Workshop: Climate Proofing the GBD


Climate-Proofing Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

The GBD is co-sponsoring a series of workshops Jan 27-29 on the very localized impacts of climate change - drought, flooding, sea level rise - and how surrounding development will alter their effect on our district. We will look at what we can do on a neighborhood level to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and to become more resilient. Hope Rising of the Washington State University will lead the series of workshops. High school and college students are welcome.

                                     Esprit Park Survey

The Planning Department is looking at possible upgrades to the Dogpatch public realm in light of the increase in development and our resident population. The department is conducting an online survey regarding uses and aspirations for Esprit Park. Click here to take the survey.

GSW/PG&E/GBD Workday

Pennsylvania Avenue

Over 100 Warriors fans and PG&E employees, GBD Board members, and Dogpatch and Potrero Hill neighbors participated in a Warriors-sponsored Neighborhood Revitalization Day organized in cooperation with the Green Benefit District.  Volunteers helped to transform a long stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue from a neglected, weedy, trash-filled and debris filled wasteland into a safe and attractive landscaped walking path.  Our friends at Catmex Maintenance did a terrific job of preparing the site for the workday and getting the new path in.  Neighbors donated succulents.  The volunteers came through, doing an amazing amount of work in just one day.  Even Warrior David West came out to wield a shovel.

progress park dog run

The GBD/Warriors/PG&E workday also included upgrades to the Progress Park dog run.  Volunteers replaced all the bark chips in the run, filled and planted a new perimeter planter, and filled in the wood iris planted along the sidewalk border.  Plants along the fence line that are not healthy for dogs were cut back.  Catmex is adding irrigation for the plants and improving the dog drinking stations.  With more and more dogs in the City, every off-leash space is a precious resource.  All of Progress Park is a treasure.  We are grateful to the park stewards who created Progress Park.  The GBD is proud to included it among our maintained parks.

Grove/Loop/Penn Ave Projects

Repairs and Planting at Minnesota Grove

Dogpatch residents have created wonderful open spaces out of almost nothing. Minnesota Grove (Minnesota at 24th) is shaded by mature trees and is full of bird and butterfly habitat – and it sits at the heart of the new Minnesota Street Arts District.  The Green Benefit District repaired the Grove’s damaged north retaining wall and reinstalled irrigation lines. Neighbors pitched in to replant just in time for our first autumn sprinkles.  Check out the north side of Minnesota Grove as it comes back to life.

Gateway Loop Receives Funding

Opportunities to add public green space in our neighborhoods are few. Neighborhood volunteers have been working to convert a trash-collecting trouble spot - the freeway right-of-way around HWY 101 at 17th Street - to a green and usable public space.  The Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee has thrown its support behind the project by awarding $1.75 million towards its construction. Loop Volunteers have already raised over $300,000. The EN CAC award leaves them just $750,000 short of their fundraising goals. Project details at

New Pennsylvania Street Sidewalk Garden

The Home Owners Association at Pennsylvania and 22nd Street, with the help of Friends of the Urban Forest and the Green Benefit District, have transformed their corner into a lovely urban oasis, another step towards making our neighborhood more walkable, comfortable and friendly.

GBD is Keeping Busy

  • The Green Benefit District has installed dog waste bag stations at test location around the district. More to come!
  • The Northwest Potrero Benches Garden got help preparing for new Caltrans fences.
  • Our hard-working helpers from Frank & Grossman Landscaping and Aim to Please Janitorial are out in the neighborhood weekly. Both are District 10 businesses.  Let us know how we can help keep Dogpatch and Potrero cleaner and greener.
  •  Please use our CONTACT page!

Esprit Updates and New ED

New Executive Director

The Green Benefit District welcomes its first Executive Director, Julie Christensen. Julie brings experience spearheading important civic projects like the North Beach Library, Joe DiMaggio Playground, Coit Tower and Helen Wills Park. She has led advocacy for the extension of the Central Subway and numerous pedestrian safety efforts. Julie hit the ground running in June, meeting with City staff, local residents, business leaders and project developers to maximize opportunities for Dogpatch and northwest Potrero Hill.

Upgrades at Esprit Park

This spring the GBD funded improvements to a number of area parks including major pathway repairs at Esprit Park. Esprit’s west pathway was compacted, poorly defined and prone to flooding from irrigation and rain. With help and oversight from the Recreation and Parks Department, the path was regraded and resurfaced and bordered with a rain garden water collection basin. Let us know what you think..

Important Community Meetings

The Eastern neighborhoods are changing rapidly. Residents and businesses have the opportunity to weigh in on plans and issues at a couple of upcoming meetings.  The Planning  Department is doing am overview study of open space and public realm and street planning needs in Dogpatch.  The first community meeting focused on parks.  The second will look at streets, including parking and pedestrian safety.

MEETING:  Central Waterfront/Dogpatch Public Realm Plan Community Meeting
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, 7/27   6-8:30pm
LOCATION: Harmonic Brewing at 1050 26th Street

Look for the VESTS - ATP and F&G

Two new service providers just started cleaning and greening the neighborhood sidewalks and green spaces. They’re wearing GBD vests so the neighborhood can see their assessment dollars at work. 

In the vest and on the job!  (Aim to Please Operations Manager)

In the vest and on the job!  (Aim to Please Operations Manager)

Aim to Please Janitorial services will:

  • Remove litter, garbage and trash throughout the Districts
  • Sweep sidewalks, publicly accessible open spaces, including parks, plazas and streetscapes
  • Remove visible graffiti:
    • private property, including buildings, mail boxes, garage doors, warehouses, etc. (when requested by property owner)
    • publicly accessible open spaces, including parks, plazas, and green spaces
    • supplement SFPW graffiti removal from public realm areas, including street signage, telephone poles and power lines, street furniture, etc. 
    • report graffiti on state-­owned property, including Caltrans & Caltrain rights­-of­-way
  • Report overflowing or damaged trash cans
  • Supplement San Francisco Public Works efforts to remove illegal dumping and respond to requests for trash removal from public realm areas.
  • Empty GBD doggie station waste bins 
Angel Alley Park Steward Sari Stenfors with Frank + Grossman landscapers Frederico and Michelle.

Angel Alley Park Steward Sari Stenfors with Frank + Grossman landscapers Frederico and Michelle.

Frank + Grossman Landscape Contractors will:

Provide weekly landscaping and watering services to the 12 GBD public spaces (Benches Park and IM Scott Sidewalk Gardens will have twice-weekly watering):

  • Landscaping services including:  weeding, pruning, weed control, edging, fertilizing.
  • In parks with automatic irrigation control systems:  program, check and maintain system.
  • In green spaces without automatic irrigation control systems:  Use existing water sources to hand water plants.
  • Remove any trash and debris (on day work is performed)
  • Control weeds in curbs, sidewalks and gutters

Your Green Benefit District Board: keeping our neighborhood clean and green. 


The GBD is thrilled to welcome Angel Alley, a brand new San Francisco Street Park, as an official GBD public space that will be supported and maintained with GBD resources. In addition to providing regular greening and cleaning, the GBD is reimbursing the cost of new solar lighting to the garden.

Previously, this half-block of Tennessee Street between 22nd Street and Tubbs was a neglected, trash-filled and overgrown dead-end street. With no street lighting, it provided a haven for illicit and threatening activity at night.

But during the day, Angel Alley has been a favorite pass-through for pedestrians, bicyclists, strollers, skateboarders, and dog walkers. With thousands of new residents moving into Dogpatch, and a new pedestrian path being built to connect Tennessee and 3rd Street, pedestrian traffic in the Alley will soon multiply.

Determined to make Angel Alley a welcome place at all hours,  a group of 60 residents and six local businesses launched a grassroots effort to transform the space. Their goal: to make neighbors, workers, and visitors feel safe and uplifted by an attractive landscaped garden and pedestrian gathering space. They set out to realize their vision, formed a board, applied to the City’s Community Challenge Grant Program, and brought in professional landscapers and project managers.

Angel Alley is now a sublime and pleasant palm tree and succulent oasis. We applaud their success and are proud of the spirit, energy, and dedication to our community.

Angel Alley work day.jpg


Three of the District's seven green spaces that will be getting 'Jumpstart' services.

Three of the District's seven green spaces that will be getting 'Jumpstart' services.

GBD’s first main job is to take care of our delightful existing parks and public spaces – nearly all of which were envisioned, built and/or revamped by our neighbors and friends.

The GBD Management Plan calls for a ‘jumpstart’ agenda:  to see which spaces need attention right now. 

So on December 31, 2015 the services committee toured the District, and made recommendations to the Board -- which had its own tour on January 10th.

Seven spaces are included the jumpstart: Progress Park, Minnesota Grove, IM Scott sidewalk greening and Woods Yard park in the Dogpatch, and Fallen Bridge mini-park, Benches Garden, and the ‘Potrero Loop’ in Northwest Potrero.

Now we are busy planning for long-term maintenance and improvement contracts for services to all the green spaces included in the Management Plan, as well as district-wide services. If you have any ideas, thoughts or suggestions, please let us know!  

And if you know of a green space in the city which is NOT already included in the GBD Management Plan, we are accepting applications for GBD maintenance funding.

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Members of the GBD Board tour the District's green spaces on January 10, 2016

Members of the GBD Board tour the District's green spaces on January 10, 2016

The GBD Interim board put into place all the pieces necessary for the new board to get off to a great start.  After being approved by the Board of Supervisors in July 2015, the GBD is now a 501c3 nonprofit with a bank account (at Umpqua Bank) and an elected board.  But there is a lot to be done to get things moving transparently and efficiently…

Following the Management Plan

The GBD Management Plan and the GBD-City agreement are two of the legal documents that guide the actions for the GBD.  Eleven Open spaces were called out for maintenance.  Additionally the GBD will supplement city services in providing graffiti removal, trash removal and tree maintenance.

Hiring Service Providers

The new board service committee is reviewing the eleven open spaces to determine the level of service needed and create a Scope of Work document.  When this document is approved by the board, a  Request for Proposals will be announced and service providers hired.  The committee is looking for qualified providers and economy of scale.

Meeting with SF City Services

A priority for the board is making sure that the districts services supplement city services and do not replace them.  The Services Committee is setting up meetings with SFRPD, SFMTA, and DPW to work out service cooperation for the district areas.

Assessment Dollars

2016 assessment dollars are available and will be disbursed by the SF Tax Collector to the GBD Umpqua Bank account where it will earn minimal interest until it is spent when service providers are hired and the maintenance work in the district begins. The Board is working hard to establish the budget for 2016 to put assessments to use as quickly and effectively as possible. We will publish the budget as soon as it is complete so that you can understand exactly how, where, and when your assessments are being spent. 

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On Monday, November 23rd, 2015, the GBD Interim Board certified the results of the GBD Board of Directors election. The list of new Board members is available here. 

The winning candidates were selected by a modified weighting algorithm giving weight to property owners with the highest assessments but insuring that small property owners had a strong weighting also. The algorithm is discussed and described in the Interim Board minutes on the Meetings page.

Thank you to all candidates for all seats, and for the interim board members who are completing their GBD service.

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Esprit Park

Esprit Park

Duties & Expectations of a GBD Board Member

The newly-formed Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District needs Board Members who are willing to take on the rewarding work of starting a new nonprofit organization.  This is not a paid position, but promises the satisfaction associated with improving the neighborhood. The Board is responsible for managing the District's annual assessment income according to the specifications outlined in the GBD Management Plan. The funds are to be used to:

  • Clean, maintain, enhance, and expand Public Realm areas in the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill neighborhoods.
  • Support community volunteer efforts.
  • Promote sound ecological practices with a locally controlled, sustainable, and transparent funding structure.
  • Promote a high-level of transparency and accountability in how GBD funds are spent.

Board Members are required to attend monthly Board Meetings as well as perform Committee work.  Board Members should look forward to working together along with a part-time paid Executive Director and maintenance staff.

GBD Board Seats

The Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District Management Plan specifies board composition which results in the seats below:

  • Dogpatch Property Owners – 6
  • Northwest Potrero Hill Property Owners – 2
  • Dogpatch Tenants – 1
  • Northwest Potrero Hill Tenants – 1
  • Green Space Advocates – 3

2015 Board Election Timeline

  • Nomination Period Begins – September 23
  • Nomination Period Ends - October 21
  • Election Period Begins - November 1
  • Election Period Ends - November 23

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On Friday, July 31st 2015, the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to establish the Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District (DNWPH GBD)! Though only a simple majority (50%) of votes was required, over 76% of returning votes provided a resounding YES. This represents the fourth highest margin of victory ever in district formation elections of this kind in San Francisco. This is the first Green Benefit District in the nation!

This GBD victory owes its thanks to: the GBD Formation Committee, nonprofit partner Build Public, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and her office, SF Public Works, and the many volunteers and supporters who have lent a hand over the past three years.

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