Category Archives: Safety

It can be a little scary out there in the woods sometimes, but follow our safety posts and you’ll be just fine.

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.

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.

SF311: A High-Tech Squeeky Wheel


The original ParkScan system devised some years ago by the Neighborhood Parks Council (now SF Parks Alliance) has helped bring awareness and accountability to various infrastructure problems in our open spaces. The 311 program is an even more comprehensive effort that covers the entire City, using both an on-line system and live phone operators to transcribe voice reports from 311 callers.

Now there are several apps for that, and we hope to see this new trend towards high-tech civic engagement blossom even further. Check out this list of several new apps that feed directly into the City’s SF311 system. We have tried CitySourced with some success, but the others have their merit as well. The advantage of the apps is that they use your smartphone’s GPS to geo-tag the report, and you can directly attach photos that you take of the problem, as well.

We invite you to try them all out and let us know how it goes. We also encourage you to use for practice data all of the illegal dumping and graffiti that has been on the rise in our park, especially along the Mansell corridor, but in other corners as well. Let see how loud we can squeek for John McLaren Park!

Report motorcycles in the park!

In recent weeks a number of motorcycles have been riding at high speeds through the trails and meadows of McLaren. This threatens natural habitat and pedestrian safety.

Riding a motorcycle in a city park is against the law! Police encourage anyone seeing motorcycles in the park to call 911 immediately.

Coyotes and foxes in the park!

There have been numerous sitings of coyotes in McLaren Park this year. And, there is good evidence that a family of foxes have located here as well.

City coyotes are generally not a threat to humans. Timid by nature, they have adapted to the urban environment and are able to find plenty of food. However, these rules-of-thumb change during breeding time. Two coyotes seen together – like those recently sited in McLaren – are likely a breeding pair and can be more agressive, particularly when the pups arrive. (Click image for info on coexisting with coyotes. For a more detailed brochure, click here.)

If you see a coyote:

  • Do not approach it. Back away calmly.
  • Do not offer it food.
  • Important: control your dog! Coyotes and dogs do not mix and your dog will lose a fight. Smaller dogs can even be killed. Keep your dog on leash in areas where coyotes have been sighted.
  • If a coyote approaches you, make yourself large, shout, if necessary throw something (not food!) at or behind the coyote, and move away slowly towards a more human-populated area.