|7/27/2012 12:54 PM||Jody Sanford||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Category Page||11.0||Presidio Category Page||Approved|
|11/26/2012 1:23 PM||Jody Sanford||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||5.0||Presidio Article Page|The Presidio Trust Environmental Remediation Program cleans up waste sites from when the Presidio of San Francisco was a U.S. Army post.
The program began in 1999 when the Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, and the Army reached an unprecedented pact in which the Army agreed to transfer environmental cleanup responsibility for the entire Presidio to the Presidio Trust, and to provide $99 million to the Trust to fund the effort. This significant agreement marked the first time that federal agencies developed a partnership to conduct comprehensive environmental cleanup of a closed military base.
Over the past decade the majority of known sites have been cleaned up with the goal of reducing risk to levels that are protective of human health and the environment. Underground fuel tanks have been excavated, pipes have been removed, and lead-based paint has been taken out of soil.
The Presidio Trust is also remediating a total of 15 landfill sites where the Army disposed of waste. These range in size from one to five acres and contain primarily building debris and fill soils. The landfills sometimes contain metals, pesticides, or other chemicals.
To date, a combined 350,000 tons of landfill waste have been removed from the park. This work allows Presidio Trust resource specialists to restore native habitats and forest groves, and to build new trails and ball fields for the public to enjoy. Learn about key remediation projects that have been completed.
The remaining remediation sites will be addressed in the next several years with input from the community. These include:
Public Participation and the Restoration Advisory Board
California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the Regional Water Quality Control Board provide the remediation program with regulatory oversight and guidance. Before cleanup actions begin, a Draft Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is released for public comment. This plan evaluates environmental contamination at a site, identifies cleanup alternatives, and proposes a cleanup remedy. The Final RAP responds to comments received and describes how a cleanup site will be addressed.
The Presidio Trust Environmental Remediation Program is also supported by a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) made up of volunteer community members. The RAB has been active in the remediation program since its inception. RAB meetings are open to the public. They are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Sheridan Avenue, Main Post.
|8/3/2012 1:38 PM||Jody Sanford||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Category Page||8.0||Presidio Category Page||Approved|
|5/8/2012 5:20 PM||Jody Sanford||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||3.0||Presidio Article Page|
The Presidio of San Francisco is a national treasure and a local jewel. It invites visitors to glimpse rare birds and native blossoms; to experience history through carefully preserved buildings and landscapes; and to enjoy a picnic, a concert, or a contemplative walk in the woods. There is truly something for everyone.
The Presidio is located at the Golden Gate, where the Pacific Ocean meets San Francisco Bay. The land was in constant use as a military post for two centuries, first for Spain, then for a newly independent Mexico, and finally for the United States. Today, it is both a distinctive national park site within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a National Historic Landmark District. It is a place in motion, attracting national attention for how history and nature are being preserved and for the innovative ideas and places projects taking shape.
Miles of hiking and biking trails traverse the park, showcasing period architecture, including the oldest existing streetscape in San Francisco at Funston Avenue. The park is also home to extraordinary habitats - coastal bluffs and dunes, a saltwater marsh, a complete watershed, a spring-fed lake, and a man-made forest.
The Presidio inspires creativity, service, and innovation. Moved by the park’s history and beauty, renowned British artist Andy Goldsworthy created the towering Spire and the sinuous Wood Line to celebrate the park’s cypress, pine, and eucalyptus. Volunteers are growing seedlings and repairing trails. Restaurants, museums, schools, and recreational destinations are thriving inside military barracks, hangars, and warehouses.
Grab a map and pick an adventure! All that the Presidio has to offer is accessible via hiking and biking trails and the free PresidiGo Shuttle. Experience the landscape and habitats of the golden gate as they appeared to the Miwok Indians, feel the power of El Presidio de San Francisco Spain’s northern-most outpost in the new world in 1776, see a San Francisco streetscape just as it was in the late 1800s, and awaken to the vision of preservation and open space founded on the ideas of Frederick Olmstead, Phillip Burton, and Benton MacKaye and legislated by Congress to preserve wilderness areas for the people.
|1/25/2013 11:20 AM||Kaitlin Shawgo||Kaitlin Shawgo||Presidio Article Page||1.0||Presidio Article Page|
From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
By Suzanne Perry
Gregory Werkheiser has worked in education, business, and government—and he’s eager to get people from all three fields talking more to each other about effective ways to run organizations.
That goal drew him to his new job as the first head of a center that will offer leadership training to people involved in volunteerism and national service.
Mr. Werkheiser, 39, says the National Center for Service and Innovative Leadership—located in the Presidio, a former military post in San Francisco that is now a national park—will offer a “shared home” to leaders in a wide variety of public-service roles.
“For the first time we’ll have a collaborative space where leaders can come together,” he says. “I’m fascinated to see what folks in social enterprise can learn from leaders of military service, and vice versa.”
Eye on Development
The center was created by the Presidio Trust, a federal agency charged with preserving and repurposing the 1,491-acre national park, which lies in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge.
When fully realized, it will offer leadership training; bring together nonprofit, government, and business leaders for discussions; and establish a research program to highlight successful approaches to solving community problems.
One of Mr. Werkheiser’s main responsibilities is to raise money to renovate Fort Winfield Scott, a Presidio facility that houses the new center.
He says the campaign’s initial goal is $50-million for the first stage of a project that will eventually transform up to 21 buildings into classrooms, offices, lodging, dining, and recreational facilities.
The Presidio Trust has spent $15-million on capital improvements to the site, but Congress has been phasing out federal spending on the project and will provide no money next year.
Mr. Werkheiser left a position as managing director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at George Mason University, where he supervised a master’s-degree program in social entrepreneurship and the Social Innovation Program, a global institute for undergraduate and graduate students.
He will also be able to draw on a wide range of other experience. He co-founded a law firm that focused on preserving cultural heritage, held several federal government positions, and ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia House of Delegates.
“I’m passionate about multiple traditions of American leadership and service,” he says. “American leadership and service continues to inspire the world, but we must do better.”
|6/18/2013 8:33 AM||System Account||Matthew Delfs||Presidio Category Page||Canceled||4.0||Presidio Category Page||Approved|
|3/8/2012 9:17 AM||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Category Page||3.0||Presidio Category Page|
The Presidio was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1962. Its historic buildings represent a spectrum of architectural styles.
Italianate (1860 - 1880)
Greek Revival (1840 - 1860)
Main Post Buildings 86 and 87 (shown here), constructed in 1862, are examples of the earliest wood-frame buildings still in existance at the Presidio. They represent a simplified version of the Italianate and the Greek Revival styles, which were both popular at the time of the Civil War. The Italianate style was predominantly used in residential architecture, where the design and shapes were based on the classical villas of Northern Italy. Features of the style include low roofs, long overhanging eaves, decorative brackets, cupolas and arcade porches. The Greek Revival style was based on the forms of the Greek temple. Pediments, columns, bold moldings, and heavy cornices were applied to all types of buildings, sometimes indiscriminately. The simplest elements of these two styles were combined in the Quartermaster's building patterns for wood-frame structures.
Queen Anne (1880 - 1890)
The Queen Anne style, imported from England during the mid-nineteenth century, was based on historic models of decorative medieval forms. Similar to buildings commonly known as "Victorians," these buildings were often asymmetrical with wrap-around porches, turrets, angled roof brackets, and different combinations of exterior building materials. The large officers' quarters (shown here) located at the intersection of Funston and Presidio Boulevards on the Main Post represent the Presidio's version of the Queen Anne style with a cleaner, less ornate building than the colorful, civilian counterparts found throughout San Francisco.
Colonial Revival (1880 - 1940)
In the 1890s, the U.S. Army began to favor the Colonial Revival style that was popular throughout the nation. Colonial Revival is an umbrella term for the revival of the eighteenth century East Coast colonial architecture, including the Georgian and Federal styles, which favored clean, simple, lines with a minimal use of applied decoration. The style was meant to inspire nostalgia for the early history of the United States when American democracy was in its infancy. This calculated revival in patriotism made the Colonial Revival style particularly appropriate to an evolving Army base. The style was often used to imbue a sense of civic pride. The Main Post Montgomery Street barracks (shown here) are good examples of the Presidio's Colonial Revival and are characterized by large, stocky symmetrical buildings which use prominent classical elements, such as pediments and columns.
Mission Revival (1910 - 1940)
By the 1900s, the Mission Revival style was gaining in popularity throughout the country's West and Southwest. This style grew from the desire to create an architecture based on the Southwest's regional historic influences, namely the Spanish Colonial mission history, rather than adopting imported design influences from the East Coast. At the Presidio, the Army adopted the Mission Revival style for the Fort Winfield Scott barracks. The style (shown here) was characterized by silhouetted shapes that mimicked the old missions, with gable and hip roofs and large flat stucco surfaces that are often punctuated by deep windows and door openings. Typically, the exterior surface was devoid of ornament – its only decorative features being the shadows cast on the walls by overhanging roofs.
Mediterranean and Italian Renaissance Revival (1920 - 1940)
The Mediterranean Revival style evolved from a rekindled interest in Italian Renaissance palaces. By the turn of the century, prominent architects were designing buildings incorporating details of sixteenth-century buildings and utilizing newly developed construction technologies. Building 39 (shown here) is an excellent example of the Army Quartermasters' interpretation of the Mediterranean Revival, with a large, boxy shape that could accommodate many different building uses, a simple stuccoed exterior, flat roof, and decorative horizontal frieze.
World War II Era (1940-1945)
World War II buildings at the Presidio, as at other Army bases, were constructed from standard plans designed for quick, cheap construction that could be sited anywhere. The basic building pattern, as displayed in the Main Post's Building 40 (shown here), called for very simple rectangular wood-frame buildings, with exterior stairs at each end, horizontal wood siding and asphalt-shingled roofs. This design was applied to all building types indiscriminately, so that barracks, mess halls, administrative buildings, post exchanges, chapels, and various other service buildings had similar appearances.
Post-War Era/Modern (1945 to the present)
The modern buildings constructed at the Presidio, including the Main Post Gym and the Crissy Field warehouses, were designed as simple, functional buildings. These buildings often incorporated new advances in building technology. Building 924 (shown here), once a Crissy Field motor pool building, employed an innovative engineering design with an open floor plan and glass curtain walls.
Utilitarian Style (1860 to the present)
Simple utilitarian buildings were usually constructed with inexpensive materials and limited applied detail. The function of the building usually dictated its design. Wood-frame warehouses were long and rectangular with open plans to accommodate storage. Crissy Field hangars, like the one shown here, were tall and wide to accommodate airplane maintenance. Despite their simple functions, some Presidio utilitarian structures contained special architectural details, such as arched window frames or brick water tables. These details demonstrated the builder's interest in incorporating decorative elements, often reflective of the period style.
Some unique buildings stand alone as the only representatives of their type at the Presidio. The United States Coast Guard Life Saving Station, built and managed by the Coast Guard, was designed in the Coast Guard's traditional Dutch Colonial style and is the only example of its kind at the Presidio. The Protestant Main Post Chapel is the only building designed in the thickly decorated Spanish-Colonial Revival style. There are also buildings that defy definition, like Fort Winfield Scott's log cabin (shown here), with its playful use of building materials, or the small Funston Avenue cottage topped with a large mansard roof. These buildings were probably a result of the whimsical mixing and matching of standard building plans with local styles.
|2/27/2013 9:45 AM||Jody Sanford||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||11.0||Presidio Article Page|
**Public Comment Period on the Draft Feasibility Study/Remedial Action Plans (FS/RAPs)
closed on February 5, 2013.**
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Presidio Trust announce the availability of two Draft FS/RAPs which recommend cleanup for Baker Beach Disturbed Areas (BBDAs) 1A and 2 in the Presidio. A California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Draft Negative Declaration for the cleanup project has also been prepared.
BBDAs 1A and 2 are located on a sloping bluff above the Pacific Ocean, south of the Golden Gate Bridge, and west of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District corporation yard. The sites are open space, vegetated primarily with non-native species. The Coastal Trail runs roughly north-south through BBDA 1A and to the east of BBDA 2.
BBDA 1A contains old asphalt roofing material from the adjacent batteries Cranston and Marcus Miller. The material consists of asphalt pieces, brick fragments, and tar-permeated sand. The material either eroded from the batteries or was removed from the batteries and disposed of in the area. At BBDA 1A, an estimated 4,400 cubic yards of asphalt material and soil contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, and one pesticide at levels that pose a potential risk to human health or the environment.
At BBDA 2, the Army disposed of debris and fill material. The debris fill is a mixture of soil, construction debris, landscaping debris, and other miscellaneous debris (e.g., cans, bottles, and glass). Approximately 6,700 cubic yards of debris fill and soil are contaminated with metals at levels that pose a potential risk to the environment.
Proposed Cleanup Alternative
The proposed cleanup alternative for both BBDA 1A and 2 is excavation. The excavation remedy consists of removal of asphalt material, debris, and soil to achieve cleanup levels, transportation to and offsite disposal of excavated materials at a permitted landfill, and backfill of the excavations with clean soil.
The Draft FS/RAPs and CEQA Draft Negative Declaration will be issued for public comment on December 5, 2012. The public comment period extends from December 5, 2012 through February 5, 2013. After the public comment period ends, DTSC will respond to public comments and issue Final FS/RAPs. The cleanup actions are scheduled to commence in spring 2013 and conclude by fall 2013.
A public meeting will be held to present the cleanup plans proposed by the Draft FS/RAPs and record oral public comments. It will take place on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7 pm, at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop, Main Post, Presidio.
Submit Written Comments (comment period now closed)
Send written comments postmarked no later than February 5, 2013 to:
Lori Koch, DTSC, 700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, California 94710‐2721
Radhika Majhail, DTSC, 8800 Cal Center Drive, Sacramento, California 95826–3200
Eileen Fanelli, Presidio Trust, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, California 94129‐0052,
|3/8/2012 9:17 AM||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||1.0||Presidio Article Page|
The Presidio Trust has initiated consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) regarding the proposed removal of two buildings within the Baker Beach Housing neighborhood.
Building 1566 is a six-unit residential building and Building 1564 is a ten-unit carport. Both structures, along with the other 91 structures comprising the Baker Beach Housing neighborhood (Buildings 1501-1599), were constructed in 1953 as part of the Wherry Housing program. The Trust has determined that both buildings, along with the rest of the neighborhood, are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The buildings are proposed for removal in order to restore native plant habitat in the southwest corner of the Presidio, and to assist in the Trust’s efforts to re-establish the San Francisco lessingia, an endangered plant that lives in area. The proposed demolition is consistent with the Presidio Trust Management Plan (PTMP, 2002), which calls for the phased removal of the Baker Beach Housing complex beginning in 2010 in order to “restore native plant habitat and expand and enhance open space.” This provision has been supported by and is consistent with a subsequent U.S. Fish & Wildlife Recovery Plan for the San Francisco lessingia, and the Trust’s Vegetation Management Plan.
Comments from the public on this proposal will be accepted for a 45-day period, ending on March 16, 2012
. Comments may be submitted by mail to the below address, or by email to BakerbeachProject@presidiotrust.gov.
Baker Beach Housing/Habitat Restoration Project
34 Graham Street
PO Box 29052
San Francisco, CA 94129
Public Information Sessions
The Presidio Trust held two public information sessions on Thursday, March 8 in order to answer questions and collect additional comments. If you have questions about these sessions, please email BakerbeachProject@presidiotrust.gov.
|1/28/2013 9:48 AM||Jody Sanford||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||9.0||Presidio Article Page|
Public Comment Period on the Draft Removal Action Work Plan (RAW) is open from January 28 to February 27, 2013. See documents below.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Presidio Trust announce the availability of a Draft Removal Action Work Plan (RAW) which recommends cleanup for the Barnard Avenue Protected Range (BAPR) in the Presidio.
The BAPR is a former small arms firing range located between Barnard Avenue and Quarry Road in the western tributary of the Tennessee Hollow Watershed. The southwestern half of the BAPR is covered by Landfill E, a former Army landfill, which was capped with a soil cover in summer 2011. The northeastern half of the BAPR receives runoff from Landfill E.
Soil at the BAPR contains metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and pesticides at concentrations exceeding levels that are protective of ecological species. The contamination does not pose a risk to human health. The source of the contaminants is believed to be runoff from Landfill E before it was capped with a soil cover. No impacts from the former firing range have been found.
Proposed Cleanup Alternative
The proposed cleanup alternative for the BAPR is excavation. The excavation remedy consists of removal of contaminated soil to achieve cleanup levels, transportation to and offsite disposal of excavated materials at a permitted landfill, and backfill of the excavation with clean soil.
The Draft RAW will be issued for public comment on January 28, 2013. The public comment period extends from January 28 through February 27, 2013. After the public comment period ends, DTSC will respond to public comments and issue a Final RAW. The cleanup action is scheduled be complete by summer 2013.
A public meeting will be held to present the cleanup plan proposed by the Draft RAW and record oral public comments. It will take place on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6 pm, at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop, Main Post, Presidio.
Submit Written Comments
Send written comments postmarked no later than February 27, 2013 to:
George Chow, DTSC, 700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, California 94710‐2721
Radhika Majhail, DTSC, 8800 Cal Center Drive, Sacramento, California 95826–3200
Genevieve Coyle, Presidio Trust, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, California 94129‐0052,
|3/8/2012 9:17 AM||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||3.0||Presidio Article Page|
Battery Howe Wagner (BWH) is a former Army coastal fortification covered with soil and debris. The debris consists of rubble from the demolition of buildings that formerly surrounded the fortification. The rubble includes concrete, wood, brick, and miscellaneous construction materials. The site is made up of a concrete fortification structure covered by native fill material, buildings, and associated parking and drive areas.
The Presidio Trust has investigated whether debris at BWH contains contaminants that may pose a risk to human health or the environment. The data collected to date do not indicate that significant risks exist. Based on preliminary data indicating little to no risk, the Trust anticipates requesting no further action for the BHW.
The Presidio Trust prepared a remedial investigation report and site risk assessment in January 2012 and submitted the document to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The document concludes that there are no chemicals of concern in soil and groundwater at the site.
Documents regarding remediation of Battery Howe Wagner are available for review at the Presidio Trust Library, 34 Graham Street, Presidio. They include:
- Remedial Investigation Summary Report, Battery Howe Wagner Site (January 2012)
|1/17/2013 4:16 PM||Kaitlin Shawgo||Kaitlin Shawgo||Presidio Article Page||2.0||Presidio Article Page|
From The Gull, the newsletter of the Golden Gate Audubon Society (read the full newsletter here):
My first impression of Upper Tennessee Hollow was of an unfinished project. The plant growth seemed low, much of it very fresh, stakes still marking plant lines. Then, as I walked farther along El Polín Spring, the centerpiece and focal point, I heard the distinct mcWEEdeer call of an Olive-sided Flycatcher, followed by a Red-tailed Hawk’s shrill cry, a cacophony of finch calls, Violet-green Swallows overhead, and an Ash-throated Flycatcher perched on the west slope. Oh boy, this was a place for the birds.
Situated at the southern end of Mac-Arthur Avenue in San Francisco’s Presidio, El Polín Spring and the Upper Tennessee Hollow have recently been restored. It turns out that half the growth is quite mature, and the flanking Monterey pine and redwood groves are long settled. The year-round spring and the varied habitat make the area a bird magnet. The archaeological excavations (from a Spanish/Mexican settlement in the early 1800s) and ample graphics complement nicely as added points of interest.
The Presidio Trust went to great lengths to capture the spring as a feature, creating slightly sunken spillways across the path—which the birds use continually for bathing—and forming a series of small ponds with weirs that flow into one another through wetlands. A Great Blue Heron has adopted the uppermost pond, sharing it with a Snowy Egret. California Towhees, Black Phoebes, American Robins, Whitecrowned and Song Sparrows, Bushtits, and hummingbirds (Anna’s and Allen’s) were in abundance on the day I visited. Fledgling House Finches lined up in the sun, two Lesser Goldfinch youngsters came to the spring, and a Hairy Woodpecker brought three small, fluffy young to a small oak right by the trail. I had to say “awww!”
The upper bowl is partial grasslands, and the Lesser Goldfinches, American Goldfinches, and House Finches, as well as a pair of Lazuli Buntings, enjoyed the grasses and seeds. The woods and fringe attract Pygmy Nuthatches, flycatchers and woodpeckers, Western Bluebirds, Chestnut- backed Chickadees, Hutton’s Vireos, and more. Overhead I saw Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, an American Kestrel, Barn Swallows, Western Gulls, Common Ravens, a Double-crested Cormorant, and a Caspian Tern.
Winter trips to Upper Tennessee Hollow are sure to add warblers, more vireos, kinglets, and the odd vagrant. No matter what time of year, the Hollow and El Polín Spring are a great stop for birders.
— David Anderson
David Anderson is vice president of the Golden Gate Audubon Board of Directors and chair of the San Francisco Conservation Committee. For several years, he led Audubon of Florida and, prior to that, was director of the San Francisco Zoo.
Photo by Bob Gunderson
|3/15/2012 11:10 AM||Marlene Hild||Jody Sanford||Presidio Category Page||7.0||Presidio Category Page|
View videos about the Presidio's birds, mammals, insects, and amphibians on You Tube
The Presidio is home to an extraordinarily diverse wildlife population. More than 600 species, from expansive birds of prey to North America’s tiniest butterfly, make their home in the park. But imagining this landscape 300 years ago would show a different world, inhabited by Tule elk, deer, and even grizzly bears. These animals slowly disappeared from the Presidio as San Francisco eagerly developed land for its growing population. Today smaller, more urban mammals like raccoons, skunks, and gray foxes have found a niche in the park. Even coyote are regularly spotted here.
The skies above the Presidio tell a similar story. Once, giant condors and bald eagles soared overhead; now dozens of raptors, including Great-horned owls and red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, stalk prey from above. In all, more than 200 species of birds call the Presidio home. From year-round residents like Anna’s hummingbirds and red-shouldered hawks to migratory species like Barn Swallows and Red-throated loons, one of the most diverse bird populations among urban parks worldwide is found here. Each year the Presidio ranks among the top sites in the nation in terms of number of species found in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas bird counts.
A patchwork of landscapes in the park, from tidal marshes and coastal scrub to woodlands, presents visitors with a wide variety of habitats to view wildlife year-round. Because the Presidio lies on the Pacific Flyway, a major bird migratory route reaching from South America to Canada, a host of transient birds stop here on their journey to rest and feed. This combination of diverse habitat and migrating species makes the Presidio a bird watcher’s paradise throughout the year.
Plenty of other winged beauties are waiting to be sighted in the park. The Presidio is home to North America’s smallest butterfly, the Western Pygmy Blue, which usually grows to no more than a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) in length. Although a fairly common butterfly, the Western Pygmy Blue was not seen in the Presidio until 2008 after Crissy Marsh was restored. They are typically found in salt marshes around San Francisco Bay, but had previously only been seen in San Francisco in the southeastern most part of the city. The butterfly’s larvae hatch into caterpillars that feed on pickleweed and the endangered California sea blite, which itself was introduced to the restored marsh in 2001. The Presidio also boasts an abundance of important, and much easier to spot, butterflies such as Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies.
Reptiles + Aquatic Species
Visitors should keep their eyes peeled to spot the elusive amphibians and reptiles of the Presidio. Reptiles such as alligator lizards are most commonly found in the forest or coastal scrub. A few other reptiles are found in riparian habitats or near ponds, where salamanders and other amphibians lounge under wet leaves and undergrowth. Several aquatic species, the three-spined stickleback fish for instance, can also be seen swimming in Presidio waters.
|3/11/2013 1:53 PM||Kaitlin Shawgo||Kaitlin Shawgo||Presidio Article Page||6.0||Presidio Article Page|
Did you know that hummingbird eggs are the size of jelly beans? From the ground to the tree canopies, birds in the Presidio have started actively making way for the next generation. In the coming months, close to 60 native bird species will be taking care of their young and protecting their nests throughout the Presidio.
Signs of nesting season:
- Birds can be seen with nesting materials in their beaks and talons (twigs, lichen, spider webs, and other materials)
- At night, Great Horned Owls are hooting their courtship to potential mates
- Allen’s Hummingbirds and Hooded Orioles are returning to the Presidio from southern climes to start nesting
For migratory birds, the Presidio is an important rest stop on the Pacific Flyway. A variety of songbirds and shorebirds and can be spotted seeking respite and food in the Presidio as they make their way back north from as far away as South America. Throughout the year, more than 200 different species of birds find refuge in the Presidio.
Nesting species include Mallard Ducks, Red-tailed Hawks, Anna's and Allen’s Hummingbirds, Downy Woodpeckers, Barn Swallows, Winter Wrens, American Robins, Orange-crowned Warblers, California Towhees, Song Sparrows, Purple Finches, and more.
Across the park, other signs of spring are abundant:
- After a leafless winter, willows, sycamores and other deciduous trees are re-growing their leaves.
- By the end of spring, more than a third all of the Presidio’s 300 native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees will be blooming. In every natural area, bumblebees, butterflies, and other insects are emerging to collect nectar and help pollinate.
- On a clear day from the coastal bluffs above Baker Beach, you might spot dolphins or other marine mammals in waters below.
This spring check out the colorful blooms while honing your urban wildlife observation skills!
|11/30/2012 10:26 AM||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||19.0||Presidio Article Page|
The Presidio Trust is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Six members are appointed by the President of the United States. The seventh is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior or his designee. An executive director reports to the board and oversees a staff with expertise in resource preservation, operations and maintenance, planning, real estate development, public programs, law, and finance (view the org chart >>
Nancy Hellman Bechtle, chair of the Presidio Trust board,
serves on the board of directors for the Charles Schwab Corporation and is the chairman of the board for the Sugar Bowl Corporation. Previously, she was chief financial officer and director for J.R. Bechtle & Company from 1979 to 1998. From 1987 to 2001, she was president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Symphony and has served as a member of the San Francisco Symphony board of governors since 1984. She served on the board of the National Park Foundation from 2001 to 2007 and held the board’s citizen chair from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Bechtle has received several honors, including the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the California Arts Council and the Investment in Leadership award from the Coro Foundation. She holds a bachelor of arts from Stanford University. Ms. Bechtle was appointed to the Presidio Trust board of directors by President George W. Bush in 2008 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2012.
David H. Grubb, vice-chair,
chaired the Presidio Trust board of directors from December of 2003 until July of 2009, and was reappointed to the Trust board by President Barack Obama in 2010. He also served on the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy board of trustees from 1990-2000, where he oversaw the effort to restore Crissy Field as chair of the projects committee. Mr. Grubb joined Swinerton, Inc., a San Francisco based general construction firm in 1964 as a project engineer. He became the company’s president in 1988 and its chairman in 1996. He currently serves on the board of directors for Immaculate Conception Academy and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He has also served on several cultural and business community committees and has offered his support to a number of charitable organizations, serving on the boards of Saint Patrick’s Seminary, the Meadow Club, San Domenico School, and San Francisco Zoological Society. He holds a bachelor of science from Princeton University and a master of science from Stanford University.
Paula R. Collins is the chief executive officer of WDG Ventures, Inc., a real estate development company in Northern California, and president of Portfolio Real Estate Consulting. Ms. Collins is a founder and director of Presidio Bank in San Francisco, a member of the national board of the Automobile Association of America, and a director of the AAA Northern California, Nevada, Utah Insurance Exchange. She has served as a Presidential appointee to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She has served on the board of directors for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Special Olympics for Northern California, and BRIDGE Housing Corporation. Ms. Collins was awarded the Silver Spur by San Francisco Planning and Urban Research for her dedication to improving the quality of life and economic health of San Francisco; and has been honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the San Francisco Business Times. She graduated cum laude in urban studies from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts and received her master’s degree in city planning from MIT. She was appointed to the Presidio Trust board by President Barack Obama in 2012.
William R. Hambrecht
is the founder of the San Francisco-based financial services firm WR Hambrecht + Co. Mr. Hambrecht is widely credited with creating the OpenIPO which made the initial public offering process more equitable. Prior to WR Hambrecht + Co, he co-founded Hambrecht & Quist, which specialized in investing in Silicon Valley companies. Mr. Hambrecht has served as a director for numerous private and public companies. In October 2006, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Hambrecht graduated from Princeton University in 1957. He was appointed to the Trust board by President Barack Obama in 2010.
worked for 16 years with the Management Center of San Francisco as a staff consultant to non-profit organizations. A longtime parks champion, she has served on the board of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy since 1996. Mrs. Harvey was a driving force behind the creation of Inspiration Point Overlook at the Presidio, helping fund the project in memory of her late husband, Jim Harvey, CEO of TransAmerica and chair of the Presidio Council. Mrs. Harvey also serves on the board of the San Francisco Foundation and is involved with Conservation International and Women for Women International. She is a past chair of KQED and of the advisory committee to Grants for the Arts, and past president of the Junior League of San Francisco. She also served on the boards of the Rosenberg Foundation, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and the California Pacific Medical Center. She was awarded the SPUR Award in 1997 and the Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser Award in 1996 by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. Mrs. Harvey was appointed to the Trust board by President Barack Obama in 2010.
served for 39 years in the National Park Service including as deputy director, regional director, director of the Denver Service Center, superintendent of North Cascades National Park, and assistant superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. He was executive vice president of the National Park Foundation from 2005 to 2007. He currently serves as a board member of the Student Conservation Association; as a member of the Fort Hancock 21st Century Federal Advisory Commission; as a member of North Cascades Institute Advisory Council; as chair of the Flight 93 National Memorial Federal Advisory Commission and the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail Advisory Council; and as the Commonwealth of Virginia Citizen Representative on the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Mr. Reynolds served in the New Jersey National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve from 1966 to 1972. He holds a bachelor of sciences from Iowa State University and a master of landscape architecture from the State University of New York at Syracuse. He was appointed as the Secretary of the Interior’s designee to the Trust board in July 2009.
Alex Mehran, a San Francisco Bay Area native, is president and chief executive officer of Sunset Development Company, a diversified real estate organization that created Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, California. He has served at the firm since 1977. Previously he worked at J.P. Morgan of New York managing real estate companies and assets. Mr. Mehran serves as a trustee of the San Francisco Ballet; as chairman of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership; and is on the executive committee of the Bay Area Council. He is also a member of the Chancellor’s Associates of UCSF and is a former trustee of the Urban Land Institute and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among others. Mr. Mehran graduated from Harvard College, and earned a law degree at Cambridge University. He was appointed to the Presidio Trust board by President Barack Obama in 2012.
has served as executive director of the Presidio Trust since 2001. Over the last decade, the organization has transformed major areas of the Presidio into public parkland; redeveloped and preserved hundreds of historic buildings; recruited over 200 organizations to become part of the park and its programs; and raised over a billion dollars in non-federal funds for the park. The Presidio is on track to becoming financially self-sufficient in 2013. Previously, Mr. Middleton worked closely with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi on bipartisan legislation to establish the organization and served as the Trust’s first employee. After holding several leadership positions in the organization, Mr. Middleton was named executive director. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in history, economics and political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
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|3/8/2012 9:17 AM||Matthew Delfs||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||3.0||Presidio Article Page|
The Building 207-231 Area is located on the Presidio’s Main Post near the intersection of Halleck Street and Gorgas Avenue. The site contained a former gas station, vehicle maintenance facility, and dry cleaners. The area has been divided into several subareas, called remedial units (RUs) to facilitate cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals present in soil and groundwater at concentrations that pose a risk to human health and the environment.
In October 2007, the Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a Final Corrective Action Plan (Final CAP). For all RUs except one the planned remedy in the Final CAP is excavation of contaminated soil and groundwater monitoring. For an area adjacent to an historic wall and building the planned remedy is in situ treatment of soil and groundwater.
The Presidio Trust has completed remediation of the various RUs in phases. To date, the majority of the RUs have been remediated, including the in situ remediation at the historic wall and building. Remaining work includes soil excavation at two subareas (RU230 and RU38).
The 207-231 Area is within the corridor of the Doyle Drive replacement project. Remedial work is being coordinated with Caltrans and its contractors.
Remedial construction at the 207-231 Area has been ongoing since 2010. In situ remediation of soil and groundwater adjacent to the historic wall and building was completed in 2011. Remediation of soil at RU230 and RU38 is scheduled to occur in early- to mid-2012.
Documents regarding remediation of Building 207-231 Area are available for review at the Presidio Trust Library, 34 Graham Street, Presidio. These include:
- Work Plan for In Situ Thermal Remediation Historic Wall Interface Building 207/231 Area (March 2011)
- Recommended Approach to Characterizing and Addressing Impacted Soil and Groundwater Near Historic Retaining Wall (August 2009).
- Final Corrective Action Work Plan and Construction Drawings, Building 207/231 Area (October 2008)
- Final Corrective Action Plan, Building 207/231 Area (October 2007)
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The Presidio is rich in formal, ceremonial landscapes. Historic gates and tree-lined boulevards create a deep sense of place. The Trust has won several awards for preserving the Lombard and Arguello gates. No landscape speaks so directly to military life, however, as the parade grounds. Their expanse framed by prominent buildings conjures up the pomp of military reviews and ceremonies to honor dignitaries or celebrate national events.
Three parade grounds occupy the center of the Main Post.
- El Presidio marks the original 1776 fortification; over time the Trust will excavate El Presidio and create a window onto the earliest days of the Presidio.
- The “Old” Parade Ground was developed in the mid-19th century; it reflects the early occupation and first expansion by the U.S. Army. Today it is a casual space used for recreation and small-scale events.
- The Main Parade Ground is the largest with seven acres sloping from the center of the Main Post towards the bluff overlooking Crissy Field and the San Francisco Bay. Together, the parade grounds create a spectacular ensemble of open space with surprising views of the Bay, the city, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Main Parade Ground had been a parking lot since 1937 when the Main Post was bisected by Doyle Drive to carry traffic from the City to the newly built Golden Gate Bridge. This past year, the Trust replaced the decades old parking lot with a new green, completing one of the earliest goals for transforming the historic military post into a national park site. The new green strengthens the dramatic setting of the Main Post and establishes it as the heart of the park. The Main Parade will provide a setting for programs and events as well as everyday activities to welcome and engage the public. |Approved|
|5/30/2013 10:19 AM||Jody Sanford||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||9.0||Presidio Article Page|
Update: May 30, 2013
Proposed Public Use Limit on Commercial Dog Walking in Area B of the Presidio and Revised Disposal Conditions
The Presidio Trust requested public comment on a proposed public use limit on persons who are walking four or more dogs at one time in Area B of the Presidio of San Francisco for payment (Commercial Dog Walkers).
The limit would require Commercial Dog Walkers in Area B to possess a valid Commercial Dog Walking permit obtained from the City and County of San Francisco (City). Commercial Dog Walkers would be required to comply with the terms and conditions of the City permit as well as those rules and regulations otherwise applicable to Area B. The Trust also proposed that throughout Area B, all dog walkers should remove pet excrement and deposit it in refuse containers. The initial 65-day comment period for the proposed use limit published November 21, 2012 (77 FR 69785–69788
) was extended by 30 days at the request of the public (78 FR 6273–6274
By the close of the public comment period on February 25, 2013, the Trust had received 256 individual comments on the proposed use limit, including 9 oral comments provided at the public meeting of the Trust Board of Directors on November 29, 2012.
All comments were carefully considered. View the full record of comments >>
Public Reaction to Proposed Use Limit
The comments received either express support for (49 percent) or opposition to (51 percent) the public use limit. Support for the requirement to properly remove pet waste was unanimous. Commenters in support of the public use limit maintain that commercial dog walkers have been using the Presidio for years, that commercial dog walkers provide an invaluable service to the residents of the City, and that adopting the rule is reasonable and appropriate. “Professional dog walkers provide needed exercise and socialization for responsible, safe, and humane dog care. Well cared for and loved dogs improve the health, safety, and well being of the people that live in the City” (Comment 34). “These requirements will standardize dog walking practices and provide better and safer services for dog owners and dogs living in the Presidio and adjacent City neighborhoods” (Comment 70). Many of the supporters feel that the Presidio should be viewed as a different kind of national park, as it serves a broad community of users and residents and accommodates numerous commercial interests. “We live in a densely populated area, not a true wilderness” (Comment 27). Several of those that otherwise express support believe that the maximum limit of eight dogs is too many for Commercial Dog Walkers to reasonably keep under their control.
Commenters who oppose the proposed use limit are largely “dissatisfied with the status quo” of the presence of Commercial Dog Walkers in the Presidio and wish to see the activity prohibited by enforcement of existing laws (Comment 2). They argue that commercial dog walking should be viewed as an “exploitation of park lands strictly for private financial gain, a use that is not compatible with the preservation of park values, park resources, and the park visitor experience” (Golden Gate Audubon Society Conservation Yahoo Group). Others who oppose the use limits appreciate the Trust’s efforts to accommodate commercial dog walking, but are concerned that more analysis is needed to determine spillover effects in Area A (Comments 6 and 7). Still others are against the proposed use limit because they believe the Trust is targeting Commercial Dog Walkers unfairly. “I see far more problems with individual dog owners who do not know how to handle their one, or two badly behaved dogs” (Comment 199) and “individual dog owners more often believe that their dog is well behaved, under voice control, and doesn't poop, when, in fact, none of this is true” (Comment 164). Finally, there are those that do not support any changes in dog regulations. They think the proposed limit is “foolish” and a “useless and unnecessary burden on lawful commercial and entrepreneurial commerce” (Comment 233) and believe “it’s ridiculous that time and energy is wasted on matters such as this… after hearing from the public over and over again about their love of dogs and the freedom of walking them in the Presidio...” (Comment 191). “Stop blaming dogs for all management issues!” (Comment 166).
National Park Service Letter
In its letter to the Trust, the National Park Service (NPS) states its support for the Trust’s action to manage commercial dog walking, without which “a potential redistribution [of Commercial Dog Walkers] could impact the Presidio Trust’s mandate to preserve and protect the park’s resources” (Comment 1). The NPS disagrees, however, with the number of dogs allowed under the City permit, and argues that a limit of six dogs is a more reasonable number than eight. In light of the City’s program and Trust’s proposal to regulate Commercial Dog Walkers, the NPS is developing an interim commercial dog walking permit that would limit the number of dogs allowed to six, which is consistent with the proposed limits specified in the alternatives that permit commercial dog walking in the NPS’ upcoming Dog Management Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Area A and other NPS-managed lands within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Given the Trust’s and NPS’ shared management responsibilities within the Presidio, the NPS has asked the Trust to consider adopting the NPS’ interim commercial dog walking permit system rather than that being implemented by the City.
The Trust is encouraged that the NPS is moving forward at this time to create and implement an enforceable permit system to regulate commercial dog walking in the GGNRA. Rather than accepting the terms and conditions of the City’s permit as initially proposed in our public use limit, we see value in a bilateral and consistent Trust/NPS approach to Commercial Dog Walker management as a way to both avoid public confusion and protect park resources within the GGNRA. Therefore, after examining all public comments and considering the new information provided by the NPS, the Trust will postpone any decisions regarding the regulation of commercial dog walking until the earlier of November 1, 2013 or the date that the NPS’ interim commercial dog walking permit system is enacted. Before taking any action, the Trust will provide the public with an additional opportunity to comment.
The Trust finds no compelling reason to delay the revised pet waste disposal regulation and will implement it as soon as possible. The Trust will provide additional refuse containers in places convenient to dog walkers to support enforcement of the regulation.
We thank you for your interest and participation in our effort to regulate commercial dog walking within Area B of the Presidio.
For Further Information Contact
Joshua Steinberger, Director of External Affairs, (415) 561-5300
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The Presidio Trust invites the public to participate in considering the future of the former Commissary at Crissy Field, which is today occupied by Sports Basement.
The longstanding objective has been to create a cultural institution of distinction at this magnificent waterfront location (see the 2002 Presidio Trust Management Plan, Chapter 3). Now that the area is being transformed due to the construction of a new approach to the Golden Gate Bridge (a project known as the Presidio Parkway), the time is right to plan for the future of this area.
In November 2012 the Presidio Trust issued a Request for Concept Proposals (RFCP) seeking programmatic possibilities. Sixteen responses were received. After considering public comment and engaging with a number of the teams directly, in May 2013 the Trust invited three teams to continue in the process via a Request for Proposals (RFP). The teams are:
The RFP was issued May 10, 2013; final proposals are due September 16, 2013.
Learn More and Submit Comments
The three teams will present their ideas at a public meeting on Monday, June 17, 2013, at 6:30 pm at the Herbst at the Presidio (located on the Presidio’s Main Post, 385 Moraga Avenue).
November 2012 -The Presidio Trust initiates a Request for Concept Proposals (RFCP) process to explore programmatic possibilities for the former Commissary.
April 2013 – The public comments on the initial ideas are received at a public meeting of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors.
May 10, 2013 – The Presidio Trust issues a request for more detailed proposals (view the Request for Proposals) to three of the teams.
June 17, 2013 - The three teams will present their ideas at a public meeting to be held at 6:30 pm at Herbst at the Presidio (located on the Presidio’s Main Post, 385 Moraga Avenue).
September 16, 2013 - Proposals are due.
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|5/6/2013 11:45 AM||Kaitlin Shawgo||Jody Sanford||Presidio Article Page||4.0||Presidio Article Page|
What skills does it take to care for an historic place? The Presidio Trust staff includes architects, archaeologists, historic landscape architects, planners, and architectural conservators among others working to care for the landmark district’s special places.
A great deal of preservation work occurs behind the scenes and often begins years before the public sees the result – a thoroughly rehabilitated building, gate, landscape, or site feature (such as a cannon or plaque).
Historic preservation always begins with research. Staff studies existing records and photos to understand a site’s past and how best to care for it in the future. Information gathering often begins at the Presidio Trust Library and the Park Archive and Record Center
, which house original floor plans, maps, and historic photographs. Sometimes, as with the Presidio Archaeology Program
, research extends beyond the park to other libraries and institutions.
Preservation staff then documents the site's history and recommendations for how to care for the building, feature, or landscape in a report that guides the planning and design of the rehabilitation effort. Depending on the type of resource being preserved, these documents may include Historic Structure Reports, Cultural Landscape Reports, or Conservation Treatment Reports. The Presidio Trust Library has copies of recent Historic Structure Reports for the Officers’ Club, the Presidio Chapel, and the headquarters building at Fort Scott, among many others.
Preservation tasks at the Presidio are incredibly diverse. In recent years, the park’s preservation staff has created programs for repairing historic masonry and wood windows; repaired the Spanish-era terra cotta tile basin at El Polin Spring
, restored historic gateways
, and transformed dozens of buildings, including the Officers’ Club
. In addition to in-situ testing, Trust conservators can now perform laboratory testing and analysis in the new state-of-the-art Archaeology Lab
. Presidio projects have won numerous awards
Engaging the Public
Historic preservation staff members bring the public into the process through workshops and events. The new Preservation in Practice
series include hands-on workshops and tours of preservation projects. The adobe brick making workshops that took place in late 2011 and early 2012 were a huge hit! Check the Calendar
(and select History and Archaeology from the drop down menu) to see upcoming programs.
The historic preservation program also shares knowledge through a significant training
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This past year, the Presidio Trust completed the rehabilitation of the Presidio’s historic neighborhood landscapes, which represent a century in the evolution of military social and domestic life, from the small-scale Civil War-era Funston Avenue with its quaint Victorians and grander Queen Anne’s to the enlisted men’s housing above Baker Beach that was built in the 1950s and ‘70s. Rare ornamental plantings have been saved and historic gardens have been recreated with a contemporary sensibility, often with drought-tolerant native plants.
Built in the 1860s, Funston Avenue is the oldest streetscape in San Francisco. Its officers’ homes were among the first family homes on a military post. Restored four years ago, their neat lawns, massed shrubs, and border plantings stand modestly adjacent to grand parade grounds. Infantry Terrace officers’ homes were built in 1910 as part of the Presidio’s largest expansion. Their newly restored lawns rise steeply above the contours of Arguello Boulevard and meet the forest on the ridges behind them. In 2006, the Trust introduced a redwood grove in the neighborhood.
The apartments above Baker Beach were the last to be built in the Presidio and displaced acres of dunes. Plans are underway to restore the dunes which will beautify the residential area, and enhance habitat for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia. Community gardens draw neighbors together. In a national park, they also create intimate spaces for the everyday life of our unique community. Inspired by the history of gardens in the Presidio from its earliest days as a Spanish settlement and military post to the Victory Gardens of World War II, the Trust is working with residents and AmeriCorps to create new community gardens. Four gardens have been built and each enjoys full use by residents. |Approved|
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Even long-time Presidio visitors are surprised to learn about Dragonfly Creek, which flows through the Fort Scott District just south of the Presidio Nursery. Over many years this wetland zone was altered as the Army built barracks, homes, and warehouses in the area. Sections of creek were buried underground in culverts and invasive species chocked out native plants.
In recent years, recognizing the potential to restore rich habitat, the Presidio Trust, its partners, and volunteers have brought the creek back to life, bringing the flows above ground and replanting the site with seedlings grown just feet away at the Presidio Nursery. The work here is a prime example of a process called “daylighting,” which is also underway in the Tennessee Hollow Watershed. Daylighting consists of excavating fill, liberating creeks from culverts, and contouring the soil to create more natural, above-ground stream channels that support wildlife and enchant park visitors.
As the restoration effort draws to a close in early 2012, Dragonfly Creek is becoming the park’s latest natural refuge and a beautiful place to experience the benefits of habitat renewal first-hand.
Valuable Plant and Animal Habitat
Dragonfly Creek is one of the few remaining freshwater creeks in San Francisco, and supports an incredible diversity of plant and animal life:
- more than 30 species of birds, from woodpeckers to warblers
- two salamander species, the Monterey Ensatina and the California Slender Salamander
- red elderberry, whose berries ripen during nesting season and are an important food source for birds
- arroyo willows, California buckeye tree, Indian paintbrush, and Pacific cinquefoil
- a thriving population of insects and butterflies
- the elusive Presidio coyote
Restoration at Dragonfly Creek began in 2006. Over several years, about 100 thirsty eucalyptus trees were removed to increase water flows. Volunteers and park staff then pulled out duff and weeds to make way for native wetland species.
The effort took a major leap forward in 2011 when Caltrans began working with the Presidio Trust to restore and expand the creek’s wetlands to compensate for nearby construction at the Presidio Parkway. In this dramatic phase of restoration, Army fill was removed from a 400-foot area of creek corridor, widening the floodplain and allowing the creek water to flow more freely. Long-buried concrete building foundations, debris, and tree stumps have also been hauled away. As a result, a small thicket of willows that grows along the creek and is teeming with birds has expanded to four times its former size.
Volunteers have helped in every step of the restoration process at Dragonfly Creek, all the while learning from park staff about the incredible biological diversity of the area and how fulfilling it is to be a part of its conservation.
On December 3, 2011, the first big planting event of the season at Dragonfly Creek occurred. Community volunteers, AmeriCorps NCCC members, and park staff and interns came together reinvigorate Dragonfly Creek with a day of planting, gardening, and work at the Presidio Nursery. Learn how you can become a Presidio habitat restoration volunteer. |Approved|
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Dune scrub once covered almost one-third of San Francisco. Most of this habitat was lost as San Francisco developed. The Presidio, however, remains home to vibrant – and growing – dune plant communities.
With the support of thousands of community volunteers over the past fifteen years, approximately 50 acres of dunes have been restored and enhanced, from Crissy Field to Baker Beach.
An extensive dune scrub restoration effort in Lobos Creek Valley, which extends from the southwest corner of the park to the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most striking transformations in the Presidio. Begun in the 1990s by the National Park Service and dedicated volunteers, 13 acres of dunes have been re-established using local sand. Today, this blooming, buzzing valley is again home to insects, butterflies, and birds, some of which had not been seen in the Presidio for decades.
More recently, the Trust has restored a large dune landscape behind the former Public Health Service Hospital, commemorating a 19th century merchant marine cemetery with a memorial vista point and newly planted native dune grasses and plants. Hundreds of community volunteers planted more than 16,000 plants over three-and-a-half acres. The area provides habitat for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia, which is found in only one other place in the world.
“Serpentinite” is California’s beautiful, blue-green state rock. Though toxic to most plants, serpentine soils create a thriving environment for certain species that have adapted over millennia. These hardy plant communities are mostly native bunchgrasses with tiny annual wildflowers. Of the 16 plant species living on the Presidio that are designated rare, threatened, or endangered, eight can live only in serpentine soils. Restoration of the serpentine grasslands has long been a priority. Over the last decade, approximately 20 acres of serpentine habitats have been restored or enhanced, primarily at Inspiration Point on the eastern side of the park and the western Coastal Bluffs.
Inspiration Point is home to three federally listed rare plants, including one of just three populations of Presidio clarkia, an endangered wildflower. In 2001, park staff and volunteers launched a multi-year restoration effort to expand grassland habitat. The historic viewshed was restored, and 50,000 native wildflowers and grasses were planted. Volunteers continue the monumental task of weeding and tending the site. The American Kestrel, the smallest falcon in North America, has returned to the site. It is notable that nowhere else along the California coastline but in the Presidio do coastal bluffs occur on serpentinite. In 2007 the Trust removed Army landfills along the bluffs, preparing the site for 10,000 plants representing 80 species, including the Presidio clarkia. Two-thirds of the Presidio’s total plant diversity can be found here. Today, the bluffs are among the wildest places in the city. |Approved|