SSF green space getting greener

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Wind turbines could grace South San Francisco if the city receives a grant to blow some green into one of its largest parks.
The 11-acre Westborough Park is due for some upgrades, Recreation and Community Services Director Sharon Ranals said.

The city has about $2 million to spend on upgrading the park, money generated by the development of the City Lights condo complex.

On top of that $2 million, South City is applying for a $1.2 million grant that would go toward making the park more environmentally friendly, Ranals said. If the city wins that state grant, it would be able to install wind turbines on Westborough Boulevard, install a green living roof on the new picnic shelter and swap out the current paving in the parking lot with permeable paving.

Regardless of whether the city wins the $1.2 million grant from the state, it will be investing $2 million into the park. Over the next week, the Recreation and Parks Commission will host two public hearings to solicit input on what the priority spots should be.

The park dates back at least 50 years and has not had much renovation since the 1980s.

“We try to keep it clean and green and certainly safe, but it’s just kind of tired looking,” Ranals said.

She said the park has been hit hard by the lethal pine-pitch canker, a fungal disease that infests pine trees and kills them quickly. She said the park has lost at least 20 trees so far to the disease and is in need of new planting.

The park’s playground, picnic shelter and basketball courts all need some love as well, she said.

A landscape architect has sketched out a concept on how the park could look after renovation, but that sketch is more to jog the public’s imagination than it is set in stone, Ranals said.

If there is money, the city would like to install a community garden at Westborough Park. Currently, the city has one community garden on Commercial Street, but one at Westborough could open the experience to a neighborhood that largely consists of condominiums.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t have yard space up there,” she said. “It’s an increasingly dense residential situation, so to allow people to have their own little garden space and grow vegetables and fruits would be great.”

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