July 31, 2013 · 8:00 AM
Katherine Howard: Countdown for San Francisco’s Parkland
Countdown for San Francisco’s Parkland. What does the future hold?
San Francisco has been praised for her abundant parks and open space; Golden Gate Park in particular is famous world-wide for its naturalistic beauty. But our local parks are in the process of being re-shaped, not necessarily for the better.
Why is the City paving over parkland, turning over control of clubhouses to private organizations, and under-funding maintenance of the remaining parkland? What are the economic and political forces that are having such a strong impact on our parks? How have the City Charter, the recent recessions, and our increased dependence on philanthropy influenced park policies? What needs to be done to protect our parkland right now and for future generations of San Franciscans?
Katherine Howard, ASLA, is an award-winning landscape architect and inadvertent parks activist. She has been instrumental in the formation of various park-advocacy organizations, including the Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance, Friends of the Music Concourse, PaRC- Park Rangers Coalition, SF Ocean Edge, and Take Back Our Parks. She regularly writes a column for the Westside Observer, and was chosen by the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods for their citizen activist award in 2011 and by SF Tomorrow in 2012 as an Unsung Hero. Ms. Howard looks forward to getting our parks protected so she can go back to designing gardens.