Thursday, November 18, 2010

Panhandle Park Stewards Honored As "Outstanding Park Volunteer Group"

Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Recreation & Parks Dept. (l), and Dale Danley,
Leader of Panhandle Park Stewards

Morgan Fitzgibbons (l) of Wigg Party nominated Panhandle Park Stewards for Award

Dale Danley with NEN Award, interviewed for NEN broadcast

August 2010 Workgroup, Panhandle Park Stewards

Volunteer groups help care for nearly 225 neighborhood parks in San Francisco, and last night one of them was honored for its exemplary work. The Panhandle Park Stewards received the 2010 Outstanding Park Volunteer Group award from the citywide Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN). Dale Danley, leader of the Panhandle volunteers, accepted the award during a City Hall ceremony that also honored eleven other community projects and recognized individual achievements.

Earlier this year Danley reinvigorated a lagging volunteer effort to care for the Panhandle. He organized monthly outings that now attract up to 20 neighborhood volunteers to work in the Panhandle with the park's city gardener. Accepting the award for his group, Danley said, "We want a park that's clean, green, safe and cool, but we're not there yet. We'll keep working until it is." Morgan Fitzgibbons, leader of the Wigg Party, nominated the Panhandle group for the NEN award. Last night Fitzgibbons applauded Danley's leadership with the work crews, his Panhandle web site, and his appreciation for the history and care of the Panhandle trees.

Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of the Recreation and Parks Department, hailed the work of the Panhandle Park Stewards and the efforts of all volunteers who help care for San Francisco's parks and recreation facilities. "We simply cannot do it alone anymore," Ginsburg told the audience of more than 200 community activists and city officials. "We need neighborhood volunteers." Last year volunteers citywide logged more than 129,000 hours working with the department.

The North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) continues to be a primary supporter of efforts to improve its "neighborhood park." Last month Danley worked with NOPNA and several other neighborhood groups adjacent to the park on a proposal to upgrade the central area of the Panhandle. The Recreation and Parks Department is currently reviewing the application. The next work day for the Panhandle Park Stewards is scheduled for Saturday, January 8th.

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