New Mission District playground opens Sat.

May 15, 2009 1:37:20 PM PDT
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will debut a refurbished playground Saturday in the Mission District.

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The 33-year-old Franklin Square Playground was renovated for $1.2 million after being considered to be among the most under-performing parks in the city three years ago.

"Franklin Square is a great example of how neighbors can lead the effort to improve their parks," San Francisco Recreation and Park Department general manager Jared Blumenfeld said in a statement.

The seeds of the renovation were planted at community meetings hosted by the Recreation and Park Department in partnership with the Friends of Franklin Square.

The result is an expanded, state-of-the-art area for children's play subdivided by age and a playground that also features a sand play area, climbing wall, swings and rubberized play surfaces.

"The Northeast Mission has not had a playground within a 10-mile block radius and this new community gathering place is a welcome and much-needed addition to the neighborhood and its growing numbers of children," Friends of Franklin Square volunteer Antje Kann said in a statement.

Saturday's celebration will feature performances by local community members, including the San Francisco Golden Gate Chorus, Project Commotion, jazz pianist Jeffrey Gaeto and Soka Gakkai International's youth group Short Plunger.

The 3:30 p.m. grand opening event, which will also include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, appearances by city officials and family activities, will be held at the park, located at Bryant and 17th streets.

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