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Balboa Park Renovation Approved With $2.5 Grant From Local Non-Profit (VIDEO)

Balboa Park Renovation

First Posted: 11/23/11 03:48 PM ET Updated: 11/23/11 03:48 PM ET

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a $2.5 million plan funded by the Trust for Public Lands that will give Mission Terrace's Balboa Park a major face-lift.

Improvements slated for the park include an expanded children's play area, a skate park and renovated tennis courts, a new picnic area with benches and lighting, a walking path around the perimeter of the park and a number of safety-related features along Sgt. Young Drive.

Sitting just on the other side of Highway 280 from City College of San Francisco, the 25-acre Balboa Park is one of the larger parks in the neighborhood and, with its easy access to public transportation--the aptly named Balboa Park BART/Muni station is mere steps away--has long been a popular destination for families looking for a little outdoor fun while still staying inside the city limits.

"This is an old park and the work is badly needed," Recreation and Parks Department Spokesperson Connie Chan told the San Francisco Chronicle. "This is one of the ways San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department is trying to seek out help to get projects done."

The city has originally budgeted $900,000 to fix up the park; however, the multi-million dollar gift from the Trust for Public Land will take the place of any money the city had planned on spending.

The Trust For Public Land isn't the only private-sector group to donate money to the project. A litany of other San Francisco companies--Banana Republic, Levi Strauss, McKesson, Pacific Gas and Electric and Wells Fargo--all contributed to the new Balboa Park.

The San Francisco-based non-profit also provided a majority of the nearly $4 million needed for the renovation of the Hayes Valley Playground. That project was completed earlier this year when the playground, virtually unrecognizable from what was there before, reopened in June.

This construction project may not be the only major change headed to the area. A recent proposal before the Board of Supervisors is looking to convert a parking lot attached to the nearby Balboa Park BART station into a 100-unit affordable housing complex complete with ground-level commercial space.

Check out this video of Balboa Park neighbor David Mauroff talking about renovating the park:

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Filed by Aaron Sankin  |