‘Why not leave the park alone?’ Asks Letter to the Editor

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To the Editor:

The vision I have for my grandchildren differs from that of others who would develop the SoHum Community Park.

I envision a place where children can go out to go in, to paraphrase John Muir, and be at one with the children of the many other species who share that space: White-tailed Kites, Spotted Towhees, Wrentits, raccoon, fox, squirrel, lizards and snakes, dragonflies and stink bugs, among many others. Who has spent time with children in nature and not had their own perspective renewed by the delight and fascination expressed by a young one finding a feather, observing an ant trail or splashing in the river?baby sandpiper (2) Southern Humboldt Community Park

During the 13 or so years I have enjoyed this precious space I have watched many species diminish in frequency and numbers with relatively minimal human impacts compared to what is proposed. My grandchildren will not have the privilege of inheriting 40 or more acres on which to spend time in nature. They will need a space like the Community Park to feel the simultaneous smallness and bigness that being a part of nature, not separate from it, fosters.

As a townie and lifelong “straight job” worker, when this space became available I gave what I could and would do so still if the promise of leaving it alone were adopted. However, when development and closed meetings began to waft in the park breezes I lost faith in my neighbors and wondered whether a gift not freely given was truly a gift. The argument that the park needs money is not persuasive when I think of the $250,000 dice rolled on an EIR. It is dangerous thinking that because so much money was gambled there ought to be a return. Didn’t many people originally move up here at least in part to get away from the mentality that money rules all?

In a broader vision those dollars might have gone to enhancing the many run-down athletics facilities already present in the community. It was great seeing kids on the skate ramp, but it is now run down and in apparent disrepair. It is great watching kids playing sports on the fields we have, but sad to see the state many of them are in. Why not leave the park alone and take better care of what we already have? Not all kids play sports and many who do or don’t also need another kind of recreation. Many will be the biologists and park rangers we need to take care of public lands in the future.

Eighty percent of the responders to the request for public comment are against development. I am confident that a similar or greater percentage of park users, myself included, would gladly pay membership dues or a use fee.

Let’s all reread The Lorax.

Ann ConstantinoSouthern Humboldt Community Park tree




  • Has anyone seen the new 10 acre vineyard being put in? That’s quite the footprint.

    • You mean that private vineyard, yeah the Park Board likes to internalizes profits for private investors from private development, while it externalizes the cost to the public. Here are some photo’s. They say these Pinot noir grapes are going to be dry farmed, but cannot see how that is going to happen, since they are not spaced for dry farming. I wonder how much water it will take to keep this private 10 acres vineyard growing, while the river flows keep getting lower and lower.

  • Ann,
    You touched my heart. Beautifully wrtten.

  • My how times have changed. Before collectivism hit the scene, kids made friends with other kids. Chances were, half the friends they ran with owned property, livestock, ponds, creeks, or were friends with their neighbor’s who did.
    Now everyone hates kids who share the joys of country living with other kids, and are being snubbed out to make room for collectivist parks & areas.
    These collectivist areas, run by committees of noseybodies, have stringent rules. Stay on the dedicated path, don’t skip rocks, don’t catch lizards, don’t run & play, don’t ride your bike, don’t visit before 10 or after 5:00, don’t roast marshmallows, don’t just don’t.

  • sorry.. Don’t agree. i guess I’m the 20%, even though I have a hard time believing the statistic is correct at all. There are many people in this community that believe a sports complex would be a huge asset to this community. I just happen to be one of them. I don’t think anyone that plays sports in this town would agree with the statement that “we have enough facilities as it is”, because we don’t. The fields are full all the time.

    • But this isn’t SF… City values are destroying the beauty of Humboldt. If you want city convenience you should have stayed in the city.

  • Sports complex Goal: Utilizing a small portion of the park (less than 5%) as a dedicated sporting area for competitive and individual sports of all kinds, while minimizing the environmental and scenic impact to the park

    I don’t think 5% is too much to ask for!

    • Chris, it might only be 16 acres of the Park, but its 16 acres taken out of ag use and its 16 acres of intensive water use, that the river cannot support. The river is already below their 30 cfs threshold, so your back to playing on dry dead grass again, what is the point? And like I asked the other people, who is paying and maintaining these ball fields and who will they belong to? Nobody wants to answer those questions…

  • veterans friend

    Steve Dazey’s private little feifdom. I’m against it. Leave the park alone. No high tech soccer fields please.

  • It’s lookin’ and feelin’ *industrial* down there.

    What a boondoggle for those in the clique.

    Everyone is aware, of course (?) that the ‘Southern Humboldt Community Farm’ and the new vineyard are both private enterprises, right?

  • The park looks like what the planning department would consider prime ag. land. Also prime subdivision land for homes due to it’s proximity to 101 and infrastructure.
    That is just how they are trained to think. Want wilderness? They usually delegate that to the backcountry.

  • I agree with Ann! We’ve waited long enough – let’s have a community park like a real actual community. The idea for sporting fields uses less than 6% of the land. Sanitary District and Water District support the rezoning. The environmental report took years to carefully put together and it’s sound science. C’mon, friends. It’s getting to be silly to constantly oppose any progress whatsoever in SoHum.

    • Alex Milbank, you better read what GSD said again, they did not support the rezoning, they supported the Park:

      “Garberville Sanitary District is not a participant in the Community Park’s desire to change their land use designation and is only involved as it may impact the customers of the District. Garberville Sanitary District feels that any land use changes for the Community Park should take into consideration the people and environment which may be affected by those changes which would include water diversion from the South Fork of the Eel River, disposal of human waste, contaminants which may enter the river and the health and safety of anybody using the Park’s water”

      “Although Garberville Sanitary District has made recommendations which would protect the customers of our District, we are in support of the Community Park and the healthy environment it provides for those who recreate there”

  • As a longtime community member, and donor to The Park, I second Ann’s well expressed sentiments. Please lets leave most of the Park as is and enjoy the beauty it naturally has! I have land and a farm for my grandkids to roam on, and they do, but what about everyone who doesn’t? Or chooses to live in town?

    • So, that means you support the rezoning? I don’t understand. A huge chunk of that land cannot be roamed on and explored by the community because it’s zoned improperly. That’s one of the points of the rezoning effort, isn’t it? To allow more responsible use of the 460 acres? How much ag land does one community need?

      • The Park doesn’t need to be rezoned out of ag, its only because of the large public assemble events, concerts and festivals. That’s why they need a zoning and land use classification change, just ask Michael Richardson in the Planning Department. Its called propaganda. The Park Board only wants you to know what you need to know, nothing more. They know most people are like sheep and will follow each other off a cliff without knowing why! Do not become one of those sheep, ask questions and make them accountable for their actions…

  • I support the rezoning. It’s about time the community gets a functional park. It’s absurd raising children in SoHum and trying to find organized outdoor activities for them. I’m not surprised about the hand-wringing. Hand-wringing is what we do in SoHum and we’ve done it for at least the last 45 years to my knowledge.

    Thank you to the Park for taking the lead on bringing about this important change.

    • That’s what we have school grounds for! Why not develop the habitat our children spend 5 days a week in? Leave the prime ag land for feeding the people and encouraging natural environment, now.

      • Football, not soccer, always had top (exclusive) priority of school fields. None of the other Soccer coaches, nor I, were successful in our requests to share these fields. Apparently, brain concussions were more desirable than scraped shins. We never figured this out. af

    • The reality is that prime ag land is sparse in Humboldt County. Especially ag land that could potentially be dry-farmed.

      If one were taking the ‘long view’ it would be smart to localize our food production, especially with the baby boom happening here.

      Shit happens; the road system in and out of Humboldt is vulnerable to all types of mishaps and upheavals.

      Farming dope in the hills is not agriculture. Horticulture, maybe, but the soils are notoriously poor and require a great deal of additional amendment (thus the big diesel trucks stacked to the gills with plastic bags containing mined materials clogging our narrow, rural roads).

      This whole park deal is about enriching a few individuals, who cleverly keep shouting “Community!”

      Read the DEIR.

  • We on the Park Board will respond to this and other concerns which have been raised by members of the public, but I do want to clear up a few misunderstandings.

    First, the statement that “eighty percent” of the people who submitted comments are “against development” is extremely misleading, especially as “development” is a buzz-word being tossed around by a small number of people who have opposed the park from the beginning because it represents change in their neighborhood. Some people are afraid of change. That’s understandable. What is not understandable is misrepresenting the substance and process of the project.

    The public comment period was specifically to address the Environmental Impact Report. The matter is not yet before the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors, though it will be within the next couple of months. The applicant for the zoning change must respond to all questions and comments which are submitted by the public and agencies prior to the finalization of the EIR. I think some misunderstood and saw the public comment period as the time to voice their philosophical support or objections to the project as a whole. We have been compiling numerous letters of support which will be submitted later in the process when we are past this more technical phase of the process. We are actually very relieved that we received so few comments at this phase, particularly from agencies who had raised objections earlier in the process. Some of these agencies submitted no comments at all, which suggests that the DEIR has adequately addressed their concerns. The project is in the process of generating responses to the comments which were received, and we will make appropriate changes to the draft before finalization – which we hope will happen before the end of August.

    With regard to the $250,000 spent on the EIR, that’s a long history. The original estimate was for much less, and the County told us that the process would take months, not years. Originally, the county was actually going to do the EIR, but the General Plan Update drew the County’s resources away from us and at a certain point we had to hire private contractors. Then numerous unforeseen obstacles arose which I can not even begin to summarize here, nor the politics around these obstacles. You would think that we were building a toxic waste dump instead of a park! But we worked with agencies and people in order to address these issues and when the process is through we will probably jointly write a novel.

    But this is a community park. We have had numerous events and processes to draw community input as to a public vision of the park. Repeatedly, the order of priorities for the park expressed by those showing up to the events has put concert and other medium to large events first, and after that sports fields to address the shortage of facilities. In particular, representatives of the soccer league talk about having to turn children away for lack of playing space.

    Not everybody stated these priorities, but we have to balance the interests and wishes of a wide variety of people. Some, like Ann, want no changes at all. They like the pristine beauty of the place. I’m sympathetic to that.

    But there are others with families who have much different visions – people who feel that Sohum is no longer family/kid friendly. You will be hearing from them later in the process. Some want Reggae on the River to take place at the park. Others wanted senior housing and other projects which really do deserve the word “development.” One person wished there could be a motocross course there. Another person wanted it to be a huge marijuana farm. Everybody has a vision. Our job is to try to find middle ground and balance. We believe that the DEIR represents that balance.

    Lastly, someone in the comments section is asking about the “footprint” of the vineyard currently in construction. Of course, this has nothing to do with the DEIR as the property is already zoned for agriculture. We have solicited agricultural proposals and the vineyard was one of the proposals brought before us. We believe that the proponents are responsible and will farm responsibly, as will the others who are leasing land for agricultural purposes. It is kind of amusing that some of the people who complain that the plan doesn’t allow for enough agriculture (the property is currently more productive than it had been for decades prior to the Park) then complain about the particular agriculture happening. We can’t make everybody happy. We can provide a beautiful place with multiple community benefits.

    Change is inevitable. Not all change is bad.

    • Ann Constantino

      Eric, What would actually represent change here is a reversal of the steady march toward environmental degradation our local and global landscapes are suffering. Many scientists believe that the earth has already passed a tipping point and is hurtling toward unsustainability. At some point human beings have got to make sacrifices.

      The beautiful place has already been provided by nature. The temporary desires of humans to use it for short-sighted “benefits” are outweighed, in my opinion, by the urgency to replenish and care for earth’s resources. They do not belong to us or to the owners of the park land in the long view.

    • If i was you eric I would really double check that the vineyard owner uses organic fertilizers and sprays and does things responsibly. I know people who don’t think so, very questionable land practices in the past on multiple properties.
      When the farm first got going, they found they could dry farm tomatoes in the garden closest to the river. This is some serious ag land and is precious. Monocropping is rarely ever the answer, esp 10 acres! & the amount of powdery white, brought to so hum by the first vineyards, could infect the CSA. What are the plans for that potential?

    • Eric, since you want to stroll down memory lane, here is what you said in the Indie back on May 14, 2013:

      Letter to the Editor, Eric V. Kirk:
      From the Independent, Tuesday, May 14, 2013
      Leaving Park Zoning ‘As Is’ Not an Option
      Dear Editor:
      As most of the community is well aware, we are on the home stretch of approval for the necessary rezoning of the Community Park. Unfortunately there are a handful of park skeptics who insist on repeating misinformation in order to prevent the rezoning and Don “Frenchy” Courtemanche provided a few examples in his letter in your April 30 edition. It is unfortunate that a small group of people continues to recycle the same misinformation over and over again, forcing our volunteer board to expend time and energy with the same responses over and over again. Fortunately we are very near the end of this process.
      Let us be clear that the Park Board is not “threatening” to sell the park if we don’t get the rezone. The Parkland is currently zoned agricultural-exclusive, with a land use designation that allows for the property to be divided up into parcels ranging from five to 20 acres. The current zoning strictly limits us to “principally permitted” uses which have been deemed agricultural related. Those uses do not include trails for the public usage, the existing playground at Tooby Park, nor many of the other uses important to the community. The point is that unless we are rezoned in such a way as to add those uses, the park cannot offer public access for trails once the current special agreement with the county expires. And we have been told by the county that the temporary agreement will remain in effect as long as we are pursuing the GPA in good faith. In short, leaving the zoning “as is” is not an option.
      If we cannot operate the property as a park either through a rezone or a perpetual special agreement (which we have been informed is not an option), there is no point in continued ownership by the non-profit park entity. We could not fundraise; not through events, use fees, or grants. We would simply be forced to put the property up for sale. Certainly a selling point of the property is the possibility of subdivision into small farm parcels to sell off individually. It is the simple reality – not a threat.
      We have requested in our General Plan Amendment proposal a rezone of 96 acres which will allow us to hold sports and cultural events on the property within that very limited space. Much of that space is wooded, and very little of it is realistic for agricultural use. Moreover, we are requesting a designation which will allow farming in that area in addition to the vast acreage which will be reserved for farming exclusively. The 96 acres includes Tooby Park, the barn area, the event and wedding grove, and the flat area near the Kimtu entrance to be used for sports fields. Originally the sports fields were proposed for the old orchard area above the east entrance, but we changed those plans in light of our watershed report and so that we would not have to move so much soil. Rather than “mitigating” the wetlands issues, we are opting to avoid the wetlands altogether for public recreation use. We have therefore adopted the location which was first proposed by John LaBoyteaux.
      The rest of the property would remain zoned agricultural (with the exception of a small portion which is currently zoned industrial and is being used accordingly) with a land use designation overlay which will allow us to maintain trails and other minimal impact public uses outside of the 96 acres dedicated to recreation. And the change in land use designation will eliminate the subdivision option-permanently.
      To clear up yet another misunderstanding, we do not have firm plans as to the form of the sports fields. We have not committed to artificial turf as has been reported. Artificial turf is one possibility which would reduce the need for water and resolve other issues. We understand that there are practical and aesthetic concerns which might make grass a better alternative. The ideas have evolved with public input, and will continue to evolve with additional public input.
      Contrary to the rumors, there is no “KOA Campground” planned. There is no “stadium” planned. Other than fundraising events, the park has no “commercial development” planned. We have requested the ability to conduct one annual large event and several mid-sized events throughout the year. While we cannot guarantee that neighbors will never hear sounds from these events, we will ensure that they are at reasonable levels to meet CEQA standards. We have conducted numerous studies for the Environmental Impact Report which is required for the General Plan Amendment and once we have submitted the information to the county and the county has subsequently released the information to the public, we are confident that the majority of the community will understand that we are taking great care to effectively address concerns about noise, traffic, wetlands, safety, agriculture, and natural beauty of the park. We hope that the information will be processed and released soon and public hearings set soon thereafter.
      The rezone will not end the public process, by the way. It will merely set the framework from which we can operate. We will hold meetings to scope out specific visions for each component of the park-very little will ever be set in stone.
      We are now regularly updating the website with our meeting minutes, and we are always available to answer those questions which are not deliberately designed to waste our time.
      It’s a beautiful resource we have, and an opportunity to greatly improve on the quality of life in SoHum, particularly for the children. Please contact us if you wish to participate in any way, great or small, and thank you for the excellent input and support we have received up until now.
      Eric V. Kirk
      Board Member, Southern Humboldt Community Park

      So allot has changed since you put these words to paper in 2013, the ink is still wet. And you know what, the 10 acre vineyard is private development, it does NOT benefit the public, it does NOT benefit the community, it only benefits its investors and allows the Park Board to pay its Executive Director and pay back interest for secured private loans, which I might add include past and present Park Board members. Have Board meetings open to the public, be the public benefit organization you claim to be, then we can talk, because no one wants what you are selling…

  • Prime ag land in ag land deficient Humboldt County should be preserved for it’s highest purpose: to provide food.

    I’ve read the draft EIR. It’s a travesty and an insult to our intelligence.

    The proposed water use is phenomenal. It’s like building a small city just upstream from our intake pumps with laughable precautionary provisions for drought and low flows, let alone sewage issues.

    Festivals for up to 4,000 people?? Absurd on so many levels…

  • It is really a shame that Garberville doesn’t have tennis courts anymore.

  • Isn’t drawing water from the river for their planned non ag use tied to there being 30cfs of flow in the Southfork? Please do correct me if I misread the local newspaper article. We were down to that level of water flow some weeks ago…

    • Read the DEIR. It’s covered in a bit of detail.

      • Their is nothing “covered in a bit of detail” in the DEIR Eric, no detail at all. its all a vision, a vision of a small select group of people that DO NOT want to have their meetings open to the public, who will not even show their face in public to discuss their private project. You don’t even have a management plan or business plan for the Park Boards private property. And that’s just what it is, private property. However, you want to claim everything they do is for the community and public benefit, go figure.

        You even claim in your letter to the Board of Supervisors:

        “We request that you allow our community to use this property for public benefit”

        In fact, in the DEIR, on page 3-4 in the PROJECT OBJECTIVES section, not one word about the public benefit or the community use. just because you call it a “Community Park” doesn’t make it either!

        Maybe the community could get behind the project if they had a say or any idea what the Park Board is doing!

  • There it is in the Indy of June 28th, in the GSD official comments the ‘opinion’ is expressed that “all recreational irrigation [should] be discontinued when the river flow is below 30 cubic feet per second”. This threshold of 30cfs comes from one of the consultants hired to work on the DEIR who suggested it, stating that at present the community can legally take water from the river when the South Fork flow is as low as 2.6cfs. The Pacific Watershed Associates report suggested the “30 cubic feet per second as an interim threshold, beyond which the sports field can only be irrigated with stored or recycled water.”
    If the river goes down to 30cfs early in the summer as it has, presumably there are plans for a lot of storage in the winter when the flows are up. ?

  • It seems to me when the first solicitations for donors to help buy the property went out we were promised parkland that would live in perpetuity…The next thing I knew we were hearing about housing and ball fields and who knows what all else. I am disappointed, to say the least. Ripped off, as well.

  • A community park is and always has been a idiotic idea for that space.
    What a waste of valuable land.
    If Garberville ever had the chance to grow, that location would and should be the only option.
    Rip – growth
    Rip – the future
    Rip – Garberville

  • A community park should be a mixed use area, as commonly seen in the rest of our country. Have you ever been to a real community park? Not a nature reserve, or animal/ bird habitat but an actual community park that all different types of community citizens actually use? My daughter plays travel softball and we’ve been to community parks across the state. The parks that I’ve seen are beautiful open spaces, some as small as 60 acres that have nature trails, ponds, playgrounds, gardens, tennis courts, ball fields, and picnic tables etc. Our park can be that too, what is wrong with advocating to make our park an actual community park. It’s not called the southern Humboldt bird sanctuary and natural habitat. There are such places, that are strictly for that, and are called that, but this open space of land was not intended to be that when the community helped buy it and continually donates to it. It was never named or titled that for a reason. It may have a large species of birds there and I don’t think they will leave, they don’t seem to mind mountain bikers or horses traveling through the trail system do they? Many birds adopt to people somewhat well, even Central Park in NY has a great population of birds. There will always be deer and squirrels everywhere… they frequent backyards in town even, there is nature all over our county. Not solely at the park. Take a walk in the state parks that are all over SoHum! It would be very possible to have 2 balls fields on one end that could also be used as soccer fields. Look at layouts of other community parks that serve as recreation and nature parks. It can work, the park is over 500 acres! I don’t however think we should be holding concerts there, that is a different type of park completey, that is a venue. Where you have to prepare for parking and bathrooms for hundreds of people. Keep Reggae and the Harley run where they are held now. It’s too much of a residential area around and passed the park to have that kind of traffic and noise down there. Ball fields will never be that loud or attract those numbers of people. As for the people that say leave the sports to the schools, there is no room to develop anymore at our schools. And one regulation size softball field in SoHum is not working for over 30 adult and youth recreation teams we have. I encourage you to visit or do some research on other community parks in our state and country, to get a better vision. Let’s allow this park to live up to its name.

    • This is Humboldt, not the rest of the county and thank goodness for that. People who want to make Humboldt like the places they left should have just stayed in those places… Concrete is ugly period.

    • Eel707, but its not a community park, its private property, owned by a private corporation, not the community. Even when the Park Board took over operation of Tooby Park, that had been a County Park since 1967, we knew the jig was up. They don’t have meetings open to the public and their Board of Directors are appointed by themselves. Its all been a big con and the community has been played like suckers. Wake up and smell what the Park Board has been shovel’n.

      The Park could have been overseen and created as a Park District with the Garberville Sanitary District, but Dazey wanted no part of that, he wanted total control and the rest is history…

    • Well said, Eel707. I agree.

  • I am a little league coach… I support the development of new ball fields..if you had ever been to redway school during baseball season you would understand.. there are teams practicing in every corner.. Battling for space and time.. And that doesn’t even being too talk about girls softball… Adult league and children’s league… there is absolutely no room for them during this time period… Please install ball fields please install a pond or bag storage to keep then green please don’t parcel out residential..

    Thank you park board for all your hard work…I truly appreciate your commitment to our town

  • On average, the local abundance of each species had fallen to 85% of the value that would have been expected in undisturbed habitat. The “safe level” of disturbance has been set at 90%.

    The study focused on land-use change and its impact. Although climate change is likely to create even greater pressures on global ecosystems, the researchers were concerned to measure what humans had already done to the woodlands, swamps, savannahs and forests around their farms and cities.

    “It’s the first time we’ve quantified the effect of habitat loss on biodiversity globally in such detail, and we’ve found that, across most of the world, biodiversity loss is no longer within the safe limits suggested by ecologists,” Dr Newbold says.*

    *from article posted on Truthdig this morning by Tim Radford

  • Lets call a spade a spade…The community park has NOTHING to do with the community aside from collecting “Donations” which are used for purposes unknown. They only use the name “Community ” to lure citizens to believe they have something to do with it…wrong..this a unilateral coalition of individuals who decide for themselves what to do with the park so they can create money for themselves…Everytime the park gets a grant the director and board members collect…this is why so many recreational venues were created in the past…but now we have a new agenda that pays more in going agricultural….plant more vegetables…bring in cows and steer…and now a vineyard privately owned…with more fences… and nobody is mentioning the disappearance of the largest colonies of Grasshopper sparrows int he country ….the grass has been mowed down by the cattle forcing the birds to move somewhere else…wonder if the EPA is aware of this…Greed as usual has replaced consciousness and is transforming our community into citylike “improvements and upgrades” which deteriorate the prime site and natural beauty of this land…Lets call this the Mackie Park or the Lobato Park or the Daysy Park and start charging the people a fee/membership for “free” access.

    • Do you hear the nonsense coming out of your mouth? Grasshoppers, sparrows, epa??
      The community park should be turned into a heavy-industrial sub-division.
      Nothing else.

  • The petri dish is getting crowded!

    Too many humans on the planet ‘using’ nature to our own ends.

    Too bad we can’t seem to stop as a specie from overrunning mother earth.

    We’re headed over a cliff–all in the name of money and what the earth can do for humans.

    Money trumps life every time. Diversity of life is the key to our potential survival, but as it stands, I think we’re going down as a failed experiment.

    Sad sad sad.

  • Eel707 said it correctly. That is a view of a well rounded person. Not the view of narrow minded person like the author of this letter.

  • Maybe all of the people complaining about how a soccer field would ruin their rural landscape didn’t notice the adjacent GRAVEL PROCESSING PLANT?

    • Thank you Ann and god bless you jaekelopyerus for pointing out the “adjacent GRAVEL PROCESSING PLANT”, I was hoping somebody would, because they lease that property from the Community Park Board, did you know that? They also lease them mining rights to 86 acres of river bar above and below the bridge, both sides of the river. After all, the Community Park is owned by a corporation, not the community…

  • Who the hell put that ugly ass vineyard in there ! What the hell ! Someone should get sued for that shit ! People who voice their opinion against the park don’t realize what real parks look like . They actually increase your wildlife habitat by maintaining it and creating area for people. We are natural beings on this planet and we need habitat too . People habitat has excersize equipment trails for walking , water fountains , benches and safe places for children . People habitat and animal habitat don’t mesh well with vegetable habitat or gardening in general . What the heol does a vinyard have to do with a park ! NOTHING ! How about the farm ? That’s not a damn community park . Maybe the board should be sued over misrepresentation of the park purchase through community funds .
    Go look at pictures of the community park in Fremont or Roseville . They provide placed for people to be alongside nature while recreating healthily .
    Healthy recreation is something these people who want the park to be a haven for those who do nothing don’t understand . They think smoking pot on your ass in the dirt and doing nothing is the only way to respect nature .
    A ball field could be the only thing that gets the video game generation out of the house to enjoy the nature you treasure !!!!!!! Get over your anti development bull shit and wake up ! You have been a thorn in the side of this community for too long . Quit trying to make things not happen . As for the animals , they have plenty of habitat , or didn’t you notice the damn forest everywhere .

    • And you’re right, “A Ball field” would be appropriate for a Park, however, “A ball field” is not what the Park Board is proposing. By the way Garberville is not Fremont or Roseville, which I might add are public parks, that have public meetings, accountable to and oversight from the public and have financial budgets and operational/management plans to operate their Parks. Oh yeah and the river cannot support this development with water! Here is what the private park Board is proposing and I quote from the DEIR:

      Proposed Facilities
      The following are proposed facilities for Area 5:
       Ten acres of fenced ball fields would be installed, including a multi-use soccer/football field (70,000 square feet), 1 soccer field (45,000 square feet), one standard size (high school) baseball/multi-purpose field (130,000 square feet), and a multi-purpose field (80,000 square feet) for softball, baseball, and soccer. This area would be irrigated (10 acres).
       Bleachers and benches would be placed near ball fields.
       1,000-square-foot restrooms and a concession stand facility with storage would be installed.
       A new gravel access road 20 feet in width and 1,000 feet in length would be constructed to connect the entrance to the park to the ball fields. The first 25 feet from the roadway would be paved.
       Construction would include the addition of new parking areas along the new access road with a total of 50 additional non-paved parking spaces.
       A 5,000-square-foot playground, fenced with 10 play and climbing structures and no paving, would be installed.
       A proposed off-leash dog park (5,000 square feet) with fenced area would be installed.
       A skate park (approximately 10,000 square feet) would be constructed of concrete and wood; excavation would be required.

      This area is proposed to be utilized for a variety of recreational uses (see Figure 3-8). Organized and leisure sports teams would conduct games, practices and sporting tournaments at the project site. Sports activities include soccer, baseball, softball, football, and similar activities. Dog owners would have a fenced area to allow dogs’ off-leash. A new skateboard park would be used for ramp riding and skills building. There would be a new playground and picnic areas for recreation activities. New uses would include sports related classes, workshops, and training camps.

      This area would be open from dawn until dusk all year. During sports tournaments, occasional night games would be held.

      This area has access from Camp Kimtu Road. An internal dirt road would be constructed to provide access for the sports fields and to provide additional parking.

      Bathroom facilities and the concessions would also have outdoor lighting.


    • Now, with that being said, Area 5 (Sports Fields) as proposed by the Park Board are 16 acres out of the 87 acres they want to rezone out of Ag Exclusive to Public Facilities and Public Recreation land use, which in itself is an oxy-moron, namely because it will still remain in private hands as private property. The remaining rezone of 71 acres is proposed for their Concert/Festival Venue Site and parking for 850 vehicles on site, which is another even larger can of worms than Sports fields.

      Let me also state, there are over 600 people and business owners in the community that have signed petitions for NO amplified music and NO rezone for the Park.

      The Park Board states in their DEIR (see below) and I for one would like to know how they conducted and collected their survey of 425 individuals in the community and what is a “park user-days visits”. I have have never seen that many people use the Park, let alone in a year. Who are they kidding? Wishful thinking I guess….

      “The applicant conducted extensive public outreach in its multi-year park planning process, including three initial public visioning events with 30 to 60 attendees in 2002; a series of four targeted public planning sessions beginning in 2008, with 40 to 200 attendees; and a 2012 survey of 425 individuals. This community input formed the basis for park planning efforts and shaped the proposed project”.

      “Since that time, the applicant and County staff have been working on the Draft EIR. The project site has continued to be used for resource production consistent with the existing zoning, and for small-scale community activities consistent with the historic use of the property. The park is a well-used facility in southern Humboldt County. In 2008, use of the park by visitors was estimated at 42,000 visitor days per year. By 2012, park use had increased to an estimated 46,000 visitor days per year”.

  • I’m doing exactly what Eric Kirk keeps telling the public to read; “Read the EIR”, when he cannot answer the question, he deflects the question to “Read the EIR”. So I read the “EIR” and what I don’t see is anything about re-locating the Garberville Rodeo at the Community Park?

    Where is this project included, discussed, reviewed or mitigated in the EIR?
    The Garberville Rodeo is a commercial Pro Rodeo 3 day event, advertised and anticipating thousands of people per day to come from outside the area. Will you allow camping on site? Parking? Traffic? Amplified Music?

    In practice, drafting a good mitigation measure involves clearly explaining its objectives – specifically how it will be implemented, who is responsible for its implementation, where it will occur and when it will occur:

    (a) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action.
    (b) Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation.
    (c) Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the impacted environment.
    (d) Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.
    (e) Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.

    CEQA requires that, for each significant impact identified in the EIR, the environmental document must discuss feasible mitigation measures to avoid or substantially reduce the project’s significant environmental effect. In the EIR, the preparer should include all measures that it considers feasible, even though the ultimate determination of feasibility is not made until the decision makers prepare findings later in the project approval process. A measure brought to the attention of the lead agency should not be left out of the EIR unless it is infeasible on its face.

    The EIR must distinguish between the mitigation measures which are proposed by the project proponents to be included in the project from other measures proposed by the lead, responsible or trustee agencies, which are not included but could reasonably be expected to reduce the adverse impacts if required as conditions of approving the project. Where several measures are available to mitigate an impact, each should be discussed and the basis for selecting a particular measure should not be left out of the EIR unless it is infeasible on its face.

    I must ask, where is the Garberville Rodeo included in the SHCP GPA/CUP/EIR project?

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