After we studied the results of BAWCC Tenderloin Kids Counts, there were three glaring facts: 1) thousands of young kids lived in the Tenderloin, almost all of them in single rooms, 2) Tenderloin kids lived in all parts of the neighborhood, from Van Ness to Powell, from Market to Post, 3) because the Tenderloin has long been one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in San Francisco, kids and families mostly stayed very close to home. We realized that we needed to focus in all four quadrants of the Tenderloin for playgrounds to be built.
Realizing that there were some buildings with dozens (in one case, hundreds) of kids living in them within just a few blocks of City Hall, Civic Center Plaza was a perfect spot for a playground for our youngest kids! Not only would Tenderloin families have a beautiful, place outdoors to bring their children, but anyone with young kids who was visiting the Civic Center could also enjoy the play structures.
To launch this project, we first had a meeting with the mayor. He loved our idea, and gave us the go-ahead to work for the Civic Center Tiny Tot Playground. It was not an easy or swift process! After BAWCC’s successfully getting approvals from nine City commissions and committees, the playground opened in 1994. Recently, the children and parents have a whole new playground to enjoy since the structures were updated!