Category Archives: Natural Areas

The mostly undeveloped wildlife habitat areas of the park.

New Pacific Chorus Frog Habitat Near McLaren

Kids in Parks and the students of Visitation Valley (VVMS) and Herbert Hoover (HHMS) Middle Schools are revitalizing neglected areas of the school grounds measuring more than 2,500 square feet, transforming them into a thriving habitat for local native plants and animals.

The totem species of this project is the Pacific Chorus frog, once found throughout San Francisco but now limited to one naturally-occurring population. The essential components of its habitat are small, shallow, ephemeral ponds for mating during the rainy season, and brushy areas of low growing native plants in which it lives during the dry season. Over the past five years, Kids in Parks has already successfully created six ponds at VVMS and HHMS. For the last five winters, frogs have returned to the ponds and reproduced. [Read More…]

Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project Survey, Webinar, and Workshop

[From SFPUC]

Provide Your Input Online for the Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project 

Thank you to those who were able to attend our Community Open House on October 2, 2013 and helped us identify the community’s priorities for daylighting Yosemite Creek near McLaren Park and the Louis Sutter Playground. We enjoyed meeting all of you from the neighborhood and gathering your feedback. If you weren’t able to make it to the community open house or were unable to finish the survey, you can still provide input online through the end of the month. Take the survey here today. It takes just a few minutes to learn about the project, give us your input, and contribute to the greening of San Francisco.

Discover Your Urban Watershed Web Seminar – Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mark your calendar for the first in the Discover Your Urban Watershed webinar series. Learn about SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program and the role of the Urban Watershed Assessment planning process in this program. This webinar will focus on current conditions in San Francisco’s Islais, Sunnydale, and Yosemite watersheds. Join in and learn how you may get involved. The webinar will be held on October 24, 2013 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Please sign-up here.

SF Watersheds Interactive Workshop

The SFPUC is excited to announce an interactive workshop on Saturday, November 16 from 10:00am – 1:30pm at the Southeast Community Facility to help plan for necessary upgrades to San Francisco’s combined sewer system.    We especially want to make sure that folks from the southern and eastern sections of the City are represented.

This interactive workshop will take the form of a participatory planning game and focus on developing infrastructure solutions to sewer system challenges in three of San Francisco’s urban watersheds: Islais Creek, Yosemite, and Sunnydale.

During the workshop participants will learn about their watersheds and use grey infrastructure game pieces (pipes) and green infrastructure game pieces (permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs) to solve challenges specific to each watershed. Your input will contribute to the SFPUC’s Urban Watershed Assessment and the next 20 years of green and grey infrastructure upgrades in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

Help us plan for healthy urban watersheds.  Click here for more information and to RSVP. Please note that space is limited and you must RSVP in advance.  Lunch will be provided.

If you cannot make it on November 16, there are other ways to get involved.  Also, please feel free to pass this along or suggest others who might be interested.   We would like at least one person from your organization—and the more the better!

Community Meeting Wed. Oct. 2 – Yosemite Creek Daylighting

Help us Plan the Upper Yosemite Creek Daylighting Project

From SFPUC

Photo of the Yosemite Watershed from 1938We need your help to identify the community’s priorities for daylighting Yosemite creek, such as community space and nature habitat opportunities. Join us for the community meeting to learn about creek daylighting and tell us what you want to see! Stop by the community open house anytime to learn more and provide input, and meet at the Yellow House for a site walking tour at 5:30pm to walk the project site and get more details about the project.

More info at the SFPUC Project Page

 

Picture of the Yellow House from 8.31.09

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Community Open House: 5:00 – 8:00pm
Site Walking Tour: 5:30pm

SFPUC Building – Yellow House, 401 University Street (at Bacon), San Francisco, CA 94134

City Plans New Yosemite Creek Project – Community Meeting Sept. 11

Don’t miss the next McLaren Park Collaborative meeting at the Crocker Amazon Clubhouse (Moscow @ Italy), Wednesday, September 11, 7pm, when San Francisco Water Department will present their plans to upgrade and manage storm water runoff affecting Yosemite Creek and the marsh area.

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Scope of the Yosemite Watershed project — click image for full pdf report

Be a part of the initial planning process, come see the planned changes and give feedback and voice your concerns.  Should the creek be day lighted?  How will this plan improve the play fields?  Will this plan ease storm water flowing down the sidewalks and street?

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Historic Yosemite Creek alignment — click image for full pdf report

Linda D’Avirro, Chair of the City’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC) and a volunteer with the McLaren Park Collaborative, elaborates:

What is really great is this project will involve YOU as the designers of what you would like to see to improve the overflow and water runoff problem while possibly day-lighting portions of the creek that runs through the park (and neighborhood) enroute to Yosemite Slough.

McLaren Park is the very first planned improvement project taking place over the next 20 years in the City’s other watersheds, so YOU can lead the way in the community vision for McLaren –enriching the habitat, restoring the paths and the marshes, fixing McNab Lake, improving the muddy soccer fields and many other projects. The PUC wants to work closely with the community as this project takes place and take the ideas from McLaren’s project forward to others.

There are planned community meetings starting in late-October to move this project forward as soon as designed. Please share this information with neighbors and others who may be interested in attending next week or future PUC meetings.

Light refreshments will be served. See you there!

New Field Guide For McLaren Park’s Flora And Fauna

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Save McLaren Park announces a new comprehensive electronic field guide to the plants and animals of the City’s second-largest park! It is based on iNaturalist crowdsourcing software for biological observations, and describes over 300 reported species within the park’s boundaries.

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Maps are provided to locate each species in the park, and custom field guides may be printed or shared via PDF files – perfect for school field trips and nature walks! You can even search for species via your mobile web connection. See the “more” link at the top of the page for details on how to use the field guide, and for links to more park information.

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…

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!