Please oppose lights shows in the SF Arboretum

The Gardens of Golden Gate Park [GGGP], a new non-profit in partnership with Rec and Park, has issued an RFP for holding major night time light shows in the San Francisco Arboretum for two months next winter (and possibly the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers.)  The goal is to attract 80,000 to 180,000 more people to Golden Gate Park at night, at a time when the Park should be dark and quiet for wildlife.  General admission will cost between $28 to $40 per person – and that includes San Franciscans. 
There has been neither public notice nor opportunities for public input.  The RFP was issued on October 12, 2023 with a deadline of November 15, 2023.  The light shows do not need to be approved by the Rec and Park Commission, and because the contract will be less than $10 million, the Board of Supervisors has no say.  An inquiry to the GGGP as to when – or if - there would be a public meeting on the proposal has not been responded to.
One of the stated goals of the new GGGP is: “Expanded global plant conservation efforts protecting biodiversity in the face of climate change and the extinction crisis.”  Yet this new artificial entertainment will be located in the wildlife habitat of the Botanical Garden.  Biodiversity means plants AND wildlife – they need each other!  This project will endanger both plants and wildlife for the following reasons:

·      Artificial night time lighting has a negative impact on birds, insects, bats, and other wildlife.
·      Artificial night time lighting has a negative impact on plant life and could harm the plants that the Botanical Garden is trying to protect and conserve.
·      Adding noise and large crowds at night also has a negative impact on wildlife.
·      Adding more noise and light has a cumulative impact on Golden Gate Park’s habitat.  The Park already suffers from the amplified noise at the Bandshell as well as the 150,000 watts of stadium lighting at the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields and new lighting at other park facilities.   At some point Golden Gate Park will cease to be a haven for wildlife.
·      This proposal sends the message that our parks need to be commercial enterprises rather than valuing them as wildlife habitat and as a refuge from the stress of urban life for people.
·      This proposal also sends the message that somehow nature as nature is not good enough – it has to be ‘tarted up,’ in order for people to appreciate it.
·      San Francisco should be moving in the direction of adopting Dark Skies initiatives; this proposal goes in the wrong direction by adding more artificial lighting at night to our major landscape park.
If you share these concerns, please write to the following officials and ask that the GGGP rescind this proposal, for any of the above reasons – or add your own!
Please write to:
Sarah Ryan, President, Board of Directors - [email protected] 
Stephanie Linder, CEO - [email protected] 
Board of Supervisors - [email protected] 
Recreation and Park Commission - [email protected] 
Commission on the Environment - [email protected]