Rec and Parks Department Project Receive $400K to Benefit Kids, Seniors, Snakes

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Seniors and snakes will be among those who benefit from an influx of state funding to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, city officials announced Friday.

The city's park department has received $400,000 as one of 26 recipients of state conservation grants totaling $4.1 million.

The funding will support two projects overseen by the department, according to the parks agency.

One project, which received $207,000 in state grants, aims to build a 1/4-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting the city's Visitacion Valley neighborhood to the park's interior trail system, according to a news release from San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

The new trail should improve access to the park for residents without cars like seniors who attend tai chi classes at the McLaren Park tennis courts and students at Visitacion Valley Middle School.

The Sharp Park Garter Snake Habitat Restoration Project received $200,500 to restore 1 acre of habitat for the San Francisco Garter Snake.

Sharp Park is in Pacifica but is managed by the San Francisco park department.

Historically, the snake could be found throughout San Mateo County, but is currently confined to small patches across the county, according to the parks agency.

"Healthy parks are essential to our well-being-that goes for everyone in the ecosystem, from gardeners to garter snakes," said San Francisco Recreation and Parks general manager Phil Ginsburg in a written statement. "We are grateful to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for supporting our vision for both people and wildlife."

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