The Rec & Parks Department hosted a pair of meetings Tuesday to engage concerned neighbors about their new "action plan" for dealing with the park's ongoing popularity, and its trash problem. And as Mission Local reports, Sarah Ballard, the department's director of policy and public affairs, admitted, "We got caught flat-footed. We were really confounded by the park’s popularity."

It's an odd thing for her to say at this late date, given the fact that the park has been extremely popular for a number of years, but to her point, its popularity on weekends has only grown with our population.

In response, the department has put out a new pair of recycling and compost dumpsters that they've dubbed an "eco pop-up," and they're calling on neighbors and nearby businesses to do things like encourage proper trash disposal on social media, and put stickers on items indicating that they're recyclable or compostable. They're also trying to discourage people from bringing glass to the park, which is where the above video comes in — it's called the Use the Can "can-paign," and it makes the stretch of connecting the use of trash cans with bringing canned beer and beverages instead of glass, and "using the can" as in using the bathroom instead of pissing in the bushes. And, because this is San Francisco, they needed to be all steampunk about it and get out the costumes.

To help alleviate the piss problem, in addition to the two new bathrooms that will be available once the full renovation is complete, the department is going to be putting in the city's first open-air pissoir at the top of the hill at 20th and Church (see diagram below). The park could probably use more than one of these, but for now, they're hoping it will encourage more dudes not to cross the train tracks and use the shrubbery as a pissoir. But that will be part of the northside renovation which won't get underway until the south side of the park reopens.

The southern half of the park is currently scheduled to be open in early June, but the department has not committed to a specific date.

All previous Dolores Park coverage on SFist.