September Dune Update

Summary
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The sand dune is open and once again being enjoyed by many, with little or no neighborhood problems. CORE suggests the following changes: Expand dune hours, make rules more family friendly, replace reservations w/ an annual permit & remove the fence. Check out CORE’s new website, http://core4you.org/ , for more latest news & information. Contact city council with your ideas & feedback. Sign our new petition, http://core4you.org/sand-dune-park/petition .
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It’s been about 6 weeks since the sand dune reopened, and so far there have been almost no problems during dune use reported by the stellar park staff that are tasked with enforcing the rules. I’ve visited my neighborhood park about a dozen times, and it’s been great to see kids & adults alike enjoying the dune again. One morning I saw a group of a half dozen young children climbing on the dune with their parents then sticking around to play in the tot-lot afterward.

CORE is happy that the dune is open again, but is disappointed that the needlessly restrictive reservation system unfairly excludes many working adults & family members from using the dune. At CORE, we continue to support Manhattan Beach residents and other park users in all our efforts to expand access to the dune. Please sign our petition if you support this effort, http://core4you.org/sand-dune-park/petition . Four top priorities are as follows:

1) Expand dune hours to 7 AM – 8 PM weekdays, 8 AM – 7 PM weekends. This will allow working adults reasonable access to the dune. At the same time, make the dune open for use without reservations during the mid-day period when dune use is low to reintroduce some spontaneous use to the dune.

2) Make the dune more family friendly by allowing all kids & parents on the entire dune without reservations. Right now, teenagers are barred from the dune without reservation, and they have been a rare site in my dozen visits to the dune so far. Parents of children 6-12 years old must watch their kids play from the other side of the fence, which makes them less likely for them to bring their sons & daughters to the dune. And kids 5 and under are not allowed to go to the top of the dune with their moms or dads.

3) Replace the reservation systems with an annual permit. This would eliminate the rigid schedule that is currently used, and let park officials more easily monitor users.

4) Have the city remove the fence. The professional park staff have shown themselves quite capable of managing the park, and the fence is unnecessary since users respect the park rules. Even dune neighbors support removing the fence and instead using other innovative measures to ensure all dune users check in with park staff. This would once again let neighbors living atop the dune plateau use the dune as their backyard.

http://core4you.org/sand-dune-park/petition

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There’s more news too, but this message is long enough. If you have your own ideas, please share them with CORE, here on Facebook, or especially with the city council . Let them know how the new rules work for you, and let them know what the problems are. The best ideas usually come from residents, and it’s important to make your voice heard. You can also find links to contact local media on CORE’s new website at http://core4you.org/core/your-voice .

While CORE has been largely focused on Sand Dune Park during its first year, we are expanding our organization to promote outdoor recreation & exercise in Manhattan Beach & neighboring cities. We strongly support the South Bay Bicycle Coalition ( http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=275185246865 ) in their efforts to improve cycling options in the area. In one small part of that effort, the city installed a bike rack at Sand Dune Park after CORE suggested this to the parks staff.

If there’s an issue you’d like CORE to help with, submit your idea, http://core4you.org/your-issue/submit and we’ll help you organize support and share what we’ve learned. Some residents have noted the end of the after-school program at Sand Dune Park, and that’s an issue that could use some leadership & support from more residents. One simple idea is to have the present park staff organize activities while still monitoring the park. Residents have long sought a skate park in the city and we’ll help with that if leaders step forward. While the 6-man tournament was a big success this year, fees for the tournament were so high that many local teams declined to participate; we’ll again urge the city to lower the fees to encourage more local entrants.

Thanks for your support throughout the effort to Free the Dune. Find out how to contact City Council here, http://citymb.info/Index.aspx?page=721 . As always, contact CORE via email: Jake or Bill. If there’s something you want to share with the dune community– a record number of climbs, a first visit with a child, another memorable moment, some recreation news or a great new idea– just post it on our Facebook wall.

If you’ve read this far, you’re proven that you have the endurance required for dune users. Happy climbing everyone, and we’ll have another update next month.

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