Laughing Monk Fundraiser Saturday in the Park – Thursday September 22nd 4-8PM

laughingmonk_breweryJoin us at Laughing Monk Brewery to support Saturday in the Park McLaren, a great free concert series.

– Live DJ
– Free Giveaways from Airbnb
– Free snacks

Laughing Monk Brewery will be donating $1 from each glass of beer we sell from 4-8pm.

see event invite at

Laughing Monk Brewery is located at 1439 Egbert Ave, Unit A, 94124


McLaren Park History

  • 1840 – When California was part of Mexico, land later to become parklands was part of RanchoCañada de Guadalupe la Visitación y Rodeo Viejo, granted by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado
  • 1868-1904 – Subdivisions drawn up for development
  • 1904 – Daniel L Burnham proposes creating a multi-acre park in current site of McLaren Park & Portola District housing
  • 1926 – SF Board of Supervisors passes resolution directing land purchases to create 550 acre Mission Park in current site of McLaren Park & Portola District housing
  • 1927 – SF Board of Supervisors, SF Park Superintendent, staff & others host a celebration dedicating park to John McLaren, the city’s Superintendent of Parks; hundreds of new trees had already been planted to transform the landscape
  • 1928 – Bond initiative fails
  • 1928-1946 – City continues buying up properties for park land
  • 1932 – Park Commission reduces plan park acreage to 428 acres and again to 361 acres
  • 1939 – WPA work force completes installation of a long system of foot paths, hiking, fire, and equestrian trails, culverts, roadways and view drive. Also completes the planting of over 10,000 trees of the eucalyptus, cypress and pine varieties
  • 1944 – The Board of Supervisors recommends reducing park acreage to 241 acres; the Planning Department recommends park acreage be 413 acres
  • 1946 – From 1946 -1958 John McLaren Park’s present 318 acres created with final land purchases completed in 1958 and acreage approved by Resolution No. 5557
  • 1958 – Pool opens in southeast corner next to future Herz Playground
  • 1961 – Gleneagles 9-hole Golf Course constructed on 60 acres
  • 1963 – Mansell, Visitacion, Brazil and Persia Streets constructed
  • 1964 – Shelley Drive completed; park lake and drainage structures constructed; McNab Lake was designed as a model yacht basin using California state funds
  • 1965 – Louis Sutter and Herz Playground constructed
  • 1970 – SF Recreation Department completes construction of a multi-purpose outdoor Greek-style amphitheater
    • Amphitheater opens in 1971 providing “excellent acoustics” & seating for 700
    • Press reports amphitheater adds “a new cultural dimension to San Francisco”
  • 1971 – Tennis courts constructed
  • 1975-77 3rd, 4th, 5th SF Blues Festival held in the amphitheater
    • 1978 – SF Blues Festival outgrows amphitheater; moves to GGP Band shell, then Kezar, then Fort Mason until final Festival in 2008
  • 1978 – The Mansfield-Burrows Playground opens
  • 1981 – The Wilde Reservoir Overlook Tower constructed
  • 1983 – Large Group picnic area developed for 172 people; with large barbeque, built-in tables and benches, sink with running water and serving table
  • 1994 – Friends of McLaren Park/FOMP formed
    • Fiscal sponsor is SF Parks Trust
  • 1995 -Yosemite Marsh, is designated a “significant natural resource area” by the city. The marsh is the start of a creek, now covered by homes and streets, that runs down to the bay
  • 1996-1999 – SF Parks and Recreation installs ADA compliant restrooms, seating and pathways at amphitheater
    • Project removes amphitheater lighting and hillside stage electrical panels
  • 2001-2002 – Community group Friends of Crocker Amazon & Outer Mission Residents Association sells T-shirts to raise funds for Crocker Amazon’s “Purple Playground”
    • Estate of Jerry Garcia permits artwork image use for t-shirts sales as a way to support youth
    • Fiscal Sponsor is Excelsior District Improvement Association
    • T-shirts sold as the “Jerry Shirt” raises $5,000 for the playground
  • 2003 – F.A.C.E./Friends & Advocates of Crocker Amazon & the Excelsior formed as a neighborhood booster group
    • Focus: raising awareness of the neighborhood, its history & attractions
    • Motto: Having Fun in the Neighborhood
    • Neighbor Parks Council/NPC become its fiscal sponsor
  • 2003 – F.A.C.E. members create idea of a birthday celebration for Excelsior native son Jerry Garcia as a neighborhood promotion
  • 2003 – 1st “Jerry Day” celebration held
    • Hosted by F.A.C.E.
    • Attended by 50-75 people
    • Cake & Cherry Garcia ice cream served during concert
    • SF Examiner writes article about the event
  • 2005 – July 21 – Resolution Number 0507-003 passed by SF Recreation & Park Commission
    • “unnamed Greek style amphitheater in John McLaren Park…shall hereinafter be known as the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater”
  • 2005 – F.A.C.E. member Tom Murphy leaves F.A.C.E.; elects to solely organize & promote annual “Jerry Day” concerts
  • 2005 – August – 3rd “Jerry Day” held in the newly named Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
  • 2005 – October 29 – Official City Dedication of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
    • Official Proclamation by Mayor Gavin Newsom
    • Master of Ceremonies: Wavy Gravy
    • Performers: The Jefferson Starship & Several Grateful Dead Tribute Bands
    • Organized by Friends of McLaren Park, F.A.C.E. with support of District 10 & 11 community members, musicians and artists
  • 2006 – SF Parks Trust becomes “Jerry Day” fiscal sponsor
  • 2008 – July 15 – Friends of McLaren Park/FOMP holds preliminary meeting to form Friends of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
  • 2009 – November 7 – D11 Supvr. John Avalos convenes McLaren Park community meeting to promote the park and Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
    • December 6 McLaren Park Festival planning meeting held
    • Meetings continue through December & January/February 2010
  • 2010 – January, March, May – SF Recreation & Parks Department holds 3 Community McLaren Park Needs Assessment meetings
  • 2010 – February 11 – F.A.C.E. and Friends of McLaren Park form “Friends of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater/Friends of JG A”
    • McLaren Park Festival planning meetings on event fees take place with SF Park & Recreation Permit Department & SF Parks Trust
    • Amphitheater Summer concert series planned
    • Friends of JG Amp/FOJGA work at 2 “Radio Alice’s Summerthing” Concerts in GG Park to raise money to lower permit fees
  • 2010 – June 15 – Draft plans started for an amphitheater “Docent Program”
  • 2010 – July – Plans scrapped to hold McLaren Park Festival due to fee structure
  • 2010 – December – F.A.C.E. sets meeting dates with Neighborhood Parks Council/NPC to discuss fiscal sponsorship of new umbrella group of neighbors and McLaren Park groups called the “McLaren Park Council”
  • 2011 – McLaren Park Collaborative begins meetings
  • 2011 – May – JG Amp meetings continue on permit fees with NPC & RPD Permits department
  • 2011 – October – SF Parks Alliance created from the merger of Neighborhood Parks Council & SF Parks Trust
  • 2012 – February – SF Parks Alliance sign fiscal contract for “Friends of the AMP/Amphitheater at McLaren Park” (renamed from Friends of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater)
  • 2012 – June – Friends of the AMP plans 2013 JG Amphitheater music festival & initiates Docent Program
  • 2012 – November – Friends of the AMP co-founders Linda D’Avirro/Linda Litehiser attend Levitt Pavilion proposal meeting with RPD GM Phil Ginsberg & Dahlia Khoury
  • 2013 – June – Fall “Saturday in the Park McLaren” concert series planned
    • Friends of the AMP completes Docent Manual, designs Safety Program & full concert series design/programming/dates
    • SF Parks Alliance awards small $2k grant to initiate Docent Program
    • D9, D10, D11 Supervisors contribute $5k each in add-back funds to defray concert series costs
    • SF RPD puts full support behind concert
      • SF RPD Permits Dept. lowers fees
      • Provides PR & printing support
      • Videotaped October 12 concert
    • Asks Friends of AMP to set dates for 2014 amphitheater concert series
  • 2013 – September
    • 1st McLaren Park Mountain Bike Festival – September 7th attracts over 300 participants
    • Levitt Pavilion withdraws proposal; seeks larger venue
  • 2013 – October – 2014 Saturday in the Park 2014 concert dates submitted to RPD Permits Department
    • 1st Saturday in the Park McLaren 6 concert series held
  • 2013 – Gleneagles Golf Course signs nine-year lease extension and initiates pre-apprentice gardener program with Local 261
  • 2013 – Mansell Corridor Project receives $1.7M in One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) funding, bringing a total of $5.1M in transportation funds for the project.
  • 2014 – 2nd Saturday in the Park McLaren 7 concert series held
  • 2015 – 3rd Saturday in the Park McLaren 4 concert series held
  • 2015 – November – Mansell Corridor Project Groundbreaking Celebration held
  • 2016 – 4th Saturday in the Park McLaren 6 concert series held


2016 Saturday in the Park McLaren Concerts Begin Saturday, August 20th

Sat in Park Poster Coming back for their 4th year of successful free afternoon concerts, Friends of the AMP (Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park) announces 6 FREE outdoor concerts dates for the 2016 Saturday in the Park – McLaren music festival.

The Festival’s 6 shows run from  August 20th to October 22nd and, as in past years, offer music appealing to all ages and musical tastes, from salsa to blue bluegrass, rock, soul and more. The outdoor concerts also welcome back locals and fans of the bands, and introduce new concertgoers to San Francisco’s 2nd largest and natural park, the 318-acre John McLaren Park.

Friends of the AMP have been working closely with San Francisco Recreation and Parks to add new signage, repave the (free!) parking lot, and for dancing, a new smooth surface in front of the sta

August 20 – Percussionist Louie Romero y Mazacote kicks the Festival in gear at the first show with dancer-friendly blends of Salsa, Cha-Cha, Timba, Cuban Guajira and Puerto Rican Bomba. Added to the lineup is Alfonso Lopez performing songs encompassing many different styles of music from around the globe.

August 27 – a great R&B review called:  Acoustic Soul Fest- Vol. 2 celebrates the brilliant Soul Culture of the Bay Area, featuring San Francisco native and McLaren Park neighborhood resident, Martin Luther McCoy.

September 10 – The 4th Annual Kid’s’ Festival – Featuring The Not-Its, JAM with Charity Kahn, Tree Frog Treks, The Exploratorium, plus magic shows and nature programs, There will be 4 Hours (11am- 3pm)  of art, music, magic, science, hikes and dance and much more. Fun for the whole family to enjoy.

 October 8 – Let the Good Times Rock’n Roll Show! Four virtuoso bands of great musicians will take you on a three and a half hour ride of dance and sing-along music when we welcome Cocker Power –A Joe Cocker Tribute Band, guitarist Lindsey Boullt, Pucci and the Pups band and Big Rain– a Rockin’ Country and Blues group.

 October 15 – In mid-October we welcome back, by popular demand, a non-stop three hours of new and traditional tunes sung and played by several of our local troubadours at The Bluegrass Festival. The Bluegrass Festival is a non-stop afternoon of new and traditional tunes sung and played by The Back Porch Band, The Beauty Operators String Band, Canyon Johnson and The Windy Hill Bluegrass Band.

October 22 – The Blues Show – our season finale concert once again offers a great lineup of local bay area blues performers, including the dynamic Tia Carroll and Bobbie “Spider” Webb. This final show also celebrates the 45th anniversary of the Amphitheater with the annual Saturday in the Park Amphitheater Birthday Party.

Thank You to the Magic Seven!

Today’s workday went extremely well even with an extremely thin crew (7 folks which included one beautiful 6 months pregnant lady!) We got the new playground in ship shape by taking down all the weeds and sweeping the rubber surfaces and paths nearby.  All the bark was spread evenly again on the landscaped areas and then we were off to the Gambier Plaza to take on the weeds around the fountain and cut back the crab grass that’s slowly starting to encroach on the plaza.  As if that wasn’t enough, my magic hardworking crew still had enough energy to  move  large amounts of wood that gardener Ken Kelley was clearing from the old Cyprus trees at the Harvard street entrance.  Please see the piles of wood for yourselves.  By this time we were all quite exhausted and we were unable to continue our efforts  on Harvard Street but there was so much to show for our hard work.

The Magic 7 at Work

Two of “Seven”

Thank you again so much to those who came out on a weekday, even during a world cup event.  It goes to show, all it takes is 7 folks to make magic happen in McLaren Park.

Pictures soon to come!



New Pacific Chorus Frog Habitat Near McLaren

Kids in Parks and the students of Visitation Valley (VVMS) and Herbert Hoover (HHMS) Middle Schools are revitalizing neglected areas of the school grounds measuring more than 2,500 square feet, transforming them into a thriving habitat for local native plants and animals.

The totem species of this project is the Pacific Chorus frog, once found throughout San Francisco but now limited to one naturally-occurring population. The essential components of its habitat are small, shallow, ephemeral ponds for mating during the rainy season, and brushy areas of low growing native plants in which it lives during the dry season. Over the past five years, Kids in Parks has already successfully created six ponds at VVMS and HHMS. For the last five winters, frogs have returned to the ponds and reproduced. [Read More…]

Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project Survey, Webinar, and Workshop

[From SFPUC]

Provide Your Input Online for the Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project 

Thank you to those who were able to attend our Community Open House on October 2, 2013 and helped us identify the community’s priorities for daylighting Yosemite Creek near McLaren Park and the Louis Sutter Playground. We enjoyed meeting all of you from the neighborhood and gathering your feedback. If you weren’t able to make it to the community open house or were unable to finish the survey, you can still provide input online through the end of the month. Take the survey here today. It takes just a few minutes to learn about the project, give us your input, and contribute to the greening of San Francisco.

Discover Your Urban Watershed Web Seminar – Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mark your calendar for the first in the Discover Your Urban Watershed webinar series. Learn about SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program and the role of the Urban Watershed Assessment planning process in this program. This webinar will focus on current conditions in San Francisco’s Islais, Sunnydale, and Yosemite watersheds. Join in and learn how you may get involved. The webinar will be held on October 24, 2013 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Please sign-up here.

SF Watersheds Interactive Workshop

The SFPUC is excited to announce an interactive workshop on Saturday, November 16 from 10:00am – 1:30pm at the Southeast Community Facility to help plan for necessary upgrades to San Francisco’s combined sewer system.    We especially want to make sure that folks from the southern and eastern sections of the City are represented.

This interactive workshop will take the form of a participatory planning game and focus on developing infrastructure solutions to sewer system challenges in three of San Francisco’s urban watersheds: Islais Creek, Yosemite, and Sunnydale.

During the workshop participants will learn about their watersheds and use grey infrastructure game pieces (pipes) and green infrastructure game pieces (permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs) to solve challenges specific to each watershed. Your input will contribute to the SFPUC’s Urban Watershed Assessment and the next 20 years of green and grey infrastructure upgrades in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

Help us plan for healthy urban watersheds.  Click here for more information and to RSVP. Please note that space is limited and you must RSVP in advance.  Lunch will be provided.

If you cannot make it on November 16, there are other ways to get involved.  Also, please feel free to pass this along or suggest others who might be interested.   We would like at least one person from your organization—and the more the better!