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New Improvements Unveiled at Lake Merced South

The upgrades will ensure the park remains a destination for relaxation, exercise, and activities like bird watching

For immediate release:
Ribbon-Cutting For New Improvements Unveiled at Lake Merced South


Press Contact: San Francisco Recreation and Park Department 

Assemblymember Phil Ting, District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar, and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today the completion of several new upgrades at Lake Merced South, including ADA improvements, the addition of a fitness court and new benches and tables.

The renovations at the park surrounding the freshwater lake in the city’s southwest corner are part of the larger Lake Merced Trail Improvement Project. The project was guided by a community process that allowed residents to voice what improvements they wanted to see at the park.

A ribbon-cutting marked the completion of the project’s first phase, which added improvements such as a National Fitness Campaign fitness court with exercise equipment; two new picnic tables and benches; new ADA parking at the John Muir Drive lot; new signage along the asphalt trails; and landscaping upgrades including tree maintenance and new tree plantings. In addition, a new drinking fountain will be installed in the coming weeks.

The project’s second phase, which will get underway later this spring, will focus on the lake’s northwest corner. The asphalt pathway will be reconstructed to make it ADA accessible, and the natural surface pathway will be repaved with softer soil that provides less impact for runners and walkers. Also, the parking lot along Lake Merced Boulevard will receive six new ADA parking spaces. Existing fitness stations along the lake will be replaced with new adult exercise equipment. The entire project is anticipated to wrap-up later this year.

The 614-acre city park Lake Merced, flanked by three golf courses—including municipal course TPC Harding Park, has been regarded as a premier destination for boaters, golfers, hikers, bikers, runners, and birdwatchers. The 4.5-mile trail that surrounds the entire lake connects all three parking lots. Furthermore, the lake is an important habitat for birds as it serves as a stop for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.

Funding for the $4.6 million renovation project came from the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Citywide Parks Program; the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Forestry Program; and the 2018 Parks Bond Act’s Recreational Infrastructure Revenue Enhancement. In addition, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) helped secure $1 million for the project through state funding from the California Natural Resources Agency Grant.

“My priority in Sacramento has been to improve the lives of Californians. I have successfully championed more than $26 million over the years for the City’s Recreation and Parks Department. It’s always exciting to see when state investments I secured for my district become a reality. This park’s upgrades will entice more residents to enjoy the outdoors, while ensuring local wildlife will thrive. I can’t wait to bring my own kids here,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

“Lake Merced is a local treasure and we are fortunate to have champions like Assemblymember Ting fighting for increased investments to add amenities for locals and visitors to enjoy. Connecting with nature and open space is critical for our mental health and physical well-being,” said Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who represents District 7. “With improved safety and more accessibility surrounding Lake Merced— there is something to offer everyone whether on foot, bike, wheels, or boat.”

“As the City’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Merced is incredibly important to wildlife as well as residents who use it for recreation. It was critical this project balanced keeping the area natural with ensuring access for everyone,” said Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Thanks to support from the community, Assemblymember Ting, and Supervisor Melgar, this jewel in the city’s southwest will continue to shine.”