The City of San Diego is updating the Parks Master Plan and we applaud the efforts. This plan includes a focus on equity for under served communities and we are very happy about this. Unfortunately, the plan does not do justice to our open space parks and natural places like Rose Creek. The entire plan rests on a point system that values more built recreational opportunities than passive opportunities like picnicking, bird watching, hiking, or family parties.
To learn more visit the City Of San Diego’s Complete Communities website.
The Friends of Rose Creek is asking that you contact your City Council representative and make the comments along these lines:
Conservation, Sustainability, and Resilience (pages 97-98)
Over 30,000 acres of City park are open space, undeveloped, and focused on the natural environment. Many of these acres exist to conserve the many unique and natural habitats found in San Diego, one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet. Therefore, we feel the point system should be expanded to include biologic functions in order to increase the point value for these areas that are much beloved by residents and visitors alike. Furthermore, the data collected by the public outreach clearly indicates trails and hiking are one of the priorities for the San Diegans.
Specifically, we feel points should be awarded on a per acre basis for the following functions provided by natural habitat:
- Preserving endangered and threatened species.
- Natural lands that provide linkages to other open space areas that can serve as wildlife corridors for animals to move around the area and insure genetic diversity.
- The value of biologic resources in water-based parks such as Mission Bay and the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park.
- Interpretative kiosks that educate users on the natural resources.
- Interpretative kiosks that educate users on Kumeyaay cultural and historical resources in the area provided tribal leaders are involved with placement, content, and design.
- Bird watching is an important passive recreational opportunity. Areas with high bird populations should be given additional points.
- As wetlands absorb and store greenhouse gas emissions, a metric should be identified that captures this value to the City’s Climate Action Plan. For example, 1 point per acre of wetlands.
- In the new point system, in addition to important bird areas, points could also be given for such attributes as significant native plant value, groundwater recharge areas, and large natural areas with trails and native plants that enhance mental well-being?
- Opportunities for solitude and contemplation.
- While we appreciate the goal of providing linkages, said linkages through our open space canyons and natural parks should consist of natural trails only, no pavement, no lighting. All bicycle and pedestrian trails intended for use by diverse abilities should be located outside our natural canyons and open space parks to protect the biologic value of the area
Also, the daily human carrying capacity for our natural parks should be identified. This would be the point at which usage in excess of this amount will cause degradation of the biologic factors.