Walk for Wellness July 2019 – Exploring Open Space in the Tenderloin

It was a beautiful, sunny day in the Tenderloin / Lower Polk neighborhood on Saturday, July 27th, where we met up with community members and friends to highlight the close connection between open spaces in the Tenderloin/Lower Polk neighborhood. 

THE WELLNESS TRAIL

The Walk for Wellness was started by the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership in order to prioritize the streets and sidewalks between all Tenderloin parks and playgrounds in order to cultivate a safe, vibrant and beautiful wellness trail. The Tenderloin is home to the densest concentration of children and families, yet the few open spaces that exist are often underutilized, unknown, or disconnected. The Walk began at the Tenderloin Community Benefit District’s Office, where we started the day with a quick breathing exercise, coffee, and conversation. 

TENDERLOIN NATIONAL FOREST 

Our first stop was theTenderloin National Forest, an incredible hidden gem of an alleyway that was repurposed to be a quiet, green oasis. Started by Artist Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer of the Luggage Store Gallery in 1989, the TL National Forest has become a vibrant community common where people of all ages can gather for public art, respite, performances, and other experimental art projects. 

TL REC CENTER

The second stop of the Wellness Trail took us to the Tenderloin Recreation Center, where some exciting new updates to the space are underway. SF Rec and Park are resurfacing the  multi-purpose court including a new half-court basketball area (new backboard, pole, and hoop); a new softball / kickball area; two new four-square and two new hop-scotch areas; connect dots; and a sprinting lane. The project will be complete in August 2019! 

SGT. MACAULAY PARK 

Next on the walk was Sgt. Macaulay Park, where the old playground site has been cleared, and construction is underway on the bright and beautiful new space. Rec and Park Project Manager Mike Degregorrio was present to highlight the changes to the park, which includes a boat-themed play structure, new paving, and a restroom inside of the park. The Lower Polk Community Benefit District discussed new artwork including mosaics, murals, and sculptures to adorn the park upon completion, as well as programming and on-site stewardship that will keep the park clean, safe, and active! 

TURK & HYDE MINI PARK

The second to last stop on the walk was at Turk and Hyde Mini Park, where construction is also currently underway. Project Manager Mike Degregorrio showed some of the improvements happening at Turk & Hyde, which will include a new play structure, an informal stage, casual tiered seating, a shade trellis with porch swings. Tenderloin Community Benefit Director Simon Bertrang also made the exciting announcement that TLCBD will be working with Urban Alchemy to provide on-site stewardship, much like Lower Polk CBD stewards Macaulay Park. 

CELEBRATION

The final stop on the Wellness Trail was Boeddeker Park, where we walkers were greeted with food, live music from the amazing INDIVIDUO, and connections to different health organizations around the neighborhood.  Check out pictures from the celebration below! 

A huge thank you to participating organizations: 

The Healing Well

Weekend Adventures

North East Medical Services

SFPD Tenderloin Station 

Boys and Girls Club

La Voz Latina 

Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership