informational meeting onsite at the Mountain Lake Park playground Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m. where the community is invited to meet project manager Mary Hobson and ask any questions about the project they might have.

Rachel Matsuoka, Bay City News

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