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.