Commission and the Recreation and Park Commission have just given their final
approvals for the construction of the 7-acre artificial turf fields with
150,000 watts of stadium lighting at the Beach Chalet soccer fields in the
western edge of Golden Gate park. Construction
can start at any time!
A new group
has formed to protect Golden Gate Park at the ballot box by asking that the
fields be renovated with real grass.
The Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park is gathering signatures on a
petition entitled the "Golden Gate Park Athletic Fields
Renovation Act," to put this issue before the voters to decide. Its goal is to keep artificial turf and
stadium lighting out of the playing fields in the western part of Golden Gate
Park and to renovate those fields with real grass.
The Coalition to Protect
Park has asked that SF Ocean Edge supporters help them to stop this
project. This is an opportunity for you to
continue to support and protect Golden Gate Park --
SFOE will post the URL for the
website for the Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park as soon as it is available. Meanwhile, if
you'd like to sign the petition in support of the Ballot Initiative, or if
you'd like copies of the petition to circulate, please contact Mike Murphy or
Shawna McGrew (h)
415-681-3544; (cell) 415-310-1490 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Murphy (cell)
415-823-9743 email: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 19, 2014
INITIATIVE FILED TO PROTECT GOLDEN GATE PARK FILED BY THE COALITION TO PROTECT
GOLDEN GATE PARK
April 17, 2014, a Ballot Initiative was filed with the San Francisco Board of
Elections for the November, 2014 election that would permit renovation of the
sports playing fields in the western part of Golden Gate Park with natural
grass only. The ballot measure, entitled
“Golden Gate Park Athletic Fields Renovation Act” will require the City’s
Recreation and Parks Department to maintain all sports fields in the pastoral
portion of the Park west of Crossover Drive as natural grass, and would
prohibit night sports lighting in this part of the Park. The ballot measure was filed by the Coalition
to Protect Golden Gate Park, a citizen’s group made up of individuals,
community associations and environmental organizations dedicated to keeping
Golden Gate Park free of toxic materials. Voters will have the opportunity to decide
whether a 7+ acre grass playing field at the Beach Chalet Fields should be
bulldozed and replaced with an artificial turf pavement, lighted every night of
the year with tall stadium lighting, or whether the fields will be maintained
as natural grass and host sporting events in a natural context as they have
been since the 1930's. This initiative
would affect any future project at the Polo Fields as well.
members have numerous concerns about the negative impacts of the proposed Beach
Chalet project. These concerns include:
and human health threats posed by toxic chemicals in plastic turf and the
rubber tire crumb infill;
impact of high intensity sports lighting which would add significant light
pollution that would impact birds and other wildlife that use the Park's open
impacts on the natural aquifer that underlies these fields which will soon be
used to supplement the City’s potable water supply;
impacts on water discharged into the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach;
of the Beach Chalet project on the Golden Gate Park historic district, which is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and,
precedent for the rest of the California Coast set by the California Coastal
Commission's ruling approving the plan.
of the initiative believe this issue must be taken to the voters because the
decision-makers in the City and the California Coastal Commission disregarded a
wealth of information about the harmful effects of artificial turf, night
lighting, and the inappropriateness of a sports stadium in the naturalistic
western end of Golden Gate Park. Thousands
of concerned residents signed petitions, wrote letters, testified at hearings,
and publically protested the Beach Chalet project. Nevertheless, the
decision-makers turned a deaf ear to this outcry and are allowing the project
to go forward.
of this ballot initiative believe that a renovation of the Beach
Chalet playing fields must ensure the safety and health of children and adults
who play on them as well as maintain the naturalistic quality of the western
portion of Golden Gate Park. Much has
been made of the City’s need to provide safe, updated playing fields for
children. But the renovation material
chosen by the City is not safe. The
Beach Chalet project will use the most toxic type of artificial turf infill
called SBR, which is a finely ground powder of used rubber tires. This material contains a large array of
harmful chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, heavy
metals, formaldehyde, among others. The
US Environmental Protection Agency has recently retracted its assurances that SBR
is safe, posting new cautions about 30 compounds found in shredded tire turf,
including lead, mercury and arsenic. This
toxic rubber is placed on top of, not underneath, the artificial grass to
cushion the turf. Children and others
playing on the fields come in direct contact with the rubber particles, which
commonly get on their skin and into their mouths, eyes, ears and hair. It also coats shoes and clothing and is then
tracked into cars and homes.
Supporters also object to the addition of 150,000 watts of
from 60 foot high light standards, creating light pollution, a serious
environmental problem. Light pollution
causes harm to human and animal health, disrupts ecosystems, interferes with
astronomical observations, and spoils views from scenic overlooks and Ocean
renovate the fields and still protect Golden Gate Park, the Coalition urges the
City to adopt a win-win alternative, which would renovate Golden Gate Park with
natural grass and no sports lights and, if necessary, find another location for the artificial turf fields, using safe, non-toxic
turf . Time and time
again the City has refused to consider this win-win alternative.
Supporters maintain that Golden Gate Park is a priceless urban oasis in one of
the most densely populated cities in the country. It must be kept safe and free of environmental
toxins, as well as remain naturalistic, with real grass and healthy habitat for
wildlife. Supporters of the renovation of these fields with natural grass have
filed this Ballot Initiative.
If you'd like to sign the petition, or if you'd like copies of the petition to
circulate, please contact Mike Murphy or Shawna McGrew at addresses given at
the top of this release.
RECREATION AND PARK COMMISSION APPROVES CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT.
The SF Recreation and Park Commission
voted to approve the Beach Chalet construction contract at their full meeting on April 17th, 2014. The Commission refused
to take this item off of the Consent Calendar and voted with no consideration of issues raised by the public, including possible
toxicity of artificial turf, problems with project funding, the pending Sierra Club appeal, and the lack of any reports made
available to the public on wildlife or nesting birds.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION
APPROVES FINDINGS ON BEACH CHALET PROJECT AT APRIL 9TH, 2014 MEETING IN SANTA BARBARA -- CCC REFUSES TO POSTPONE DECISION
ONE MONTH TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LOCATION TO ALLOW FOR LOCAL PUBLIC COMMENT.
CCC voted on April 9th to approve the final Staff Report for the Beach
Chalet project. The Commission had directed the Staff to completely
reverse the original Staff recommendations for protecting Golden Gate
Park. (You can read the wonderful, original staff report and see
how it was gutted by the political powers-that-be. It is now loaded on
Slideshare at : http://www.slideshare.net/SFOceanEdge/w155a-42014
thanks to everyone who wrote over 25 letters to the Coastal Commissioners and asked them to
postpone this hearing to May, when they will be in Northern California! Only ONE PERSON WROTE IN FAVOR OF THE PROJECT.
are the reasons that this hearing should have been postponed:
· Rec and Park (RPD) is proposing mitigations
impact monitoring programs to satisfy concerns of residents. These
mitigations should be discussed in a meeting held near where everyone lives who
will be impacted by this project! Therefore, the topic should be
discussed in Northern California.
· Last May most of the project opponents
the right to speak -- at least this time, the proposed mitigations report
should be discussed at a meeting in Northern California, so that those folks
can have the right to speak to the issues.
· Rec and Park's own schedule shows
starting in late June -- therefore, there is plenty of time for the CCC to hear
the topics and issues in May and to issue the permits that RPD needs.
CALIFORNIA COMMONWEALTH CLUB Panel Discussion on
Parks and Privatization
Watch above or click here to go to Youtube to view the Commonwealth Club Panel on privatization and our parks. Go to minute
25:00 to learn more from Tim Redmond about the Beach Chalet and other artificial field projects.
Frontpage article on artificial turf in SF:
Burn" by Susan Gerhard
Read it and join
our Soccer Players and Parents for Green Grass in Golden Gate Park
Remember, in San
Francisco it is not over until it is over -- and even then it is not over!
(Note: This group
will keep your name confidential, unless you choose to share it publicly.)
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to learn more.
Please go to our newspaper links page
for this dynamite article.
Click below to see the new powerpoint explaining the various city planning documents which support keeping Golden Gate Park
and Ocean Beach free of artificial turf and 150,000 watts of stadium lighting
Watch our new video -- click below or go to the video page.
Great outreach at Sunday Streets and Gay Pride!
Thank you everyone for helping out -- lots of people learned about the project, lots of new people signed
Click here for photos on Flickr
Attorneys and outreach cost money! Click here to DONATE TODAY!
THERE IS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THIS PROJECT!
Learn about the win-win solution! The Hybrid Alternative.