First Phase of $6M Merced Heights Playground Renovation Complete

The new wooden play structure at Merced Heights Playground. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light

INGLESIDE, San Francisco — Merced Heights Playground has it all: a play structure, a small grass field, a tennis court, a basketball court and a recreation center.

On a recent weeknight, more than a dozen people were making use of its amenities.

In October 2020, city officials announced the reopening of the city’s playgrounds at the Merced Heights Playground, which had completed $2.9 million in upgrades. It was one of five parks that received major renovations as part of the Recreation and Park Department’s LetsPlaySF! program, in partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

“For far too long our playgrounds have not received the level of investment they deserve,” said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí in a statement, who represents a portion of the Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside neighborhoods. “I am glad that through the investment of Let’sPlaySF, our children and families can have top tier playgrounds in their own neighborhoods. We’re going from having some of the worst playgrounds in the city to some of the best!”

The playground’s renovations included a timber play structure, climbers, a spinner and bowl swing for children as well as lighting, fencing, sports courts, clubhouse and accessibility upgrades.

“It’s important kids have a place to explore, have fun, and get some outdoor exercise. We hope this brings families and kids some joy during an otherwise challenging time,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

More renovations are on the way for the lower terrace lawn, an area popular with dog walkers. Senior citizen advocates want to make it a space where they can recreate. Community meetings about the project will restart in February 2021.

The total overhaul of the playground will cost $5.9 million.

Public health officials recommend families visit playgrounds during times when there are fewer people and choose playgrounds closer to home. Eating and drinking is not allowed.

All family members must wear a face covering who are two and older, stay six-feet apart from outside household members and limit visits to 30 minutes if others are present at the playground.

For more information about Merced Heights Playground and its upcoming lower terrace renovation, visit https://sfrecpark.org/1127/merced-heights-playground.