Plans under way to finally improve the dilapidated Rec Center and facilities at Glen Canyon Park are welcomed by neighbors and park visitors alike, many of whom were very active in the design process. But the plan is now being used as a guise to cut down mature, beautiful trees, simply because they are non-native and do not suit Rec & Park's Natural Areas Program (NAP) ideological preference for restoration ecology favoring native scrub and grasses.
This project is the first one in a series that will cut down hundreds of Eucalyptus, Cypress, Pine, Yellow willow, and Arroyo willow in Glen Canyon–trees that benefit the environment, wildlife and the health of our community. The majority of these trees are not dangerous or unhealthy. In fact, San Francisco Rec & Park has concocted a new assessment category using the label “poor suitability” that factors in whether a tree is non-native among a hodgepodge of criteria for removal.
But don’t confuse this with being hazardous. Only one tree that is slated for destruction related to the Rec Center project is labeled hazardous. Equally troubling is the deliberate relocation of tennis courts that destroys 11 majestic eucalyptus. Why was there no attempt to incorporate these trees into the overall design goal that could have been achieved without sacrificing space for the playground and ball field?
In community participation meetings with Rec & Park we were repeatedly told only a handful of trees needed to be removed and we repeatedly said keep Glen Canyon wild. It looks like we are losing on both fronts, but with your help we can turn this around. Tell Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and the Recreation and Parks Commissioners not to destroy hundreds of mature, beautiful trees in Glen Canyon Park.
Trees slated for destruction:
* Rec Center project -- 70
* Trails project -- 30
* Natural Areas Program --120
* "Poor suitability" removal -- 150
* Small trees that aren't officially counted – unknown number
Negative impacts of tree removal:
*Reduces neighborhood home values
*Decreases air quality
*Creates more noise – trees are natural noise buffer
*Loss of shade and wind protection
*Releases tons of stored carbon into the atmosphere as CO2, contributing to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change
*Manicures the "wildness" that is the signature character of the Glen Canyon
*Leaves barren hillsides and patches
Unfortunately, RPD senior management, companies with RPD contracts, politically appointed environmental advocates, and environmental consultants paid by city contractors support this plan–hence, we are appealing directly to the Glen Park Public.
We, the undersigned, ask the following: Please revise the 2008 Park Bond projects to avoid removing our trees.