Park Maintenance Scores

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Recreation and Parks Department

Target: 87% of park maintenance standards met


Result: 88% of park maintenance standards met

Park maintenance scores are evaluation results using standards developed by the Controller’s Office and the Recreation and Park Department (RPD). Park maintenance scores are based on performance standards for 12 categories of park features, including lawns, children’s play areas, and restrooms, and include questions about park maintenance and appearance. The standards measure the success of maintenance in delivering parks that are clean, safe, and ready for use. The standards do not measure facility design, or consider demand for recreational amenities or ecological sustainability, nor do the standards substitute for professional assessment of structural integrity.

NOTE: The Controller's Office is working with the Recreation and Parks Department to update the methodology of park evaluation scores. Prior scores will be updated and a dashboard will be published in the upcoming fiscal year.


How Recreation and Parks is Performing

Park maintenance standards were implemented in fiscal year (FY) 2005-06 and were revised for evaluations beginning in FY 2014-15. The revised standards build on the previous standards to provide greater clarity, reduce evaluator interpretation, and allow for deeper analysis of the results. The new standards were the results of two years of concerted intradepartmental effort, involving review and feedback by front-line custodial and gardener staff, as well as manager and administrator input. For FY 2016-17, standards were consolidated and streamlined to make language more consistent, clarify any confusing language and reduce subjectivity in the evaluation.

RPD distributes quarterly reports of park maintenance scores for internal evaluation purposes. These reports are reviewed at Executive Staff and Parks & Open Spaces manager meetings.


How Performance is Measured

All supervisory and management staff at RPD and all staff in the Controller’s Office, City Performance Unit perform park evaluations each quarter. On average, 202 parks are evaluated five times a year. For FY 2016-17, evaluations will be done using a mobile app, rather than on paper forms. Data from completed evaluations will be stored in a dedicated cloud-based database and distributed to management and front-line staff.

The standards cover 12 broad features ranging from lawns to restrooms. Each park has a different set of features to be evaluated. Each feature is evaluated for the condition of various "elements" such as cleanliness, plant health, and playground conditions. For example, the performance standard for the "mowing" element requires that turf be less than 4.5 inches high. If an evaluator reviews a certain area of lawn and finds turf that is taller than 4.5-inches, then the evaluator would check the appropriate box to report this condition exists. An un-mowed lawn results in the failure of the "mowing" element. The reported conditions are the basis for scores. Overall park scores are calculated by taking the overall feature scores obtained by an evaluation and applying weights to them based on the park type.

The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal year average of the values in the chart above.

Additional Information


Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.