Turning Parking Lots Into Playgrounds

  1. Updates

Imagine a large gray parking lot covered in old, nearly faded white lines. The boring, monotonous landscape is not something we would want our children to consider their play area, but for most children in San Francisco, it is. This summer corporate volunteers from Salesforce and the Rotary Club of San Francisco, in partnership with Playworks, took a day out of their busy work week to roll up their sleeves. They picked up their paintbrushes and transformed four such parking lots into vibrant school playgrounds covered in clear lines and bright colors.

Over the course of the summer, Fairmount Elementary, Bahia Vista Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary, and Dr. Charles Drew Elementary all received a full make over that went deeper then the painted pavement. In just over two hours, crisp white lines were laid down around the kickball fields, volleyball and basketball courts. Four square courts and basketball keys were hit with ultra-bright splashes of yellow, green, red and blue. Children are drawn to the bright colors, encouraging them to play a wider variety of games and express themselves in new ways that would never be inspired by faded parking lots.

The transformation didn’t stop with the playgrounds. Many of the volunteers were given the opportunity to revisit their childhoods, reminisce about the games they themselves played when they were in elementary school, and, perhaps most importantly, to realize the immediate effect they were going to have on the lives of so many young people.

More Updates


A boy and girl holding basketballs on a playground.
A boy and girl holding basketballs on a playground.

November 16, 2022

2021-22 Annual Report ›

We are excited to share with you a look back at everything we accomplished in the 2021-2022 program year. It was a year focused on rebuilding after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are proud to share that we served 41,200 students in the Northern California Region.  We are thankful for your continued…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

April 5, 2022

Golden State Warriors Community Foundation & Salesforce partner with Playworks ›

Check out this inspiring video showcasing Playworks Northern California’s continued partnership with the Warriors Community Foundation and Salesforce during the 2021-22 school year. Playworks has delivered safe and healthy play to over 30,000 elementary school children of promise in Northern California this year. We are grateful for their support of this important work!