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Urgent! The Beach Flats Garden Needs Your Help
by Save the Beach Flats Community Garden
Saturday Feb 17th, 2018 10:56 PM
Dear Beach Flats Garden supporter: The City Parks Department needs to hear from you regarding the Parks Master Plan. Public comment is due by February 20. Send comments to: ndowning [at]
The City Council passed a resolution that supported buying the existing site of the garden itself to save it and make it part of the City Parks system. However, the new Parks Master Plan does not even include the Beach Flats garden in its baseline, and fails to acknowledge that losing the Beach Flats Community Garden would have a significant environmental impact!

The public has until February 20 to submit comments on the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Parks Master Plan.

Please submit your comments to: ndowning [at]

Some points you may want to discuss:

* The city needs to circulate the Plan and initial study in Spanish, as it affects many monolingual Spanish-speaking residents.

* The existing and full recent acreage of the Beach Flats Community Garden must be included in the baseline for the Parks Master Plan, even though it is leased. It is a community asset, and its loss through neglect in this Plan would have a significant environmental impact. It provides air, water infiltration, noise mitigation, biological value (pollinators and other good insects as well as birds), nutrition and psychological benefit to the community.

* The Beach Flats Community Garden is qualitatively different from Poet's Park, and the two should not be treated together in the document. It merits a full description in the existing assets and future needs.

* Purchase of the existing and 25-year historic Beach Flats Community Garden site from the private landowner has been called for by a City Council Resolution in October 2016 and should be included as a goal in the 2030 Parks Master Plan. The wording in the current draft is vague and unenforceable, and retreats from existing City commitments.

* Language regarding the future of Beach Flats Community Garden in the Parks Master Plan 2030 and initial study is inadequate. Due to the high density and low income status of residents in the Beach Flats neighborhood, the garden at its current site and its historic size is essential for the quality of the Beach Flats environment, including the sound environment, the air quality, the water flow, city resilience to sea level rise, adequate open space, nutrition and environmental justice.

* The neighborhood has a deficit of neighborhood parkland and needs more community gardens. Hundreds of people have been in the streets in the last 24 months demanding protection of the space. The landowner recently reduced the size, and is threatening the remaining acreage. This history and community value of the existing site should be acknowledged in the Plan, and remedied well before 2030.

* This Plan has not been effectively circulated in Beach Flats. It needs to receive a full Environmental Impact Assessment process (EIR) to include affected constituents in this neighborhood in the review process and consider environmental effects of a range of alternatives, rather than the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration.

Thank you for your continued support of this vital community resource!

Save the Beach Flats Community Garden
§Green space is not distributed equitably in the city of Santa Cruz
by Save the Beach Flats Community Garden Saturday Feb 17th, 2018 10:56 PM
The Beach Flats Community Garden is one of the few small spots of green in the Beach Flats in this aerial photo comparison.
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Yes, tactically this Beach Flats Garden Needs saving.Unity Jack for Mother EarthSunday Feb 25th, 2018 2:18 PM