The ongoing effort to re-renovate Bernal’s iconic Esmeralda Slide Park resumed last Saturday, May 14, as a group of community volunteers joined forces with civic leaders, City agencies, and construction professionals to begin work on a new sidewalk and irrigation system.
Esmeralda neighbor Joan Carson has helped champion the project, and she shares this update on what happened last weekend, and what’s coming next:
Last Saturday’s event took place from 9 to 10 am, and it marked the beginning of the next phase of renovation for the Park. In particular, we all came together — folks from our Bernal neighborhood, San Francisco Public Works, Laborers Local 261 and San Francisco Parks Alliance — to help remove some of the concrete salvage created when WebCor builders demolished of the plaza’s old pavement. Although our efforts were mostly symbolic on Saturday, the act drove home the incredible partnership that’s making this renovation a reality.
We all remember the plaza rebuild last summer, when the picnic table, benches, slide landing and it’s approach, and the planter were rebuilt. That was the first phase of the City’s re-emergence on the scene to give a face lift to Esmeralda Slide Park. In early Fall, San Francisco Public Works, Laborers local 261 and a few of us folks started work on the next phase of renovation, including planning for park-wide irrigation and additional planting areas.
This led to the City doing more land-use planning for needed infrastructure improvements, like of curb cuts for sidewalk ramps that meet ADA compliance, a land use survey detailing what’s in the Park and its terrain, a tree assessment to determine the health of the trees and identifying which trees needed to be removed to make way for future more appropriate plantings.
On March 9 of this year, San Francisco Public Works held a community meeting at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center where those of us involved in the planning of Esmeralda’s continued renovation gave a presentation on the next phase of work. We got a small turn-out, but all those who showed up were really excited by the plans.
That brings us to where we are right now. WebCor joined the partnership in March and is doing the plaza demolition and new concrete pour. While construction is underway it’s an inconvenience for all us who now using the Esmeralda Stairs to get where we want to go, and it’s sad not be able to enjoy the slide.. But, in a few weeks, we’ll have water pipes underground to deliver water throughout the park and a new pavement in our plaza.
Nancy and I will keep you posted on landscaping plans for the park, including a new landing pad, more planting beds, and more volunteer days to join together and put new plants into the park.
Here’s a special celebrity bonus shot of Neighbor Joan, in seasonal hardhat chic:
BIG THANKS to everyone who is helping to make the Esmeralda Slide Park better than ever.
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics