Our May meeting included presentations by Dera-Jill Pozner, North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) Board Member and prime mover of an extensive improvement plan for the Panhandle, and Isabel Wade, Friends of Buena Vista Park, who has initiated an effort to focus attention on problems in Buena Vista Park.
Both addressed the specific needs of each Recreation and Parks facility in the neighborhood and expressed their support for the HANC request that in the fiscal year 2014-15, $1.1 million be added to the Recreation & Parks Department budget: $625,000 for the reconstruction/paving of the southern pedestrian pathway from Stanyan to Baker Streets in the Panhandle, and $500,000 for tree replacement and recovery in Buena Vista Park. In addition, the three neighborhood groups requested that $2 million be included in the 2015-2016 Recreation & Parks Department budget for upgrading the irrigation system in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park.
Discussion also centered on the need to developed alternatives to the failed policy of short term "sweeps" of parks to remove campers. Agreement was reached to pursue more creative solutions to the problem of camping by involving social service organizations who currently serve young people in the neighborhood.