Save Candlestick Point!
It’s bad news for San Franciscans, and even worse for residents of Bayview-Hunters Point. Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is on the list of state parks slated to be closed this August due to the state’s fiscal woes. Candlestick Point was America’s first urban state recreation area, and it is a valuable natural respite and an important community touchstone.
If you take a walk through the park today, you’re likely to see bird watchers, picnicking families, joggers and bikers, and fishermen hooking sturgeon off Sunrise Point. The Community Gardens offer plots to neighborhood localvores looking to grow their own produce. The park is home to flowering cactus, red-tailed hawks, several public art installations and Yosemite Creek.
Closing it to the public would be a tragedy for the community, and some neighbors worry that the abandoned land could become a hotspot for crime. To save Candlestick Point, we’re going to have to get innovative.
Here’s one idea: the state could turn Candlestick Point over to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The GGNRA already holds Muir Woods, Alcatraz, Fort Mason, and many others parks in its portfolio. The GGNRA has experience managing preserved lands in urban environments, and its’ diversified funding streams – it collects from the federal government, private sources and from tourists – could mean more resources and more stability.
The GGNRA should be praised for spending a good deal of time and money trying to bring underserved residents from Southeast San Francisco to the national parks and recreation areas that line our Western and Northern shores. Well – here’s a chance to bring the know how and resources of the GGNRA to Southeast – by making Candlestick Point State Recreation Area part of the GGNRA.