Do you think a protest of passion can help the dog barking cause? Let us know in the comments below, and get inspired by the article published in the SF Chronicle!
COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO
The trees on campus may not be put into a tree museum, but trustees for the College of San Mateo did vote this week to pave at least 20,000 square feet of paradise to put up a parking lot.
They expect the job to be done in the next few months, but angry students and faculty have hired an attorney who says state law requires a full environmental review to determine if it’s legal to pave over the 50-year-old garden.
“It’s a really peaceful place now. A beautiful place,” said student Nick Carlozzi, who often writes music in the doomed habitat where hundreds of plants – from the ancient Bunya-Bunya, to the rare Fragrant Pitcher Sage – attract wildlife, bees, hawks and herons.
As part of a campus improvement plan paid for with construction funds, San Mateo County Community College District trustees voted Monday to transform about 100,000 square feet of aged buildings and habitat. The new space will include the parking lot and up to 18,825 square feet of garden space, down from 39,500 square feet, district records show.
The trustees say the plan is fiscally sound because it calls for demolishing a hazardous building that houses sparsely attended floristry classes and a defunct horticulture program, while getting rid of a decrepit greenhouse.
A place to rent
In their place will be 200 parking spaces for staff, faculty, students and an army of visitors who, the trustees hope, will flock to rent a newly opened facility intended for everything from job fairs to weddings and bar mitzvah parties.
“We’re trying to generate revenue any way we can,” said board vice president Dave Mandelkern, noting that the three-campus college district has lost about $20 million in state funding over two years.
“We need the parking spaces,” he said. “I don’t see this as paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.”
Student Shawn Kann disagrees. Like Carlozzi and others, the physics major has come to love the peaceful campus sanctuary, and has a different vision for it.
“They can turn this into a showpiece for the community, with urban farming,” he said. “They can get the community involved, and show people how to grow their own vegetables. I see potential.”
Science instructor Lin Bowie wrote a four-page letter to the board, urging preservation.