Balboa Park, the 100-year-old park that has long served the children of southern San Francisco, recently received a $3.5 million dollar makeover.

The park had fallen into disrepair in recent years. Although many patrons still use its baseball and soccer fields, the playground equipment was no longer safe and general areas lay abandoned.

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The park reopened Sunday after a long restoration project financed by public and private dollars. The renovation includes new playground equipment, refinished tennis courts, a picnic area, and an almost complete skate park.

An undisclosed nonprofit built the toddler portion of the playground a few years ago, and another $1 million of bond money was used to completely transform the park's bathrooms.

Recreation and Park Department Director Phil Ginsberg attended the reopening along with three San Francisco supervisors . Supervisors John Avalos, Scott Weiner and Sean Elsbernd all used Balboa Park as rationale to support a $195 million parks bond measure on the November ballot.

"There's no question about (supporting the bond). ... This is about the whole city," Elsbernd told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Avalos, whose district includes Balboa Park, hailed continuous park funding as "the greatest resource for families to stay in this city".

About $2.6 million for the renovation came from the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit for the conservation of outdoor spaces. Balboa is the second of three park renovations that wil receive money from the trust. Hayes Valley Playground and Boeddeker Park will also get a portion of the combined $16.4 million.

"Balboa is one of San Francisco's oldest parks and now, with all these great changes and renovations, it will be one of the city's newest parks," said Jennifer Isacoff, Director of The Trust for Public Land's Parks for People Bay Area program said in a statement.

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