650 Capitol Avenue Aerial
An aerial view of the Minnie and Lovie Ward Playfields at 650 Capitol Avenue paints the painful picture of the ankle twisting park as it current stands. As proposed, however, the former Ocean View Park and Recreation Center will be transformed.

The proposed project would renovate the approximately 6.1‐acre playfields and would include replacement of the existing grass turf with synthetic turf and installation of three 60‐foot‐tall light standards, three 70‐foottall light standards, and six 80‐foot‐tall light standards. The new light standards would be placed on the perimeter of the field area and would be controlled by an automated control system, which would turn the lights on at sunset and turn the lights off upon field closure at 10:00 p.m. daily.

The project would also include replacement of the existing bleachers at the baseball field; installation of new bleachers at the softball/little league field; two new volleyball courts; replacement of the existing metal chain link fence with black vinyl fence; replacement of baseball and softball backstops and baseball dugout areas; refurbishment of the pedestrian walkway; installation of new drinking fountains, benches, bike racks, trash and recycling cans; modification to the existing retaining wall in the northeast field area; installation of irrigation system for existing vegetation; removal of the existing cargo container; improve infrastructure to comply with ADA requirements; and removal and replacement of up to 21 on‐site trees due to poor suitability and condition.

Click the rendering of the proposed playfields renovation plan below to enlarge.

Minnie and Lovie Ward Playfields Renovation Plan [sfplanning.org]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    That aerial photo shows that groundskeeper Willie was having trouble getting his sprinklers to evenly distribute water. The system probably broke down years ago and Parks just gave up. The artificial turf will render that problem moot.
    There’s a park in Santa Cruz where artificial turf was installed on their soccer fields. It is brand new and looks great. Hopefully it ages well and plays well.
    The “black vinyl fence” seems to be an ordinary steel chain link fence dipped in a vinyl covering.

  2. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Santa Cruz? This projects is looking squarely at the San Francisco Crocker Amazon turf fields, which is a runaway success story.

  3. Posted by thurgie

    I know a gardener for Park and Rec who says that artificial turf is impossible to clean when people grind their cigarette butts and food into it. I saw an example of this at Crocker Amazon. It’s kind of disgusting. That said, it’s nice to be able to practice soccer in the rain without destroying the field.

  4. Posted by redseca2

    How long before we hear about the need to replace the decrepit articficial turf with real grass?

  5. Posted by anon.ed

    Not long at all. Think preemptive, as in the Beach Chalet back and forth. But the facts are that there is tremendous demand, SF can’t pay for groundskeepers to maintain grass fields at the requisite levels, and grass itself doesn’t thrive on sandier soil.

  6. Posted by Rillion

    Kimbell Field got redone as well and is extremely popular, seeing lots of us by many different sports groups.

  7. Posted by Duboceguy

    Looks like ‘Crop Circles’ to me…

  8. Posted by BobN

    Several years ago, some asshole in Rec&Park made the executive decision to replace the old, existing sprinklers in the parks with new plastic ones.
    The result is the same all over town. Crop circles of death.

  9. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The decision to replace the old brass sprinklers with plastic was probably to prevent theft.

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