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Quartermaster Reach Marsh

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Updated September 11​, 2020

Mason Street at Crissy Field Reopens September 19


We’re closing a section of Mason Street at Crissy Field to install open tunnels beneath. This will allow fresh water to flow from the Tennessee Hollow Watershed to meet the salt water of San Francisco Bay, creating a unique marshland at Quartermaster Reach.

The project will bring an 850-foot length of long-buried stream back to the surface and dramatically transform an area long covered by asphalt.


Visitors will enjoy an up close experience of nature along a new elevated bridge that winds through the marshland. Native salt marsh and riparian plants grown at Presidio Nursery will create an extraordinary habitat for frogs, fish, salamanders, and the newly reintroduced native Olympic oyster. Bring your binoculars – Quartermaster Reach will be the latest national park hotspot for birding.

The bridge will complete the northern section of the Tennessee Hollow Trail. For the first time ever, visitors can walk the entire 1.2 mile watershed from the bay at Crissy Field through the Presidio and up to the natural springs near Presidio Gate.



December 2019

Project begins


Winter/Spring 2020

Landfill removed + culverts installed


Summer/Fall 2020

Mason Street reopens; bridge installed


November/December 2020

Site opens


Detour map



September 19,​ 2020


Named for its use by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, which established warehouses and a rail line in the area to support the supply depot at Fort Mason and to facilitate movement between the two posts, Quartermaster Reach was once part of an extensive marsh system.​ Located at the downstream end of the Tennessee Hollow Watershed (see map), the Quartermaster Reach site was substantially altered during more than two hundred years of military use when many changes took place in the watershed – creeks were filled with debris or directed into storm drains and pipes and roads and houses were built over the area.

Left: 2016 view. Right: Future.

In early 2016, this area was a sea of asphalt, concrete, utilities, and buildings (see image above). The creek that three tributaries fed into was contained in a 72-inch storm drain buried beneath roads and buildings, and there was no visible signs of the former ecological diversity and richness of the area. But ecologists in the park knew the site offered extraordinary potential. This was a chance to restore rare and diverse wetland habitat at the edge of an estuary in a highly urbanized area and help restore biodiversity in the park (see “future” image above).


The success of this vision hinges on the completion of several individual projects (see Tennessee Hollow Watershed Restoration Projects map) – of which Quartermaster Reach is arguably the most technically complicated. It includes bringing above ground (or “daylighting”) a long-buried section of creek, removing the underground pipe, creating a new channel bed, and replanting the site with many native plant species. It also includes a new pedestrian bridge that will span the restored creek at Quartermaster Reach, allowing visitors and residents a connection to the Main Post. This project is scheduled to be complete spring/summer 2020.

Illustrations by Art Zendarski.


Bay Nature Talks: Tennessee Hollow Watershed Restoration >>

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