The proposed ordinance which would block the renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park and has qualified for the November ballot and will go head-to-head with the mayor’s “Children’s Playgrounds, Walking Trails and Athletic Fields Act,” a counter measure which would allow the conversion of the Beach Chalet’s four grass fields to synthetic turf and lighting for evening use to proceed.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by jill

    can someone explain why anyone would be against putting in synthetic turf here? I really dont understand this

    • Posted by cfb

      I’ve read before that synthetic turf makes a good breeding ground for bacteria if it isn’t constantly and properly cleaned. Think of all the people spitting and such, dogs taking a crap, and the fact that there’s no dirt for stuff like that to soak into and decompose in. Also that they can give people friction burns when you slide across it, unlike grass. Also, worries about chemicals leeching out of it.

      Seem like legitimate concerns to me…though I’m sure many people complaining about this are doing so simply because “oh no my peace and quiet will be ruined by all these new kids on my lawn” *shakes fist*

      • Posted by jill

        theres plenty of bacteria in the grass itself. that mud is full of giardia. Hopefully the users of the field wont be licking the turf. ive played on turf many times. the risks of burns are overstated.

        the current fields with real grass are total crap and in constant state of disrepair

        • Posted by cfb

          Fair enough. And yeah, those fields do need to be fixed, whether it’s with synthetic or real turf.

        • Posted by EH

          Certainly it’s possible for turf to reach a state of disrepair, no? Is it that much cheaper to maintain at a given level of playability?

        • Posted by BobN

          It’s fairly obvious looking a pretty much any lawn maintained by the dept that what was once possible no longer is. My personal opinion is that park workers were often people who just plain loved plants, grass, trees. Now they hire people who hate flora.

          • Posted by FoggyDunes

            I don’t know much about the current park workers, but agree that in the past it seemed like they were really stewards of the parks and plantings. The story of how a park gardener transformed Cayuga Park in the 80’s is really inspiring: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayuga_Park

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      I don’t know either but if the sentiment is “no synthetic surfaces in our beautiful natural park” then be prepared for the delayed shock of realizing that there are miles and miles of synthetic asphalt all over the place.

  2. Posted by wc1

    What’s the point of having a representative government or a planning department if every little damn thing gets put up for a vote?

  3. Posted by marvinsnephew

    Amen, brother! (or sister?)

  4. Posted by anon

    I heard that the big reason wasn’t even the turf. That was just an excuse, the main backers object to the field lights.

    • Posted by SFCitizen

      The lights is probably the real reason for the objections. With no lights, every one is gone at or near dusk. With lights, how late will they be playing on these fields? I would guess no later than 10pm.

  5. Posted by anon

    My understanding was it was the following that they object to:
    1.) Increased number of parking spaces and size of parking area
    2.) Removal of a large number of mature trees especially on west side
    3.) The lights
    4.) Synthetic grass causing ground water contamination.

  6. Posted by whywhywhy

    We’re alreadying seeing water shutoffs in city landscaping due to the drought and future water issues– isn’t synthetic turf more sustainable/maintainable than simply putting in new grass? I’ve read that while it still needs “rinsing” it is still a major water saver overall.

    It seems like simply putting in a new grass lawn would:
    1. be a huge water-suck
    2. die if we are faced with more water cuts
    3. become patchy and eroded with use like the current one has, even if it is well-watered

  7. Posted by Anon

    There is plenty of reclaimed water available such as being used at local golf links nearby. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Recycled-water-in-SF-starts-on-golf-links-4002118.php. I thought GG Park was using reclaimed water as well?

  8. Posted by Anon

    I’m seeing lots and lots of brown grass in GGPark… not sure about reclaimed water being used there (the article you posted says “Plans for the city’s first recycled water plant in Golden Gate Park were scrapped after park advocates protested any development in the west end of the park.”). Lots of brown grass in other parts of the city too, like the big palm tree center islands all down Dolores Street.

  9. Posted by Mike Kennedy

    I am born here. 48 years old and those soccer fields sucked when I was a kid. I would like to know how many of these whiners are really from here. Yes it does matter where you grew up.

  10. Posted by Jed

    As a parent here, we all need to understand the impact that the lack of fields have for kids. The grass fields are expensive to maintain and basically suck. The grass gets too long, they get torn up, and if there’s ANY rain the field is closed. We need more playing fields, plain and simple.

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