Nov 14, 2018

Panhandle Park Stewards - Volunteer leadership position now open

We are seeking a new volunteer to assume leadership for the Panhandle Park Stewards. 

Volunteering in the lead role is an opportunity to:

  • Improve your skills in leading and coordinating volunteers 
  • Develop relationships with city staff and other community leaders 
  • Learn about tree care, native plants, and park management practices 
  • Add community service to your resume 
  • Make a difference in a legendary San Francisco park 

 What Panhandle Park Stewards has accomplished:

  • This project has improved the Panhandle Park through coordinating the efforts of hundreds of volunteers from the community in partnership with the city of San Francisco at a monthly workday. 
  • A top priority has been to improve care for the park’s historically significant mature trees. In addition, volunteers have worked to amend the soil in the park’s meadows, prune shrubs and perennials, remove debris from pathways, and plant trees and gardens. 
  • The project has established a group of dedicated volunteers who participate in the monthly workday (the email list for the workday has 127 members). It has established a durable partnership with a neighborhood school for participation by their families. 
  • Another success of this project was to formulate capital improvements to the park that were implemented in 2012. This project established a rain garden full of native plants and other improvements near the basketball courts and playground. 
  • Panhandle Park Stewards also completed a series of special events to promote neighborhood engagement, funded by the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The project has a blog website and a Twitter account to document and disseminate information pertinent to the park. 

Please contact us! A volunteer job description follows. Neighborhood leaders and the SF Rec and Parks department would like to continue the monthly community workdays in the Panhandle. We are seeking a volunteer from the community to attend these workdays and lead the overall project. During 2019, you can work with the current leader to learn the ropes and meet other people involved in this project. 

Dale Danley / / / @4thePanhandle
North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, Email:

Panhandle Park Stewards 
 Volunteer leadership position: Director for Community Engagement 
The Director for Community Engagement is responsible for continuation and development of Panhandle Park Stewards, which mobilizes volunteers to take part in a monthly community workday. This volunteer position is accountable to the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA). NOPNA is fiscal sponsor of this project, collecting and managing any funds for the Panhandle Park Stewards. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department provides staff, tools, and management of the community workday.

Basic Responsibilities of the Director of Community Engagement

  1. Attend the monthly community workday at the Panhandle Park, to greet volunteers from the community and provide a liaison with parks staff 
  2. Disseminate information to the public about the community workday by managing a listserv, sending two emails per month 
  3. Respond to public inquiries about the community workday by email and telephone 
  4. On an annual basis, contact the staff of the parks department to schedule the community workdays and provide statistics of the number of participants during the previous year 

Additional opportunities for the Director of Community Engagement

  • Post photos and written descriptions to the website/blog dedicated to the project 
  • Expand promotional efforts to let more people know about the workday by posting in social media, writing articles for neighborhood newsletters, and putting posters on the park bulletin board 
  • Enlist other community based groups (e.g.,San Francisco Day School, Bridgemen, One Brick) to bring their volunteers to the monthly workday 
  • Raise funds for the project through sponsorships and donations 
  • Spend funds collected on items such as volunteer appreciation events 
  • Monitor park-related plans and activities undertaken by the Parks Department and other city agencies including SFMTA, SFDPW, and SF Arts Commission 
  • In collaboration with other neighbors and local organizations, write grant proposals for park improvements 

If interested, please contact Dale Danley ( or the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association.

Panhandle Park Stewards
North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association

Oct 15, 2018

Report of our October workday

On a beautiful fall morning, neighbors and families from the San Francisco Day School joined together with the the gardening staff of SF Rec and Park Department to take care of our local park, the Panhandle.
Four volunteers tackling the heavy duff left by the big trees 
Around our playground (which is slated for a complete rebuilding next year), grows a diverse mix of plantings, like well-established penstemons and butterfly bush. The area also has many large trees that shed their bark and leaves year-round...and so keeping the plantings in good shape takes some extra care and attention from the volunteers.

Four more volunteers wondering how to remove all the weedy grass from the rain garden
Adjacent to the playground, our rain garden has one problem area, on the west edge where seeds of invasive grasses pour in from the surrounding turf during each rainfall. This month's volunteer crew tackled the job of removing these grasses, and then planted in with some clumps of yarrow that grows nearby. Let's hope the yarrow begins to fill in this spot.

A sunny fall morning

Sep 10, 2018

Report of our September workday

On Saturday, local residents got together at the Panhandle to help our gardening staff with the continuing effort to keep the Panhandle Park welcoming and beautiful.

Brian suggested that maintenance of the irrigation system for the rain garden was overdue. That involved opening up the control box, and giving everyone a tutorial on the controls inside. 

It also required an assessment of all of the sprinkler heads, cleaning or replacing those that were clogged or damaged, and in some cases, digging out and and re-positioning the fixture. It was the most thorough maintenance of the irrigation that volunteers have been involved in, and will be important to give the garden some watering during the warm months ahead.

Not all of the volunteers on Saturday were wrapped up in the irrigation system, others were busy raking out beds, deadheading the blooms and removing weeds from the mound, and trimming back the shrubs surrounding the playground. We wrapped up with some raking of the leaves near the basketball courts.

Jul 19, 2018

Report of our July workday

At our workday on Saturday, Panhandle Park Stewards were out in force to help out our Rec & Park gardening staff with the planted areas around the playground and to recoup some of the pathways that had been covered in mud & debris.

Summer brings a lot of growth, and our rain garden needed some ongoing weeding and raking. Also widespread basal shoots (suckers) emerging from the roots of the elm trees in the area were sawed or clipped back to the ground. The eclectic plantings around the perimeter of the playground also received some attention. We want them to stay beautiful through their final days before the rebuilding of the playground next year.