People working to protect Ulistac Natural Area, the last open space in the city of Santa Clara, from development.
Members of the Santa Clara City Coucil want to develop Ulistac Natural Area because they consider it an underutilized piece of land that could be used to make revenue for the city. Our goal is to make them realize the benefits these 40 acres of open space provide in ecosystem and cultural values for the entire Santa Clara Valley.
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The 40 acres of the Ulistac Natural Area comprise about one third of one percent of the City of Santa Clara’s total land area. According to the City’s application for the Open Space Authority grant funds:
Ulistac Natural Area was preserved as open space in an area with little undeveloped land availability. There is (sic) no additional sites within the City of Santa Clara that offers the environmental features that Ulistac Natural Area provides.
UNA is the last opportunity in the City of Santa Clara to preserve the Valley’s original biosphere.
A Council Ad Hoc Committee Additional Soccer Field Planning Meeting was held at 4pm this afternoon at City Hall. Kolstad, Gillmor and Mahan were the Council Members present, along with the City Manager and Head of Parks and Rec.
The 3 items they wished to discuss were the immediate concerns for this season, the long term ideal of a possible new facility and the possibility of additional fields for the time in between.
The discussion regarding the immediate concerns was fairly quick as there was no-one present to answer the questions re. access to the current facility on game days and they are still investigating any ‘ready made’ fields where they can negotiate use on game days.
Gillmor made the point that there was no point in discussing the long term ideal, when there was a more pressing need for the other two items. Everyone was in agreement there.
This left the third item which concerns Ulistac the most. James Texiera ( Head of Parks and Rec) gave a short presentation showing the possible sites they are considering. The list of sites included Montague Park, Jenny Strand, Central Park, Waste Water Treatment Facility on Zanker, For Sale Property Searches (inc. industrial areas, Agnews East, Texas Instruments site), a portion of Ulistac, Live Oak Park and any others that people may suggest. He gave a brief run down of all the sites and a discussion followed between the council members and those of us who attended. All three council members seemed very open and friendly towards all of us there and were happy to hear all of our opinions.
It was suggested that not all 3 soccer fields would be in the same location, but could potentially be over 2 or 3 sites. The people at the meeting who are involved with the soccer facility accepted that this would probably be the case short and mid term, but in the long term, they would ideally need 3 on the same site.
Towards the end of the meeting, it was suggested by Gillmor that her preferred sites, from the list given, were Montague and Jenny Strand – no mention of Ulistac and all agreed! Please be aware that this IS NOT the final decision. It was just an opinion given at this meeting. We believe that the final decision will be taken by the full council, so there is still a chance that Ulistac is at risk.
There is another Ad Hoc Committee meeting next Monday, 19th May, at 4pm.
“The city of Santa Clara is frantically searching for soccer fields. With the new 49ers stadium set to open in August, it has decided that due to worries about traffic, the adjacent Youth Soccer Park needs to be supplemented with new sports fields as soon as possible. The heated question is, where should these new soccer fields go?…High on the list for City Council and staff is Ulistac Natural Area…” (READ MORE)
Members of the Santa Clara City Council want to move the city soccer field away from the NFL stadium on Tasman Drive. They tasked the Dept. of Parks & Recreation to find new locations for the soccer fields and associated flood lights, clubhouse, parking lot and maintenance building. At a strategy session on Thursday, Sept. 12, the department presented the council with 5 options. The council narrowed it down three and asked for further work to be done. One of the three sites is Ulistac Natural Area (UNA).
If the soccer facility is built at UNA, it will be a rectangle that starts just north of the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct and goes north almost all the way to the wetlands. The rectangle will also extend back almost all of the way to the levee. All that will be left will be the wetlands and the area immediately around and south of the bird and butterfly habitat garden.
The stadium is supposed to become active in June 2014 and the general consensus was that the fields need to be moved before then. Any of the sites will cost around $10 Million dollars to create.
Why is this important?
Fifteen years, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours produced an ecological gem in the City of Santa Clara: Ulistac Natural Area. Ulistac contains the last 40 acres of open, undeveloped land in the city. As volunteers removed invasive species and planted California native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers, butterflies reappeared, birds recolonized the area, and migrating birds started spending the winter. Ulistac Natural Area is the ONLY natural area in the City of Santa Clara, and a regional and cultural resource for all of us. People from all over the region come to enjoy the diverse California Native Plant Habitats and the ecosystems they support.
Impacts if soccer fields are built on Ulistac Natural Area:
If the soccer fields are relocated to UNA they will: destroy restored natural habitat, destroy a regional and cultural resource for Californians, displace animals that use it for habitat, limit the open space for use to a specific audience, affect the remaining natural habitat (the butterfly garden and the wetlands that will be left) and potentially the Guadalupe river through exposure to fertilizers and herbicides used to maintain the soccer fields, and disturb the local community with traffic, flood lights, and noise pollution.
We want to clarify that Save Ulistac’s position is that the Youth Soccer Park can, and should, exist in Santa Clara, just not on Ulistac. We want to safeguard Ulistac Natural Area open space (the LAST 40 acres of open space in Santa Clara) from any and all development.
WHAT TO DO NOW:
What you can do to help:
1. CONTACT THE SANTA CLARA CITY MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS and let them know how you feel. Click HERE for contact details and a sample letter.
2.Register to vote! If you are a registered voter, get other people to register to vote.
4. VOLUNTEER Please email the volunteer group at SaveUlistac@gmail.com and let us know you’d like to help Save Ulistac.
5. Sign up for the mailing list by clicking on THIS LINK to receive campaign updates.
6. COME TO A WORKDAY SESSION on the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month. From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Ulistac Natural Area on Lick Mill Blvd (Across from Lick Mill Park), by the Ulistac Natural Area entrance sign. Bring the family! CLICK HERE to receive work session announcements twice a month.