Golden Gate Park

When SF needs money, it holds an auction

Jul 8, 2015
Under CC license from Flickr user Wally Gobetz


Public infrastructure – parks, libraries, roads, and sidewalks – surrounds us. But have you ever wondered how any of it actually came into being? A lot needs to happen to create a park – from coming up with the idea in the first place, to environmental reviews, construction, and of course, getting the money to pay for it. In San Francisco, funding for these projects needs to be approved by voters, as was the case with 2012’s Proposition B, which gave the city permission to borrow $195 million to renovate parks, including Golden Gate Park

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Judge denies reclassification of marijuana //   U.S. District judge says she was inclined to remove the Schedule 1 classification (the most dangerous) but says that decision belongs to Congress.

Jeremy Dalmas


In a quiet spot, just west of the bustle of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, sits a garden dedicated to English literature’s crowned prince: William Shakespeare. Once you make it past the entrance gate and down the worn brick path, you are transported into an English garden filled with manicured flower beds, trimmed lawns, and people escaping the noise of the city.

San Franciscans love to garden, but a backyard is hard to come by if you live in an apartment. And the 36 city-operated community gardens have wait lists with hundreds of names on them.

That’s why the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department had to get creative on the Golden Gate Park Community Garden.

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Non-violent drug offenders to benefit from Justice Dept. overhaul // USA Today

NCAA lowers penalties… Martinez outlaws cannabis gardens… Did pot overdose lead to student death?... Cannabis vending machines in Colorado… “420” event in danger of being shut down… Willie Nelson smokes pot!... and more.


City of Martinez bans outdoor cannabis gardens // KTVU-TV      It joins 89 other California cities and counties with restrictions.

Laura Klivans

Betsy. Buttercup. Bambi. Those are not Disney characters but three of the eight female bison that live at the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park. Sarah King, the primary bison keeper, introduces me to them one afternoon. She works with fellow hoofstock fan, Jim Nappi, Curator of Hoofstock and Marsupials at the San Francisco Zoo. Nappi says he and King share a love for bison.

Back in 1980, when comedian Jose Simon heard that the San Francisco Chronicle agreed to sponsor a free event, he founded Comedy Day in San Francisco. This Sunday from noon to 5 pm, you can catch more than 40 comedians performing stand-up at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park, as Comedy Day celebrates its 33rd year.

Event organizer Debi Durst has been part of the show from the very beginning. She joined comedians Diane Amos and Marga Gomez in the studio with KALW’s Ben Trefny to talk about Comedy Day.  

To me, Sunday mornings are sacred, but not for any religious reason. It’s when I head out for a weekly bike ride through Golden Gate Park west to Ocean Beach. But one weekend, I decide to go on a Saturday instead. I take my usual route – cruising through the aromatic eucalyptus trees along the Panhandle, hugging the curves of John F Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. But when I arrive at the white Conservatory of Flowers, something’s different. On my left, a soothing, and out-of-place sound emerges from out of nowhere. It’s jazz.

Last week, we aired a story produced by KALW’s Ben Trefny and Rai Sue Sussman that discussed Golden Gate Park’s new biking lanes, and it prompted an unprecedented response. Here are some thoughts from our listeners:

Benjamin Grant is the Public Realm and Urban Design program manager at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association – also known as SPUR. He says that means he works on “public space and the physical form of the city.” He also knows quite a bit about the history of parks in the Bay Area.

Just about everyone knows that the largest park in San Francisco is Golden Gate Park. But can you name the second largest one? (The Presidio doesn’t count; that’s federal.) 

Named for John McLaren, San Francisco’s first Superintendent of Parks, McLaren Park is just over 300 acres, about a third the size of its larger and better-known sibling.