Artificial turf moves ahead for park fields

Proposition I, which would amend San Francisco's park code so The City can upgrade athletic fields, children's playgrounds and walking trails in Golden Gate Park, prevailed Tuesday over Proposition H, which sought to keep all athletic fields in the park west of Crossover Drive as natural grass.

Prop. H was placed on the ballot a month before construction was slated to begin at the athletic fields, which included artificial turf to replace natural grass and new lighting.

Prop. I, put on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors in response to Prop. H, had the backing of groups advocating for more play time and space for children. Currently, the athletic fields are only accessible with a permit.

Backers of Prop. H argued that artificial turf causes noxious fumes and toxic runoff, and the new lighting would create light pollution.

The controversy over the project dates back six years, but it was finally approved in 2012 after many appeals.

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