Volunteers to provide input on recreation centers

An army of volunteers could be appointed to watch over and give feedback for the 25 recreation centers and nine public swimming pools in The City.

The Recreation and Park Department will ask park supervisors to choose residents who live within one mile of each recreation center and pool for oversight and brainstorm on ways to utilize them. Then those groups would report to an advisory council selected by General Manager Phil Ginsburg, acting as a liaison to the Recreation and Park Commission.

“There’s never really been an avenue where people had direct input on the types of programming that they see at their rec centers,” Rec and Park spokesman Elton Pon said.

And while the plan could help activate the public places by providing more fluid communication between the neighbors and the Rec and Park Commission, some recreation groups that already exist said they want input, too.

“I have no problem with them organizing it but I do have a problem if they’re going to be picking who they think they want,” said Shawna McGrew, founding member of the Friends of Sunset Playground who worked at the Sunset Recreation Center for more than 20 years.

The plan for the new groups is scheduled to appear before the Recreation and Park Commission before the end of the year. Nominations would then be in January and the groups would be in place by spring of 2011, Pon said.

“We want to make it clear that this is in the beginning phase and we plan on presenting it to community groups that already exist,” Pon said. “Our plan is provide input to the department and learn more about this model.”

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

 

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