Sharp Park offers us an exciting opportunity to expand National Parks along the California coast and capitalize upon the economic benefits described in a recent DOI report. A new National Park at Sharp Park, complete with a visitors’ center, will act as the Southern Gateway into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It will be a powerful driver of the local economy. Restoring Sharp Park will protect endangered wildlife, revitalize local economies, and create a park that everyone can enjoy.
Creating a National Park at Sharp Park will drive job production and economic activity on the coast. The DOI revealed that, on average, one taxpayer dollar invested in the National Parks Service earns ten dollars in return. California’s 26 National Parks alone contributed $1.192 billion to the economy in 2011. Not only that, but transferring Sharp Park to the National Park Service will relieve San Francisco taxpayers of the current burden posed by Sharp Park Golf Course’s environmental costs.
A 21st century park at Sharp Park will benefit endangered wildlife as well as the economy, providing them with a healthy wetland habitat. These thriving wetlands will then offer San Francisco and San Mateo County students opportunities for desperately needed outdoor environmental education.
A National Park at Sharp Park will also meet San Francisco’s biggest recreation needs, creating the new hiking and biking trails that are in highest demand. It will connect the Bay Area Ridge Trail to the coast, opening California’s diverse topography of sheer cliffs and bluffs, beaches, lagoons, creeks, canyons, grasslands, scrublands, forests, and hills to exploration.
Restoring Sharp Park will harness National Parks’ proven economic power to benefit our local communities, while creating better outdoor education and recreation opportunities for everyone.