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Artificial turf debate has gone to the birds

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All this time people have worried about the effects the planned synthetic turf will have on players at the Beach Chalet Soccer Field, but the Golden Gate Audubon Society wants to know about the animals, too.

The Audubon Society filed an appeal with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, alleging that the Recreation and Park Department side-stepped environmental laws before deciding to triple play time by using synthetic turf and upgrade the lighting fixtures.

But the grass fields provide, “foraging habitat for a variety of hawks, owls, thrushes, blackbirds, sparrows, gulls, and warblers,’’ according to the society.

Furthermore the group stated that, “The installation of 60’ tall lights, which are planned to be turned on until 10:00 pm nightly, will negatively affect wildlife, and will change the character of this part of Golden Gate Park.’’

So now Rec and Park would have to get an environmental review if the appeal is accepted.

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In the meantime, they’re also awaiting for an approval for their $5 million donation for to renovate the field.

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