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Re: [betterbayview] Pristine waterway to replace polluted inlet Community effort in Bayview

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  • Alex Lantsberg
    having been involved in getting this concept off the ground (i wrote the first grant to the state coastal conservancy) about six years ago, this is very
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 10, 2007
      having been involved in getting this concept off the ground (i wrote the first grant to the state coastal conservancy) about six years ago, this is very exciting.


      On 8/9/07, Mendell Street <mendellapt@...> wrote:

      It seems to finally be coming together. Years of planning and community efforts are finally coming to fruition. Very exciting.

      Elizabeth Dubuque <thinkelizabeth@ yahoo.com> wrote:

      is it just me or does it seem like there's a lot
      happening all of a sudden. This is all very exciting!
      --- bayview94124 <mendellapt@...> wrote:

      > This from SFGATE (Thanks David for the heads up on
      > this article.)
      > Pristine waterway to replace polluted inlet
      > Community effort: In neglected Bayview neighborhood, forgotten slough's
      > restoration will be part of planned 350-acre waterfront park
      > Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer
      > Monday, August 6, 2007
      > The transformation of one of San Francisco's
      > last stretches of  undeveloped land is about to begin, as a small tidal
      > inlet on the  city's southern shoreline is readied for
      > restoration.
      > The revitalization of the inlet across from Monster
      > Park is part of  an ambitious plan to turn hundreds of contaminated
      > acres at Bayview- Hunters Point into a pristine Crissy Field south,
      > complete with  stunning vistas, a thriving habitat, open green
      > space and recreation.
      > Behind the greening of the degraded land is a deeper
      > goal: to bring  new life and industry to the most marginalized and
      > isolated area of  San Francisco.
      > The cleanup of Yosemite Slough will create San
      > Francisco's largest  contiguous wetlands and two new nesting islands for
      > migratory birds,  and will renovate and open 34 acres that have for
      > decades been closed  to the public. It will create new paths to be linked
      > to the Bay  Trail. The first phase of the 18-month project is
      > expected to cost  $15 million - $12 million has been raised so far -
      > and begin at the  end of the year.
      > By the time the Yosemite Slough project at Candlestick Point is
      > completed, work is scheduled to begin at nearby Hunters Point Naval
      > Shipyard, similarly turning contaminated land into usable space. The
      > Navy has spent more than $500 million cleaning up its former military
      > base, and is in the process of handing decontaminated parcels over to
      > the city for reuse.
      > "We have a plan that calls for 350 acres of new
      > waterfront park,  which will be the largest parks improvement project
      > since Golden Gate  Park," said Michael Cohen, Mayor Gavin Newsom's
      > director of military  base reuse and real estate development. "We'll have
      > parks and open  space and this wonderful connection to the Bay
      > Trail. This is really  an opportunity to do the right thing for a portion
      > of the city that  has been neglected for way too long."
      > Cohen said the city has two sets of plans for the area: one that
      > includes a new stadium at Hunters Point and the other without, in
      > case the 49ers relocate to Santa Clara.
      > "There's so much at stake for the city in terms of parks, jobs,
      > affordable housing and development that we're going forward with or
      > without the stadium," he said.
      > Yosemite Slough, last in the news in 1990, when a wayward whale named
      > Humphrey drew international attention by becoming lost there, is
      > about a mile north of Monster Park. Currently fenced off, the area
      > has been a dumping ground. Weedy lots are dotted with old buildings
      > covered in graffiti. The shoreline is strewn with discarded
      > industrial detritus - huge concrete steps, buckets, tires, steel
      > pipes and fencing.
      > Touring the area last week, Elizabeth Goldstein,
      > president of the  California State Parks Foundation, said, "It's a big
      > lump of  discarded everything that we're converting into a
      > park." 
      > The nonprofit foundation is managing the project on
      > behalf of  California State Parks, and has received donations
      > from state  agencies including the California Coastal
      > Conservancy and the  Wildlife Conservation Board, and from private
      > sources - notably $1.5  million from San Francisco philanthropist Richard
      > Goldman, who runs  the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldman Environmental  Prize.
      > Ann Meneguzzi, a park ranger for 30 years who now supervises the
      > Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, said there is an impressive
      > array of wildlife despite the spoiled land. She regularly sees
      > herons, egrets, coyotes and red-tailed hawks in the area, to name a
      > few. A 2004 study of Yosemite Slough by the Audubon Society observed
      > 118 species of birds, 14 butterfly species, three snake species, and
      > mammals including rodents, rabbits and seals.
      > Meneguzzi has been a ranger in spectacular wilderness, including
      > Calaveras Big Trees State Park, with its giant sequoias, and in Big
      > Sur, with its sweeping vistas. She chose to work at gritty
      > Candlestick Point because she was drawn to the idea of creating open
      > space in an urban environment.
      > "This is exciting to bring parks to people who
      > haven't had such  opportunities," Meneguzzi said, walking along the
      > rocky shore. "You  can get the same refreshment of the spirit right
      > here."
      > Before that happens, the land - covered in non-native fennel and ice
      > plant - will be excavated and tested, with polluted parts hauled
      > away. The site will be graded and turned into wetlands, before being
      > replanted with thousand of native plants.
      > The native vegetation is being propagated by Bayview youth at a half-
      > acre nursery across the road from the Alice Griffith Public Housing
      > Projects. Under a sign, "Plants Gone Wild," is some of the vegetation
      > that will eventually take root around Yosemite Slough. The vegetation
      > includes alkali heath, gum plant, coyote bush, California sage, blue
      > wild rye, red fescue, buckwheat and salt grass. An estimated 10,000
      > plants are needed from the nursery each year.
      > Patrick Rump, who works for Literacy for Environmental Justice,
      > manages the nursery. Seven youths from the neighborhood participate
      > as interns in the yearlong program, working up to nine hours a week
      > and receiving an hourly stipend of $9.14.
      > "The site that we're restoring is heavily polluted,"Rump
      > said. "We're trying to remediate this little piece of urban land and
      > return it to a state that's safe and usable for the community. We're
      > trying to provide a better quality of life." 
      > One overlooked aspect of improving quality of life
      > is providing clean  open space and access to the waterfront, he said.
      > "You can take an hourlong bus ride to Crissy Field,
      > but if people are  going to have a strong connection to the
      > environment, it helps to  have it closer to home

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