Golden Gate Park Dog Field Getting $2 Million Overhaul

By Thomas K. Pendergast


An off-leash dog walking area in Golden Gate Park, west of Spreckels Lake and near the

intersection of Fulton Street and 40th Avenue, is slated for a $2 million makeover

sometime this year.


The SF Recreation and Park Department (RPD) and the mayor’s office announced that

District 19 Assemblymember Phil Ting has secured $6.5 million of state funding to

improve San Francisco parks, of which $2 million will go into the renovation of the dog

park. The rest of the money will be used to restore the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse

and improvements around Lake Merced.


Money for the dog park will go to upgrading the park by adding benches, dog turf and

better fencing. A community planning and design process is now underway.


“My constituents and I deeply appreciate Assemblymember Ting’s timely and much

needed contribution for our city’s parks,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra

Lee Fewer, whose district includes Golden Gate Park.


“Our 38th Avenue dog play area has been neglected for decades but I am glad that our

neighborhood’s recent organizing efforts around this important resource have been so

successful and will result in a gem of a dog park. This money provides our district the

ability to renovate the dog play area in a manner that will make it a state of the art

facility once the project is finished. We still have a ways to go before we have an agreed

upon design and I encourage all of the dog lovers in our district to contact my office to

learn how they can participate in this exciting process,” Fewer said.


Ting agrees.


“San Francisco’s parks are valued by its residents and visitors, and we want to

keep it that way,” Ting said. “With $6.5 million coming in from the state, the

enhancements, restoration and improvements that will be made to the Geneva

Car Barn, the new Golden Gate Park Dog Park and Lake Merced will go a long way

in preserving San Francisco’s rich history while increasing accessibility for years

to come.”


Mayor Edwin Lee, who recently passed away, also supported the effort.


“To help keep our residents in San Francisco, we need to create more amenities

for our families and this funding finds innovative ways to make that happen,”

Lee said. “We will soon be developing more public open spa es and transforming

our existing facilities into thriving community



On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, as the sun struggled to break through a gray

overcast sky, about a half dozen dogs roamed around the dog training area while

their owners threw balls and chatted with each other.


With his Airedale Terrier “Bam Bam” nearby, Ulysses Vinson compared the dog

area to one he had recently used in South San Francisco called Centennial Dog Park,

which he thinks is much n icer.


“They have stretches of grass turn there, so your dog wouldn’t have to be in

the mud when it rains ,” Vinsen said. “They also have agility features for dogs

to jump over.”


He is in favor of spending money to upgrade the off-leash dog area in Golden Gate Park.


“There’s a lot of need and room for improvement,” he said. “This time of year the sun

goes down earlier but there are no lights out here. Sometimes, we put the headlights on

from our trucks to light it up so we can walk the dog.”


He also thinks the water fountain for the dogs is poorly designed and needs to

be replaced, the fence around the area could be higher and a hose would be good

because some dogs prefer to drink from a hose, rather than the shallow pan in the

current water-fountain design.


Daniela Sawicki was watching her Toy Australian Shepard running around playing

with a couple of much larger dogs. She would like to see a separate area within the dog

park for smaller dogs, because her dog “Beans” sometimes gets trouble from the larger



“Beans is so small that sometimes the bigger dogs think ‘squirrel’ and they go into

predator mode,” Sawicki said. “So, it would be nice to have a separate area

where small dogs can be more safe.”

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