Author Archives: kensanfran

Return of the Blues @ Saturday in the Park – McLaren

Return of the Blues @ Saturday in the Park – McLaren

with The Stan Erhart Band / Alvon Johnson & the Allstars

Saturday, August 24, 2-4pm

map ~ MUNI 29, 54 ~ getting there

Don’t miss an afternoon of pure delicious blues on the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater stage in San Francisco’s John McLaren Park. Come and hear these knockout bands for free on the very stage that helped launch the SF Blues Festival!

The Stan Erhart Band starts the show at 2pm. This eclectic group of musicians will dish up some of their sizzling signature grooves, covering blues/r&b, rock, soul, and jazz. Stan and his crew (Damon Hope on drums, Keith Crossan on sax, Pat T on bass) will be there from 1 pm on, so come out and hang with them!

“Soulful vocals … scalding guitar.”

Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro / Blues Editor @

Then at 3pm, Alvon Johnson and his Allstars will keep the groove flowing with another power hour of soulful blues. Alvon has performed with many well-known artists, including The Drifters, The Shirelles, Bobby Day, and Otis Day and the Knights.

Your ears and feet won’t believe this double-dose explosion of blues talent…

so don’t miss it!

At this week’s show starting at 1pm… there will free face painting and a kids art table. Children’s drawings will be made part of the stage display. We will give out free bubble bottles to the first 20 children!





and HAVE A GOOD TIME partying to the BLUES!

Produced by The Bayview’s “SF Art Everywhere“, Friends of the AMP, and supported by the SF Recreation and Parks DepartmentSF Parks Alliance, and the offices of Supervisors Cohen, Campos, and Avalos.

SF Chron Praises McLaren Park Trails

Today, McLaren Park is undergoing a renaissance. A new 2.7-mile Philosopher’s Way trail winds around the perimeter of the park, leading you through McLaren’s premier vista spots, scented groves and sunny meadows. Rough-hewn stone arrows guide you along, and 14 musing stations encourage contemplation. Benches and stools hewn from recycled curbstone offer views overlooking the city. Polished black granite markers are etched with bits of history, reminiscence, poetry and images.

More of the story and photos here…

Saturday Concert Docent Training – Wed., Aug. 14

The success of the upcoming Saturday In The Park concert series you’ve been hearing about hinges on the active participation of our McLaren Park community in several ways. Perhaps the most important are the docents who will provide security monitoring, help with set up and tear down each show, and help with other tasks like greeting park visitors and pointing them in the right direction. These events will simply be impossible to produce without this significant volunteer effort. So join us, won’t you, in helping bring these bright spots of local talent onto the stage for us all to enjoy!

If you can help with crowd monitoring and related tasks, we especially need your help, and you need to join us at a training meeting sponsored by SF SAFE, Friends of the AMP, SFPD, RPD Park Rangers, and others. The meeting is at Ingleside Police Station from 7-8pm, Wednesday, August 14. For more information about volunteering, contact Linda Litehiser at 585 8005.

McLaren Bioblitz a Wild Success

Thanks to all who joined in the great fun and huge effort of the first-ever McLaren Park bioblitz! The results are beyond our wildest expectations.

McLaren Park BioBlitz

Watch the Video
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Speaking of all that species data, here’s a synopsis:
  • We had well over 60 attendees with a wide range of expertise and age, of which 43 submitted official observations into the iNaturalist database.
  • From all previous plant and animal species lists painstakingly accumulated over the decades, we knew of about 250 species in McLaren Park, of which about 70 had been recently observed and entered into iNat.
  • During the 3-hour bioblitz, we made 1310 observations and discovered a whopping 248 confirmed species!
  • About 90 or so of those were not on any previous lists, so the known species list for McLaren now stands at 340. Most of these new species are insects — moths, dragonflies, beetles, and creepy crawlies of various sorts [aka bird food], but a few are plants and other critters.
  • Here’s the results from several different views:

We’re already talking about when to do it again in McLaren, and already other parks are talking about picking up the model we’ve proven here. So stay tuned for more nature nerdiness. Last but not least, a huge thanks to all of our partners in this bold citizen science adventure — Nerds For NatureiNaturalist, and Bay Nature Institute!

By the way, if you are interested in the intersection of technology and nature conservancy you’ll want to attend the innovative Nerds For Nature “Project Speed Dating” event next month in Oakland (Friday Aug.16, 7-9pm). It’ll be a hoot!

Mansell Improvement Project Will Start November 2015

McLaren Park – Mansell Corridor Improvements | San …
Project Update. Our project team hosted two community meetings and a site walk in February and March, and distributed and collected a community feedback form.

The design is the same as we have posted online last fall, and we presented  at the same time (October 14, 2015). As you may know, Improvements to Mansell for pedestrian, transit and bike safety were among the most prioritized in the 2010 McLaren Needs Assessment Report. Additionally, the road is in poor shape, and this project would provide repaving of the roadways for all vehicles as well.

RPD staff will be asking the Rec Park Commission for approval of the award of contract in October, hoping to begin construction in November depending on the speed of certification of contract and contractor mobilization.

If you have any additional feedback or questions on this project, please contact Karen Mauney-Brodek, project manager, at 415-575-5601.

Thank you!

Tick Season Hits McLaren

Tom Scott gives us a heads up that ticks are currently abundant in McLaren Park. “In the past two weeks alone I’ve found 3 different ticks on me, although none had clamped down (thankfully). I don’t recall finding any ticks in the previous 8 years that I’ve been going to the park. My dog remains tick-free thanks to the medication she uses.”
Tom explains, “the ticks I found on myself have been identified as Dermacentor variabilis, also known as American Dog Tick and Wood Tick. This species is not known to carry Lyme Disease, but it can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It’s unlikely, though, that the ticks in McLaren carry this disease. I don’t think this is an urgent health concern for park users, but something to be aware of.”
Suggestions when going to the park: Apply mosquito repellent, especially to your legs and even if you’re wearing pants. Also, it’s a good idea to check yourself after returning from the park. Ticks tend to go for warm moist areas, such as armpits and groins.

Park Concert Series Needs Volunteers

After several years of negotiation and planning, Friends of the AMP are bringing a free afternoon concert series to McLaren Park’s Jerry Garcia Amphitheater over the next few months. Working with the McLaren Park Collaborative, and fiscally sponsored by the SF Parks Alliance (501-3c, so donations are tax-deductable), their mission has been to create fun, family-friendly picnic-style events at the amphitheater. Their efforts have scored six professionally-produced afternoon shows by talented local performers, free to the public, called “Saturday In The Park”. They envision a casual afternoon of entertainment — bring a picnic, come early, let the kids run on the hills and have a great time.

This effort is funded in part by a grant from SF Parks Alliance, with the bulk of the funding coming through the offices of SF Supervisors Avalos, Campos, and Cohen, whose districts surround the park. Training of docents will be done through SF Safe with assistance and advice from Ingleside Police Station and Park Patrol. In other words, an entire community effort. Shows will start at 2pm with some opportunity for pre-show activities. All performances will be supervised by trained volunteer docents.

Here’s how to get involved:

  • Volunteer to become a docent – work one or all six shows or a shift at one or more shows… you decide. They are looking at about 20 volunteers per show. There will be several types of volunteers depending on interest and ability.
  • Park Monitor training will be conducted by SF Safe. Volunteers doing park monitoring will need to attend a short training class.
  • Light duty volunteers may be assigned to helping with refreshment sales or hospitality for other volunteers and performers, or providing park information to visitors.
  • There is a Google Group for volunteers to discuss their activities, please send an email to Linda Litehiser or call at 585 8005 to be added to the group or to find out more.
Most of the main performers are already booked, but they are looking for intermission and pre-show acts of all types. So if you know a good juggler or magician or comedian or dancer or ??? please connect with Linda and Friends of the AMP will follow up to see if they can be worked in to a show. And if you know of a really good local band or performer that you think should be on the stage, pass that along, too. More detailed information on the shows will be available soon.

Saturdays In The Park @ Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 2 – 4pm

  • Aug 17 – Caberet Songstress, Chinese Traditional Folk Music, and More
  • Aug. 24 – Local Blues Revue at the JGA
  • Sept. 14 – Charity & the Jam Band – A fun children’s show
  • Oct. 12 – Indie Rock, Reggae, and Blues bands from the ‘hood
  • Oct. 19 – Youth Rocks! — Local kid talent lights up the stage
  • Oct. 26 – An Afternoon of Latin Jazz, with Bill Ortiz