San Francisco Recreation and Parks (San Francisco) – Facilitate Strategic Planning Process

The mission of the SF Recreation and Parks department is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks, and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community.

The Recreation and Park Commission, administers more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, including two outside the city limits — Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes 25 recreation centers, nine swimming pools, five golf courses and numerous tennis courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and other sports venues. Included in the department’s responsibilities are the Marina Yacht Harbor, Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Lake Merced Complex which is operated for recreational purposes under the San Francisco Water Department.

The Recreation and Park Department employs about 850 people, from gardeners, foresters, and recreation leaders to park patrol officers, custodians, electricians, painters, and more. Our mission today, as it has been throughout our history, is to provide opportunities for San Francisco residents and visitors alike to gather, play, learn, relax, and enjoy nature throughout the city.

The Recreation & Parks Department includes:

  • 4,113 acres of recreational and open space
  • 3,400 acres within San Francisco
  • 671 marina slips
  • 220 neighborhood parks
  • 179 playgrounds and play areas
  • 82 recreation centers and clubhouses
  • 72 basketball courts and 151 tennis courts
  • 59 soccer/playfields (and growing)
  • 1 Family Camp

The SF Recreation and Parks goals include:

  • Steward high quality parks and facilities.  Improve the quality of park maintenance and create safe, clean, fun parks and facilities.
  • Deliver affordable, accessible, and high quality recreation.  Improve recreational choices by increasing participation, quantity, and quality of programming.
  • Increase Department’s financial capacity.  Improve financial capacity by building more aggressive revenue plan for facilities, special events, fees, concessions, partnerships, grants, and philanthropy.
  • Improve environmental stewardship.  Improve environmental stewardship through increased composting, recycling, water and energy conservation, sustainable gardening, and natural area management.
  • Cultivate strong community support.  Improve community relations thorough better and more accountable customer service, more robust volunteer management and programming, community partnerships, external communications and branding, and transparent long-term planning.
  • Improve capital infrastructure.  Improve capital infrastructure of parks and facilities in collaboration with the community, on time and on budget, and in a manner which best ensures maintenance and resource longevity.
  • Increase administrative efficiency.  Improve administrative efficiency of the Department through more effective internal communication, HR management, asset management, customer service systems, disaster response protocols, fiscal practices, and staff morale.

The Department wants to write a new Strategic Plan to formalize these goals, replacing the last plan that was written in 2004.

Project Description:

Community Partners has been asked to lay the groundwork for the plan (the bulk of which will be written in 2014) by working with Department leadership to create a Strategic Plan Framework.

The creation of the framework will help the Department ready itself to:

  1.  Build cohesive focus on shared goals across a dispersed and diverse workforce that faces ever-increasing public demand and achieve alignment with stakeholder priorities.
  2. Prioritize and organize the allocation of resources to meet those goals.