How Many Trees will Glen Canyon Lose?
August 10, 2012 4 Comments
Glen Canyon is just about to undergo a major change, as the projects funded by the 2008 Parks Bond get underway. They plan to make a new entrance area, move the tennis courts, move the playground and change the equipment, and add a restroom. The total project has a budget of $5.8 million, and the work is expected to take ten months.
During the community meetings about the project, neighbors expressed concerns about losing trees. In fact, in the SF Recreation and Parks Department’s (SF RPD) note for the Recreation and Parks Commission hearing, scheduled for August 16th, it described the Opposition: “Some individuals have expressed concern about tree removals.”
Most neighbors came away from the community meetings believing that only a few trees would be removed – maybe about a dozen or less, mainly owing to the tennis court relocation. This an excerpt from an SF RPD document about the Glen Canyon plan:
On June 28, 2012, Dennis Kern, Director of Rec & Park Operations, gave a presentation to the Glen Park Association, where he said that a total of 101 trees would be removed in Glen Park. Some were considered hazardous and others were in the way of the capital project. He made no mention of 120 trees that have been identified for removal by the management plan for the Natural Areas Program (SNRAMP). These trees are not hazardous, but will be removed in order to expand native plant gardens.
He also said that all the trees removed would be replaced one-for-one, and 94 additional trees planted. However, as we’ve seen before, the “one-for-one” does not mean replacing the trees at the same location, or with the same species: “Trees” by the SF RPD definition includes shrubs.
By this reckoning, Glen Canyon stands to lose some 220 majestic trees in the next year or two.
COULD BE MORE
We recently obtained the plans (by making a public records request) for tree removals in Glen Canyon Park recommended by Hort Science, SF Rec and Park Department’s hired consultant. (The 30-page report is available here as a PDF document: [Glen Canyon Hort Science Report for SF RPD.]) The report recommended 247 removals – including two-thirds of the trees near the Recreation Center and playing fields. They looked at 250 trees around the Recreation Center, and recommended removing 190 of them. In addition, they looked at 327 trees elsewhere in the park, and recommended removing another 57 – including 20 which were to be removed because they grow on a steep slope. The report provided a hazard assessment only for 48 trees, of which 37 were recommended for removal. According to the spreadsheet in the report, only 12 of the trees were impacted by the project – a number that approximates what the neighbors understood.
The majority of the trees were defined as having “Poor Suitability” – a broad grab-bag of reasons, including being old, (because though old trees have a greater emotional and aesthetic appeal, they don’t adjust as easily as young trees); and being of the wrong species.
As best as we can figure from the bid documents, these “poor suitability” trees are not being removed, but are at risk from the changed environment of the capital project. [Edited to Add: This may not be right. It looks like a number of trees are being removed for “poor suitability.” See our later post for a map of the trees being removed.] We can only hope that they are carefully protected through the 10 months of demolition and construction activity that’s coming to Glen Canyon. Otherwise, many of them will be Collateral Damage.
This tally doesn’t count the trees already gone. The Natural Areas Program has already destroyed trees in its efforts to re-landscape the canyon. About two dozen are documented, but according to a resident of the area, some 100 eucalyptus trees may have been removed before they started counting.
WHERE IT’S AT
The project has been put out to bid, and a $3.7 million contract is about to be awarded, subject to confirmation from the SF Recreation and Parks Commission. That hearing is scheduled for the Commission’s meeting on 16th August 2012, at 10 a.m., in Room 416, at 10 a.m.
[The tree removals scheduled immediately are shown on the maps on pages 7-10 in the bid documents. CLICK HERE for the PDF document.]
We plan to invite a second opinion from a qualified arborist. If you would like to help SF Forest Alliance with these costs, please consider a donation. (Look for the yellow Paypal button on the right.)