City officials and agencies, community groups, surrounding businesses, and related nonprofits recently had a lot to celebrate at Yerba Buena Gardens.
After construction of new public spaces, organizational formation, installation of new art, and a transition of YBG stewardship to a new community-based organization, the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy, a public event recognized all of this hard work and accomplishment by many important groups and individuals in the community.
A New Era at YBG
Once a parking lot without a future, Yerba Buena Gardens is now a recognized model for improving urban areas.
The gardens opened in 1993 and more than five million visitors annually now enjoy an urban oasis of cultural organizations, landscaped lawns, extensive public art, dining, cafes and award-winning architecture built above and around Moscone Convention Center.
Going forward, the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy will mark the next era in the garden’s successful management.
Presentations from an honorable roster of speakers were followed by a special performance by children from the South of Market Child Care Center | SMOACC.
Located at Yerba Buena Gardens, the SOMACC children performed in front of the historic 1906 LeRoy King Carousel and the interactive robotic bronze sculpture “Urge” in the newly landscaped, adjacent plaza.
Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy to manage + operate YBG
In July, the City approved Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy’s 42-year lease to manage and operate the gardens. This change completed the shift in the overall management and ownership to a collaborative partnership between the Conservancy and the City of San Francisco.
The self-financing structure allows for private donations, grants and other sources of improvements to supplement built-in financing. A board of directors of community members and city appointees governs the Conservancy.
The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District provided financial support and expertise in the creation of the Conservancy.
New features + amenities everywhere
Several new amenities resulting from the Moscone Expansion project were highlighted at the ceremonies including:
- | New children’s Tot Lot
- | Public plazas
- | Expansive landscaped bridge over Howard Street
- | Newly installed public art
Inspiring new public art additions
Throughout the gardens, the New Era at YBG is reflected in inspiring new art including:
- | Christine Corday’s Genesis | Massive arcing segments of stainless steel
- | Brendon Monroe’s Roll | Mural inspired by San Francisco’s coastal climate
- | Leo Villareal’s PointCloud | Light installation on the Moscone East Bridge with +50,000 color LEDs
- | And more
A long history grounded in inclusivity1976 | Mayor George Moscone embraced a civic vision to combine the construction of a new convention center for the City’s vital visitor industry with the creation of a “public gardens” for all San Francisco residents
1993-2012 | SFRA oversaw management and operations
2012 SFRA dissolved by the state and authorized local successor agency, the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure | OCII, assumed the SFRA role
2012-2019 | Community in collaboration with the City worked tirelessly to create a new model for the governance, management, and operations—the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy
2019 | New Era begins at YBG
Green relief right in the heart of SF
There’s no better place in San Francisco for a family-friendly, safe, clean day of green fun and activities. It’s where you can embrace your every mood, celebrate diversity, and find green relief.
For visitors looking for the perfect destination to let kids burn off some energy, Yerba Buena Children’s Garden delivers all the smiles and fun your kids are looking for.
Come on over and check it out when you visit San Francisco. We look forward to seeing you soon.
As Founder + CEO of MJMMG, Mary J. McCue leads a multi-disciplinary team managing Yerba Buena Gardens. She also planns, activates and programs other prominent, award-winning public spaces throughout the US. Send Mary an email or just call 415.477.2600.