Parks and Open Space
Parks — from our great wild national parks to little slivers of green in the city — are essential for both wildlife and for human welfare. The Sierra Club campaigns to secure funding for the acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of our public lands; and to make sure that our public lands are used in ways consistent with our environmental principles. Access to parks is essential for human well-being, and also for educating people to the importance of protecting natural areas.
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
The Bay Chapter has been working for close to 30 years to create a park along the East Bay shoreline from Oakland to Richmond. The McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is already a magnificent park, combining habitat for a wide range of local species with superb opportunities for natural recreation. We are working to protect and complete the park, in particular to fill the gap in Albany where the Golden Gate Fields race track is now located.
The Tesla site, on the eastern boundary of Alameda County 10 miles southeast of Livermore, is home to a large variety of rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species and is a migration route for many bird species, mountain lions, and tule elk. It contains native American artifacts (some at least 4,000 years old) and is the site of an abandoned historic coal-mining town.
It is owned, however, by the state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, which wants to add it to the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). Carnegie, rutted and decimated by off-road vehicles, is an environmental and aesthetic disaster. The Sierra Club is working to protect these lands.
» Click here for more details.
Sharp Park, located in Pacifica but owned by the city of San Francisco, can be a great restoration site for endangered species, or can continue to house an 18-hole golf course--but not both. The Sierra Club Bay Chapter is working for a solution that protects the endangered species and gives wider public access.
» For more details, see "California red-legged frogs at Sharp Park".
Beach Chalet soccer fields
The Bay Chapter is fighting a proposal to pave seven grassy acres at the western end of Golden Gate Park with artificial turf, gravel, and ground-up tires.
» For more details, see:
- "November election pits grassroots initiative to protect Golden Gate Park against Park Department power play"
- "Sierra Club appeals Beach Chalet court decision that ignores critical safety hazards"
- "Sierra Club Sues City to Stop Beach Chalet Soccer Fields Project"
- "Coastal Commission OKs Beach Chalet project"
The Bay Chapter has worked for many years to help the East Bay Regional Park District develop vegetation-management policies that protect nearby residents from fire at the same time as they protect and enhance native species. In late 2012 the District created the new position of assistant general manager for stewardship, thus placing a voice for these concerns in the highest level of the organization. The District has also initiated a closer working relationship with the Club and other conservation organizations on vegetation management to control wildfires at the urban-wildland interface
» For more details, see:
- "Park District can't afford to keep eucalyptus plantations--economics and ecology agree: convert to native species"
- "Club supports East Bay plan for fire management and native restoration"
- "Nurturing native species in the East Bay Regional Parks"
- "East Bay Parks settlement means less native habitat"
The San Francisco Presidio
The Sierra Club was a key participant in winning the legislation that added San Francisco's Presidio to the National Park System, and we have continued to oversee its ongoing development and management.
» For articles on some recent concerns there, see:
- "Conservancy's PX clearly best choice for Presidio Commissary"
- "Commercial dog walking on federal public lands"
- "Sierra Club sues to stop construction at Presidio"
Though California's state parks seem to have weathered the threatened park closures of 2012, they are still chronically underfunded and have a huge maintenance backlog. The Sierra Club is working to provide adequate funding to keep all parks open and properly maintained.
Local state parks include:
- Mount Diablo
- Angel Island
- Candlestick Point
- Mount Tamalpais
- McLaughlin Eastshore
- Crown Beach
- San Bruno Mountain
- China Camp
- Lake Del Valle
- Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area
The Bay Chapter's groups and East Bay Public Lands Committee concern themselves with issues at our local parks. For more information on general state-park issues, contact the co-chairs of Sierra Club California's State Parks Committee: Patricia Jones at Pvjones10@gmail.com or Alan Carlton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bay Chapter also sponsors dozens of outings every month to give you a chance to see and learn about our parks and public lands.
» For a schedule, go to our Activities Calendar.