SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A small San Francisco park that has been a haven for drug dealers and criminals is being reclaimed and transformed by its neighbors. The city has broken ground on the $8 million overhaul of Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin.

The notorious park on Eddy and Jones streets, named after Franciscan Father Alfred E. Boeddeker, has been shut down and will be replaced with a cleaner, greener, safer one, according to Sam Hodder of the Trust for Public Land.

KCBS even documented the dangers of the park that was supposed to be an inner-city playground, in a story eight years ago where one woman talked about the persistent drug users as well as dealers, calling it just plain trouble and saying it’s best to avoid the location.

But this week, there was groundbreaking with gold painted shovels for a brand new Boeddeker.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

The Trust for Public Land, along with other public and private donors, is starting from scratch to build a clean, safe park for the Tenderloin.

“For all those 50,000 that live within walking distance from this park, there’s virtually no park space available for them to connect with nature, connect with their neighbors and to feel safe,” Hodder said.

One of those neighbors, Mike Williams, told the assembled dignitaries, he never thought they’d get Boeddeker, back.

“It has been a labor of love so to speak, years in the making and today on this bright and sunny day in our neighborhood, this is really, really happening,” Hodder said.

The reborn park will reopen in 18 months.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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