JOEL ON PARKS & RECREATION

When it comes to managing our parks and open space, we must not forget that San Francisco is an urban city of 800,000 people and growing. We should not restrict recreation for people and pets in our parks to introduce extinct plants that need replanting when they don't take. It costs unnecessary millions. A big city cannot be preserved as if it were Yosemite. We should respect the environment while understanding that an urban setting requires we provide access to open space for all people and pets. San Francisco is beautiful, but not all of it is natural (Golden Gate Park and much of the westside was originally sand dunes). So we should be careful in judging which plants and trees are 'native' before spending scarce resources to tear out and replace what has been growing for a century. Above all, our parks are for family and individual recreation.

PARKS & RECREATION ESSAYS

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