Noe Valley Voice October 1999

Upper Noe Gets New Children's Recreation Director

By Heidi Anderson

Tracey Dye recently joined the Upper Noe Recreation Center staff as an assistant to Director Chris Borg. She will help with the roster of children's programs -- Kids Gym, Tiny Tots, After School Fun -- and she will lead some new programs and field trips herself.

Dye, 30, has many years of recreation experience. She says she "grew up" at her neighborhood recreation center in Millbrae, and by 15 was coaching teams of her own. While earning a degree in recreation therapy from Sacramento State, Dye worked on Ability to Compete Together (ACT) in Sacramento, an event similar to the Special Olympics.

"Even when I was little, I wanted to be a person who helped push wheelchairs," Dye says. She has since found plenty of ways to help others.

In San Francisco, Dye already has covered a lot of ground. She began at Special Needs (a department of the Assisted Services Division), working with disabled adults. More recently she operated a latchkey program at Mission Recreation Center. "We had fun. We did a great gardening program -- I want to go back there and check on it -- and we took the kids out every Tuesday to clean up the block on Treat between 20th and 21st streets."

Dye brings a bonus for Upper Noe's children's programs. She is licensed to drive vans for Rec and Park events -- a privilege that requires passing a physical and successfully completing a three-hour driving test and a lengthy written exam. "Before my actual driving test, the examiner opened up the hood of the van and made me identify every part of the engine," she notes.

Even when she's not driving people somewhere in a van, Dye likes to get out and about. After graduation from Sacramento State, she and a friend hiked and road trains through 11 European countries in two months. At a stop in Vienna, she made time to visit her grandmother's childhood home. Nowadays, Dye still gets together every Fourth of July with 17 of her closest high school friends to camp in Yosemite.

This fall, back in her new Upper Noe "home," Dye will host a Monday storytime for children of all ages during the lunch hour ("Please come and bring books if you want!"). She'll also offer homework help for 5- to 9-year-olds after school. "No calculus, though," she laughs. Other days, she will assist director Borg's thriving Kids Gym and Tiny Tots programs.

On a recent afternoon, Dye fit right in, assisting preschoolers with a craft-box project. On another day she offered an impromptu fish cracker pop-in-the-mouth-from-wrist demonstration to a couple of inspired 5-year-olds. Dye's words of advice, "Don't use M&Ms or peanuts. They can hurt your teeth."

Field Closed for Resodding

If you're a regular at Upper Noe Recreation Center or you think you might come enjoy a few of the new programs, be forewarned that the athletic field will be off-limits for several months. Upper Noe, also known as Day Street Park, is overdue for an irrigation system upgrade, and it recently received a grant of $50,000 to fix the sprinklers and resod the field.

Park officials are reluctant to say exactly how long the work will take, but they estimate it will start in October and last about three months. During that time, the entire playing field along Day between Church and Sanchez will be fenced off.

A bit of history: In 1956, when a row of houses was torn down to make way for the rec center, the foundations of these houses were left in place and the new field put in over them. Since then, the park has been notorious for turning to soup during the winter rains.

A pet theory of longtime residents is that the field won't drain -- after even the slightest rain -- because the former foundations are holding the water. Those more familiar with the grounds say the mushy field has to do with the park's being situated in a valley surrounded by hills, and with the high percentage of clay in the soil.

Whatever its origins, the flooding problem is not likely to go away this winter, say park staff. However, the new sod and sprinklers should improve the field's appearance.

Fall 1999 Schedule at Upper Noe Recreation Center
Upper Noe Rec Center, also known as Day Street Park, is located on Day Street between Sanchez and Church. For information, call 695-5011.

Monday 12:30 ­ 1:30 Story Time Ages 2 ­ 5 Free
2:30 ­ 3:30 Tether Ball 6 ­ 10 Free
3:30 ­ 4:30 Homework Help 6 ­ 12 Free

Tuesday 10:30 ­ 12:30 Kids Gym 1 ­ 3 $2 per visit
1:30 ­ 3:30 Tiny Tots 3 ­ 5 $10 per term
4:30 ­ 5:15 Play Rehearsal 5 ­ 10 Free

Wednesday 11:00 ­ 3:00 Sr. Citizen Club 55+ $12 per year
3:30 ­ 5:30 Kids Gym 1 ­ 3 $2 per visit

Thursday 10:00 ­ 12:00 Tiny Tots 3 ­ 5 $10 per term
1:00 ­ 2:30 Child/Parent Fun All ages Free
3:00 ­ 6:00 After School Fun 6 ­ 12 Free

Friday 10:00 ­ 12:00 Tiny Tots 3 ­ 5 $10 per term
1:00 ­ 2:30 Child/Parent Fun All ages Free
3:00 ­ 6:00 After School Fun 6 ­ 12 Free

Saturday 10:30 ­ 12:00 Kids Gym 1 ­ 3 $2 per visit
1:00 ­ 3:00 Holiday Crafts 6 ­ 12 Free
12:30 ­ 4:30 Birthday Rental* 1 ­ 7 $55 for 2 hours

Sunday 12:30 ­ 4:30 Birthday Rental* 1 ­ 7 $55 for 2 hours

*Contact Charles Holmes for permit: 415-831-5520.