Sunset Citizen 
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Re: “The Blair Park Project

We support the efforts to keep Moraga Park a natural, tree-filled park -- Golden Gate Park in San Franicsco is also being threatened by this kind of project. We support youth soccer, but Golden Gate Park is the wrong place for this kind of project. There are many similarities between the projects.

The proposed Golden Gate Park Beach Chalet soccer complex will take a natural, living grass practice field and transform it into an artificial, urban soccer complex. It will remove over 7 acres of living grass and replacing it with 7 acres of artificial turf. It will install 10 banks of 60-foot-tall stadium lights right next to a native plant area and a few hundred yards from Ocean Beach. These lights will tower over the trees that separate the park from the beach -- the lights will be on from sunset until 10:00 p.m. every night of the year. The project will further expand the amount of paving in the Park and add parking, and yet San Francisco is supposed to be a transit-first city. Over 58 trees will be cut down and more will be impacted by the construction and loss of topsoil. In short, the complex will destroy the historic, naturalistic beauty of Golden Gate Park’s western end.

We believe that San Francisco can provide good playing fields for our kids by renovating the fields with living grass and using the remainder of the funding for this expensive project ($12 million!) to upgrade other fields and playgrounds. As in Piedmont, artificial turf fields should be installed only in areas that are not prime parkland or are already asphalt or other hard surfaces.

On February 23, 2011, we held the EIR scoping hearing for this project. Testimony was 10 to 1 AGAINST the Beach Chalet project and included concerns about the possible toxics as well as other issues. Testimony can be viewed on-line. Since then, we have a new video describing the project, a video of the May 11, 2011 presentation at the Commonwealth Club of California about "Golden Gate Park Under Siege" , and other media links. See: .

Parkland and habitat are very precious, and they should be valued for the long-term benefits they provide for adults and children alike.

Katherine Howard
Member, Steering Committees
SF Ocean Edge
Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance

Posted by Sunset Citizen on 06/23/2011 at 8:52 AM

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