Around Town | May 11, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 11, 2012

Around Town

WHOSE SPACE IS IT ANYWAY? ... Nature lovers who frequent the Palo Alto Baylands could soon see some changes in the programs and tours the city offers at the nature preserve. That's because the city's considering either closing the Baylands Nature Interpretive Center or turning it over to the Santa Clara County Parks Department. The proposal, which would save the city $121,724 in expenses, would allow the city to eliminate one position — producer of arts and science programs — from the Community Services Department. But the switch would come at a price. The city would no longer offer nature interpretive classes, camps and school field trips, the budget proposal states. It would also lose about $94,700 in annual budgeted revenues from these activities. Community Services Director Greg Betts told the City Council Finance Committee Tuesday night that some programs would continue thanks to the city's partnerships with nature groups such as the Audubon Society and Environmental Volunteers. Baylands visitors aren't the only nature lovers who could notice some changes next year. People who go fishing at Boronda Lake in Foothills Park could soon find the water level going down, down, down. The city has been keeping the lake full by adding potable water as needed. But now, staff is proposing to cease this practice and treat the lake like other water reservoirs, which would mean the water level would fluctuate based on the amount of rainfall. This would save about $65,000 annually in water costs, Betts estimated.

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