Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The President's "Parks to the People" concept should be seen as a very powerful tool for upgrading the quality of urban life (making a clearing in the asphalt jungle, as it were) by bringing open space to the greatest number of people. It is the urbanite who is in greatest need of room for physical, mental and social development.

I realize that the effects of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the crime rate can never be measured. But when one considers that the headlands offer a region of great esthetic, historical and educational value to an immediate area of great population density, the potential for improving the quality of life for so many should not be ignored.

STATEMENT OF PACIFIC RE-CREATION COMMITTEE SUBMITTED BY
CRAIG L. BROWN

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION

In San Francisco there exists an impressive proof that an environmental education program which relies heavily on citizen participation is the most suc cessful way to carry on mass environmental education. It is evident that mass ignorance concerning environmental issues is the single most important causation force behind our ‘environmental crises.'

"There is an increasing need to develop public understanding of science and technology. The fruits of science and the products of technology continue to shape the nature of our society and to influence events which have a worldwide significance. Yet the gulf between the daily lives and experiences of most people and the complexity of science and technology is widening." (Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, in Curator, November, 1968)

It might be added that part of that gulf lies between our everyday comprehension of life and the knowledge of how to control our growth and manipulation of the world's resources so as to not destroy irreplaceable open space and wild species. What is called for is a dramatic and highly creative information agent which will capture the public's attention and draw the people from their everyday lives to knowledge which they need about the effects of technology on the diminishing natural state.

Dr. Oppenheimer goes on in his article in Curator to describe the solution. "There is thus a growing need for an environment in which people can become familiar with the details of science and technology and begin to gain some understanding by controlling and watching the behavior of laboratory apparatus and machinery; such a place can arouse their latent curiosity and can provide at least partial answers. . . . The purpose of a science museum and exploration center would be to satisfy this need. It could be valuable and entertaining for the general public and would serve as a resource for schools and existing adult education programs."

Dr. Oppenheimer's experience oriented, drop-in education center became a reality in August of 1969, and since that time the Exploratorium, as it has been named, has become so popular with residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and tourists that it now accommodates over 20,000 visitors monthly throughout the year. Every local newspaper and television station, as well as many national publications, has enthusiastically acclaimed the Exploratorium for its wide appeal and for the creative and captivating way that it is educating people. It should be noted that the Exploratorium was financed and is maintained solely by private donations, and that most of the displays were designed and constructed by private and/or local citizens.

The concept behind the Exploratorium with its strong reliance upon citizen participation is a prototype of an urban information facility which actually educates an extremely diverse segment of the populace. It is obvious that Federal recreation facilities in and immediately around large urban areas also have the potential of serving as captivating educational resources for city dwellers if they can generate programs as creative as those at the Exploratorium and captivate the public's attention with as much success as that facility. If such an experience oriented, drop-in education center could be achieved within the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area it would serve as a prototype for the new concept of 'parks for people' which seeks to blossom in and around the urban areas of our nation. It will not suffice, however, to

merely make more open space available to more people and call that an adequate program in itself; for if the experience of Yosemite and other blighted, one-time wilderness areas should prove anything, it is that hordes of environmentally uneducated people unleashed onto the diminishing and often times delicate open spaces around our big population areas will only destroy the places we seek by this legislation to preserve.

It is no coincidence that the concept behind the Exploratorium first came to fruition in San Francisco. This area has long been famous for its sympathy towards and support of creative movements and important alternatives. Besides drawing a large number of creative and adventuresome people, the San Francisco Bay Area has also enticed into residency the largest concentration of environmentalists and naturalists in this nation. It is obvious that the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area should not ignore the qualified contribution of this great human resource which seeks participation; for it is unlikely that they will allow that they be ignored.

Pacific Re-Creation encourages Congress to legitimatize the contribution of those private citizens and nonprofit groups who seek involvement in the important task of urban park planning. We request that Congress include in any legislation on this matter a definitive statement calling for meaningful citizen participation' in the planning for the proposed Golden Gate Nation Recreation Area.

PROGRAMS AND FACILITIES FOR TRANSIENT YOUTH

Certainly the best way to avoid another generation of the environmentally miseducated or undereducated is to develop a concerted program of environmental education for young people which communicates with them on their own terms in the places where they can best be reached in large numbers. The National Park Service through its regional parks is already committed to cooperating with school programs, and it is assumed in this instance that local schools will seek local funding in order to take advantage of the proposed National Recreation Area as a teaching resource. But as yet the National Park Service, or those who fund it, does not seem to recognize the vast numbers of young people who travel this nation by hitchhiking, seeking out experiences about that which they are now eligible to vote on and have long since been eligible to fight for. The first mention of the needs of this large band of traveling learners that we could find in a Park Service publication appeared in A Master Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore, which was published in April of 1971 by the National Park Service's Western Service Center (San Francisco). Here the Park Service recognizes, "the establishment of an American Youth Hostel facility should be considered." (page 26) Yet in the next paragraph of the same publication the Park Service realizes that this alone is not enough when it states, "In Point Reyes lies a rare opportunity to instill an environmental awareness in large numbers of youth-especially urban dwellers who might not otherwise be reached."

What is called for is not merely a youth hostel but a comprehensive program which will deal with the physical needs of these young transients as well as the needs of their minds. Many of these young people are school dropouts who are drawn to the 'organic lifestyle' and would be especially open to those whom they encounter in their travels who are genuinely interested in the environment and can offer experiencial education.

Already ahead of us in this respect, the Canadian government has allocated $57.8 million to provide work and travel opportunities for some 990,000 young people, with $1,153,000 set aside specifically for the needs of transient youths. This latter sum was to provide 200,000 bed-nights in a coast-to-coast network of hostels as well as information centers and hitchhike depots (from Canadian Weekly Bulletin, Vol. 26, No. 15, published by the Information Division of the Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, Canada). All this in a country which has a population about one-tenth of ours means that the United States with no program for transient youth is about $578 million behind the eight ball in dealing with the physical and educational needs of these young Americans.

Pacific Re-Creation encourages that Congress begin immediately to deal with the needs of these emerging citizens by appropriating funds to the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area for youth programs and thereby establish a precedent for such funding at other Federal park facilities located in or immediately near large urban areas where transient youths already congregate in their summer migrations.

APPENDIX II

Hon. ROY TAYLOR,

April 6, 1972. Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation, House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. Dear REPRESENTATIVE TAYLOR: Attached are copies of an exchange of letters between myself and the Honorable Rogers H. B. Morton regarding the omission of certain key municipally-owned parcels in San Francisco from the Administration bill designating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Secretary's letter confirms that the Department of the Interior does not propose that park areas owned and administered by the City and County of San Francisco be included within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This omission is both disappointing and regrettable.

The importance of the San Francisco properties to the creation of a truly great park area has been recognized by Senators Alan Cranston and John Tunney and Congressmen William Mailliard and Phillip Burton, all of whom included them in their draft legislation creating this recreation area. We recommend strongly that the Administration bill be amended during Congressional hearings to incorporate the following properties, under certain guidelines, within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area: 1. Fort Funston (City-owned portions)

2. Ocean Beach

3. Lincoln Park (except the Legion of Honor and golf course)

4. Marina Green

5. Marina Small Craft Harbor

6. Aquatic Park

7. Seal Rocks.

In addition to the above recommendations, we urge that the Administration proposal be amended by Congressional action to provide for the acquisition of the Sutro Bath-Cliff House area, a key and integral feature of San Francisco's side of the Golden Gate Headlands.

In my letter to Secretary Morton I pointed out that if the San Francisco parcels are not included in the boundaries of the Park we will be left with a checkerboard pattern of widely separated units which would prohibit uniform master planning and ease of visitor use. The genesis of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was the preservation of the headlands abutting the Golden Gate Strait. The Administration proposal would not achieve this objective.

While we believe inclusion of these properties in the park is vital to the success of this project, we also believe they should remain under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission.

This is consistent with the Administration's approach that control of the Presidio should remain in the hands of the Army and Defense Department and that State of California properties will continue to be operated by the State.

I believe it is imperative that a similar arrangement be provided San Francisco as a condition of the City's necessary participation in the program.

The taxpayers of San Francisco had the foresight to preserve these recreational areas and the willingness to pay for their support. These areas have served more than just the City of San Francisco; rather, they have become truly regional in nature. Our people naturally wish to retain some voice in their operations and administration consistent again with the overall master plan.

Secretary Morton has indicated to me, "The responsibility for municipal park and recreation development can best be exercised by a municipal agency." I do not disagree with this principle. However, the parcels in question, be(398)

cause of their geographic location and scenic grandeur, represent more than merely municipal park properties. They are already regional assets heavily used not only by San Franciscans but by residents of the entire bay area and visitors from around the world. The three State parcels on the San Francisco side that the Administration bill would incorporate into the new park have in fact less use and importance than those City parcels which I am requesting your committee to include.

Former Secretary Hickel, in announcing the Administration's "Parks to the People" program stated: "We are moving with a coordinated program to establish large parks and recreation areas where most of our people live-in the metropolitan areas of our country. In past years there has not been sufficient federal emphasis on providing funds for recreation and open space preservation in and around our large cities where we believe the needs are greatest." Secretary Hickel further noted that most of our national parks are located in areas "remote from the less affluent members of our society." It would seem that the present Administration proposal, HR 13060, backs way from the laudable objectives enunciated by the Administration in initiating the "Parks to the People" concept.

Broad and growing public support exists in the San Francisco Bay Region for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Those individuals and groups most closely allied in support of this exciting park proposal have been dismayed by the obvious omissions in the Administration's bill. On March 21, 1972, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing that produced extensive testimony regarding the deficiencies in HR 13060.

I would urge that prompt hearings be scheduled on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I am prepared to appear before your Committee to elaborate on the proposals outlined in this letter. I trust these have your support.

In addition, I plan to confer as soon as possible with officials of the Department of Interior and the White House Office of Management and Budget so that a bill can emerge that will meet public expectations.

Very truly yours,

JOSEPH L. ALIOTO,

Mayor.

February 14, 1972.

Hon. ROGERS C. B. MORTON,
Secretary of the Interior,

Interior Building,

Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: A careful analysis of the Administration's proposal to establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the accompanying letter of transmittal to the Congress reveals, we believe, a serious inconsistency between the two documents, which I hope you can clarify.

The Administration's proposal appears to omit all municipally-owned properties in San Francisco, although the transmittal letter to Vice President Agnew in his position as President of the U.S. Senate indicates a clear intent to include these properties.

We trust that the exclusion of these important recreational units was an inadvertent oversight and can be corrected.

The importance of these properties to the creation of a truly great park area has been recognized by Senator Alan Cranston and Congressmen William Mailliard and Phillip Burton, all of whom included them in their draft legislation creating the recreation area.

We recommend strongly that the following properties be included, under certain guidelines, within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area:

1. Fort Funston (City-owned portion).

2. Ocean Beach.

3. Lincoln Park (except the Legion of Honor and golf course).

4. Marina Green.

5. Marina Small Craft Harbor.

6. Aquatic Park

7. Seal Rocks.

In addition to the aforementioned City properties, we note that the Administration's proposal does not call for the acquisition of the Sutro Bath-Cliff House area, a key and integral feature of San Francisco's side of the Golden Gate Headlands.

When originally proposed, the concept of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area was to preserve the environmental heritage of the coastal headlands of this area.

The San Francisco headlands strip, extending from the Hyde Street Pier to nearly the San Mateo County line, can only be properly protected through inclusion of certain Federal military establishments, state recreational properties, and various city parklands that dot this coastline.

If these properties are not included in the boundaries of the park, we will be left with a checkerboard development of widely-separated units, which would prohibit uniform master planning and the ease of visitor use.

While we believe inclusion of these properties in the park is vital to the success of this project, they should remain under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission.

This is consistent with the Administration's approach that control of the Presidio should remain in the hands of the Army and Defense Department and that State of California properties will continue to be operated by the State.

Additionally, it is my understanding that your office supports an arrangement whereby those units owned by the State would be operated with Federal funds provided for maintenance, operations and improvements in accordance with the park's overall master plan.

I believe it is imperative that a similar arrangement be provided San Francisco as a condition of the City's necessary participation in the program.

The taxpayers of San Francisco had the foresight to preserve these recreational areas and the willingness to pay for their support. These areas have served more than just the City of San Francisco; rather, they have become truly regional in nature. Our people naturally wish to retain some voice in their operations and administration consistent again with the overall master plan.

An operational allowance from the Federal government would also provide regional financial support for recreational areas which are serving the entire region and present an excellent opportunity to upgrade the present facilities. In conclusion, Mr. Secretary, I strongly urge that immediate steps be taken to amend "Boundary map, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco-Marin Counties, California," number NRAGG-20,00C, dated January, 1972, to include the missing city parcels, and provisions for their continued operation under the City of San Francisco be established in the legislation with appropriate funding.

Failure to include these units would have a profound and deleterious effect on efforts to secure the prompt delineation of this great park. With positive action, we may be able to realize the great expectations aroused in the public since announcement of this project some two years ago.

Sincerely yours,

JOSEPH L. ALIOTO,

Mayor.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, Washington, D.C., March 22, 1972.

Hon. JOSEPH L. ALIOTO,
Mayor of San Francisco,
San Francisco, Calif.

DEAR MAYOR ALIOTO: Thank you for your letter of February 14 concerning the Department's legislative proposal to establish a Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco and Marin Counties.

I regret that your analysis of the bill itself and supporting material has prompted the conclusion that City park properties were inadvertently excluded. We do not propose, nor did we intend, that park areas owned and administered by the City of San Francisco be included within the proposed boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. As you note, the boundary map incorporated by section 2(b) of the draft legislation does not depict City lands as

« AnteriorContinuar »