New Play Area, Ocean Avenue Cleaning Funded By City Grants

Friends of OMI Mini Parks, Friends of Lakeside Village and the OMI Community Collaborative were awarded nearly $300,000.

Friends of Ocean View-Merced Height-Ingleside Mini Parks was awarded a grant to turn openspace on Alemany Boulevard into a play area for children to explore nature. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Neighborhood cleanups, a new recreation area and more are on the way thanks to a city grant.

The annual Community Challenge Grant granted in May nearly $3 million to 23 receipts, three of which are neighborhood organizations from the greater Ingleside neighborhood.

The grants program has provided financial backing for community groups, businesses, community benefit districts, schools and nonprofit organizations since 1991. Many of the projects are beautification efforts, art projects, community gardens and more.

Friends of Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside Mini Parks, Friends of Lakeside Village and the Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside Community Collaborative successfully submitted project proposals that will begin as soon as July.

Friends of OMI Mini Parks

Friends of OMI Mini Parks will use $148,565 to create a nature exploration play area for children in between Sisterhood Gardens and the Brotherhood-Head Mini Park along Alemany Boulevard.

“Remember when kids used to play with mud and rocks and sticks?” said Johanna Lopez Miyaki, co-founder of Friends of OMI Mini Parks. “Well, we're going to make it a little bit more fun than that. Getting them outside, getting them outdoors to recapture their imaginations and creativity and desire to explore while also creating a place for people to gather because we really don't have a community space in the OMI.”

The group is sponsored by the San Francisco Parks Alliance and wants the space to be similar to the one located at the Presidio Tunnel Tops filled with slides, reclaimed trees to climb over and more.

“I know that there's value for us in the work we're doing but it gave me a lot of confidence that the city backs it and the city actually cares about this part of D11, this part of the community,” said Alyssa Cheung, a partner at Friends of OMI Mini Parks and on this project.

Friends of Lakeside Village

Friends of Lakeside Village received $53,193 to maintain the stretch of Ocean Avenue between 19th Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard. They are sponsored by the Parks Alliance and contracted with the Ocean Avenue Association, a nonprofit charged with maintaining Ingleside’s part of Ocean Avenue, to keep the street clean.

“It represents an investment in making Lakeside Village a more appealing place for shoppers, retaining the existing businesses and to attract new businesses,” said Kath Tsakalakis, the group’s leader.

Friends of Lakeside Village has  also fundraised and been awarded other grants, from sources such as Avenue Greenlight, to host events in their under-utilized parking lot that they turned into a community space equipped with a stage, seating and lighting.

OMI Community Collaborative

OMI Community Collaborative, an umbrella group for numerous neighborhood groups, was awarded $92,670.

Its project is called the Lakeview & OMI Art and Community Engagement Revitalization and is sponsored by The Good Rural, a nonprofit that uses grant writing to advocate for services, resources and supplies for rural and urban communities.

The Community Collaborative did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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