While we at Curbed SF have a good idea how passionate our readers are about dogs vs. plovers (deeply) and bikes vs. stop signs (ambivalent), how do you feel about golf vs. reptiles and amphibians? Because a fight's a-fixin' over just that at Sharp Park, the public golf course where golfers and environmentalists have been heaving divots at each other over the flooding of habitat around the remains of an ancient wetlands, the Laguna Salada. The animals in question are the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-Legged Frog, and while the 417-acre Sharp Park and its eponymous golf course are in San Mateo County, it's owned and maintained by San Francisco's Park & Rec. Lawsuits were filed earlier this year, no doubt in part to light a fire under Park & Rec's plan to alter drainage of the course to both keep the critters from drowning and cut back on water use- at a course with a reputation for being "soggy".
This week, Supervisor John Avalos weighed in, saying he would begin to draft legislation to transfer Sharp Park to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and citing budget constraints:
The park facilities around the city are overwhelmed by budget cuts, so trying to find savings and a broader recreational use for Sharp Park makes sense.Of course, there's a mayoral election coming up and one endangered species- San Francisco's few hundred golfers- is complaining that Avalos is cynically supporting the adorable amphibians and gaily-attired reptiles to woo green-conscious SF voters. Images of all three species in the gallery above.
· Sharp Park Working Group (.pdf) Red & Parks]
· Avalos Adds New Wrinkle to Sharp Park Dispute [Mercury News]
· San Francisco Garter Snake [California Herps]
· California Red-Legged Frog [California Herps]
· Worst Dressed Golfers Ever [Bleach Report]