Plan floated for S.F. Warm Water Cove cleanup

Warm Water Cove, the subject of a war waged last summer between graffiti artists and city officials who wanted to give a small blighted park in southeast San Francisco a makeover, is in the spotlight once again.

A summer intern at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research association, a local think tank, has finished a major design project on the two-acre park where 24th Street meets the Bay, and is meeting with the San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council next week to discuss them.

Mike Ernst, a graduate student of city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, spent the summer interviewing neighborhood residents, park goers, graffiti artists and people who helped in a park cleanup effort to develop designs for the park — one of the only open spaces in the southeastern part of The City.

The park “is very essential for this part of town if it’s going to be anything beyond industrial,” Ernst said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity here to have that whole part of town be reconnected with the waterfront.”

Graffiti artists, who had long used the cove as a blank canvas for artistic expression, were angered last summer when city officials launched a cleanup effort after years of neglect.

The battle ended when Warm Water Cove, also called Toxic Tire Beach, received a fresh coat of green paint, covering murals and tags.

The little-known park is mostly filled with dry grass and piles of debris. However, Ernst, Port officials, city park supporters and neighborhood residents see a brighter future for the small space.

“We’re always looking for parks on the eastern side of town,” said Corinne Woods, who walks her dog at the park and works part time for the San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council.

Ernst has proposed a bandstand for musical and cultural performances in the green space and an outdoor cafe for the area by the old sugar factories near the park.

amartin@examiner.com

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