As California’s first urban state park, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area in southeast San Francisco offers city dwellers a rare slice of nature.
Flanked by a sea of asphalt and a hulking stadium, parts of it are not all that pretty. Even with the shortcomings, Candlestick brings panoramic views of San Bruno Mountain, the East Bay hills and San Francisco Bay, and a tranquil open space to the low-income, ethnically diverse community of Bayview-Hunters Point.
Candlestick draws about 20,000 visits a year, and on a recent morning people were running, bicycling, walking their dogs and carrying fishing poles and buckets to one of the park’s piers. Despite a nearby toxic waste site undergoing remediation, waterfowl drifted with the tides and dived for their next meal.
“Candlestick Point gives the state park experience to people who might not otherwise have access to it,” said supervising state park ranger Ann Meneguzzi.
But state Park’s first foray into bringing nature to the city will soon end. On July 1, Candlestick is expected to close due to state budget cuts. While other state parks slated for closure have seen an outpouring of local support to keep them open, Candlestick’s best prospect for funding is a massive redevelopment project on the horizon for the neighboring community.
Read the complete story at Bay Nature.