Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Lisa Seitz Gruwell is leaving her position to return to philanthropy in the new year.
How long have you been working at Rec and Park, and where did you work before that? I’ve been at Rec and Park just over a year. I came from philanthropy, a Silicon Valley nonprofit.
How’s it been working for The City? It’s been both a pleasure and a challenge. It’s definitely difficult — more difficult to get simple things done. On the other hand, you have tremendous community resources at your disposal.
Where are you going? I’m going back to philanthropy — grant making and organizing. I’m taking on a couple of clients. I’m going to be focused on young people.
Why did you decide to make the change? I just sort of realized that’s where my heart is, and I had a good opportunity to make a big difference there. But I’m definitely torn about it; I’ve really enjoyed my time here.
What do you hope for Rec and Park in the coming years? I hope they can survive the budget crisis. You know, the people here already do so much with so little. The department is tasked with managing a really significant amount of open space in The City, and I think our parks and open space is one of the things that makes San Francisco so wonderful. And yet, we’re just stretched so thin to maintain it to a level that we all deserve.