Photo: Amy Graff
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Amid the year’s first hot, sunny spell of weather, thousands spread out their picnic blankets at San Francisco’s Dolores Park, the stretch of grass in the Mission District that has become a popular — perhaps too popular — hangout in recent years.
The crowds peaked on Saturday and Sunday, and the San Francisco Recreation and Park department estimates “upwards of 8,000 to 10,000 visitors” descended on the park across the two days. Sun-seekers also flocked to Dolores Park on Friday and Monday.
Crowded days have been problematic, as the park is often left a littered mess, but Rec and Park says this past weekend marked an improvement in visitors carrying out their trash and utilizing receptacles surrounding the area.
“Throughout the course of the weekend, park staff collected 65 bags of trash left in the park – substantially less than what we’ve seen on the first hot day of the year,” Rec and Park spokesperson Madison Sink wrote in an email.
The trash problem reached a height after the completion of a renovation of the park in 2016, and Sink says in the past year people have increasingly taken more responsibility for their trash.
“Last year, 49 percent of compost and recyclables were diverted from landfill through the weekend sorting stations,” she said. “And there was a 45-percent reduction in the amount of litter left in the park as compared to the 2017.”
Ahead of the sunny weekend, Rec and Park increased staff to help clean up the park.
Hans Kolbe, a member of Dolores Park Works aimed at preserving the park, said he noticed the improvement in the trash situation. “Saturday day and night was still pretty bad, but Sunday was a lot better,” Kolbe said. “During the day, the park stayed quite clean and people were very friendly and cooperative.”
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Dolores-Park-trash-San-Francisco-sunny-day-crowd-13703223.php.