History | Mission Bay Parks


About Mission Bay Parks

What was once a saltwater marsh that served as a natural habitat for birds is now one of San Francisco’s fastest growing and most diverse communities.

Learn how this area has transformed into 40 acres of open space of existing and planned parks and recreational facilities that make up the Mission Bay Parks system.

An Environment of Change

History | Mission Bay Parks
Mission Bay in the 1980’s
Mission Bay was once a saltwater marsh and lagoon that was a natural habitat for a bird population that included ducks, geese, herons, egrets, osprey, and gulls. Native Americans resided in the area for over 5,000 years. Unfortunately, by the early 19th century, immigrants to the area exposed the Native American population to previously unknown diseases that reduced their population to nearly zero.

Before the 1906 quake and afterward, Mission Bay was used as a convenient place to deposit soil and refuse from building projects throughout the growing city. Much of the area is comprised of landfills from these projects. Shipping commerce and the introduction of the railroad were both important components of the transition of Mission Bay into an industrial district. The area was home to shipyards, canneries, a sugar refinery, and warehouses from the mid 19th century well into the 20th century.

Changes in the economy in the late 20th century were reflected in the Mission Bay area by the loss of its cornerstone industries, mainly shipbuilding and repair facilities. A large portion of the area became dormant. A master plan to revive the area and convert over 300 acres into a planned community was produced in the late 1990s. Known as the Mission Bay Project, it is the largest urban development initiated by San Francisco since the construction of Golden Gate Park.

The work of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and the community transformed Mission Bay Parks to create an active and growing parks network. With the dissolution of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency | SFRA, the City’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure | OCII is carrying out the obligations of the SFRA.

Today + Tomorrow

Mission Bay Parks Today
Mission Bay Parks Today
Mission Bay is growing rapidly with apartments, condominiums, retail stores, restaurants, corporate and science businesses.

It is currently the headquarters of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It is also the headquarters, at 550 Terry Francois Blvd, of the Old Navy brand of The Gap clothing retailer. It is the location of a new research campus of the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Mission Bay. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital opened in 2015. The Golden State Warriors are proposing to build an arena in Mission Bay.

In and around these developments are 40 acres of open space of existing and planned parks and recreational facilities that make up the Mission Bay Parks system.

Today, beautiful Mission Creek Park, a portion of Mission Bay Commons, a boat launch, sports courts, dog play area, and other beautiful outdoor areas are open to the public and for events.

The Kids’ Park, Mariposa Park, and the Channel Street Dog Park recently opened. A beautiful Bay Front Park is planned for 2020. Mission Bay Parks is quickly becoming a favorite place for residents, visitors and businesses to enjoy daily as a place to recreate, relax and hold events. It’s a wonderful series of open spaces, green places, on the edge of SF Bay.

““The perfect place for family and friends.”

San Francisco Resident