For Immediate Release -
"Green" Seed and Plant Lab Blossoms at the Presidio
Presidio of San Francisco
(May 11, 2010) -- On Wednesday, May 12 the Presidio Trust and its
partners, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National
Park Service, unveil the Seed and Plant Lab, the first phase of a new
Presidio Stewardship and Sustainability Center at Fort Scott. The ribbon
cutting ceremony takes place at 11 am at the lab, 1244 Appleton St., San
Francisco 94129 in the Presidio and will be followed by a tour of the
Designed and built by ZETA Communities, a San Francisco
off-site systems building company specializing in net-zero energy
structures, the Seed and Plant Lab features high-efficiency heating and
refrigeration systems and provides an ideal space for processing,
storing, and treating over 300 batches of seeds used to grow plants for
park restoration projects. The building was constructed from sustainably
harvested wood and was designed to make maximum use of natural
lighting. Over the course of a year the Seed and Plant Lab will produce
as much energy as it uses.
“We are pleased to partner with ZETA
Communities on the new Seed Lab,” said Craig Middleton, the executive
director of the Presidio Trust. “This building complements the Trust’s
commitment to green building principles.”
The 1,040-square foot
building replaces a World War II era warehouse that had fallen into
disrepair in recent years. The demolition of the warehouse made room for
the seed lab and other future components of the project including
greenhouses, a shade house, a new education and volunteer center, and a
Field Stewardship Center to be housed in a rehabilitated historic
building. The project also includes a system for recapturing and reusing
water from the greenhouses.
The Presidio Nursery is a
partnership between the Presidio Trust, the Golden Gate National Parks
Conservancy and the National Park Service. Generous support for the new
Seed Lab has been provided by the FedEx Corporation and the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation, through their Urban Conservation grant
program. Funding was also provided by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
and Conservancy members. FedEx team members will be on hand to volunteer
in the new lab on Wednesday.
“We are so grateful to the FedEx
Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the S.D.
Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for their generous contribution of resources to
the Seed Lab, and for their commitment to urban conservation programs,”
said Greg Moore, the executive director of the Golden Gate National
400 species of native plants call the Presidio
home. In order to preserve the plants’ unique genetic material and
evolutionary traits, the nursery uses only seeds it has collected in its
plantings. Those seeds are sorted not just by species, but by geography
as well. Staff and volunteers grow 60,000 plants a year for habitat and
reforestation projects throughout the Presidio, creating a rich and
diverse plant community.
The Seed and Plant Lab was designed
specifically for the nursery’s delicate work of sorting and collecting
seeds. The building was constructed in ZETA’s Sacramento factory in just
four weeks. It took crews less than an hour to lift the building, by
crane, onto the site.
“This project demonstrates our shared goal
of conserving natural resources, while treading lightly on
environmentally protected land through off-site construction,” says
Naomi Porat, CEO of ZETA Communities.
“We’re pleased to partner
with the Conservancy, the Trust and the National Park Service, which
continue to set a high standard and provide national leadership in
innovation in sustainability.”
Since 1996, more than 616,000
plants have been grown at the nursery. Last year alone, over one million
seeds were collected, 5,000 people volunteered their time in the
nursery, and 2,500 students took part in hands-on educational programs.
Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in
1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park
that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is located
at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust
include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic
forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park
Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises
nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic
structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National
Historic Landmark District.
Golden Gate National Parks
Conservancy, established in 1981, is the nonprofit membership
organization created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance
the experiences of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to
conserving the parks for the future. The Parks Conservancy has raised
more than $190 million to support park projects since its inception.