WINTER 2011 TALKS
A Natural History of San Francisco
Thursday, January 13, 2011
7 pm | Urban School, 1563 Page Street, SF | Free
Greg Gaar will be presenting his popular slideshow on SF's Natural History. He will show more than 100 historic images documenting the evolution of San Francisco's landscape over the last 150 years. The presentation will display San Francisco's diverse native plant communities--sand dunes, coastal prairie and scrub, the trees, the creeks, lakes and the bayshore. Greg will discuss the efforts of government agencies, non-profits and volunteers to preserve and restore our natural heritage.
Green Hairstreak Butterfly Habitat: How to Create Your Own Wildlife Garden in Sandy Soil
Saturday, January 15, 2011
1 - 3 pm | Crissy Field Center, 1199 East Beach, SF | Free - RSVP HERE
Wondering what to grow in sandy soil? Want a low maintenance garden with minimal water needs? Wish to see your garden in motion with butterflies, birds & other wildlife? Then come to this free public workshop! Discover the incredibly diverse & rich mosaic of San Francisco's dune community plants. For more info or to RSVP click here!
Environmental History of Golden Gate Park
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The City's greatest park is a beautiful and complex landscape with a great diversity of natural, historic and recreational features. It is a much different place from, not only what it was before the city of San Francisco, but, increasingly, what John McLaren, it's visionary 19th century superintendent, envisioned for it as a sylvan retreat from urban life. We'll explore the natural history, the natural landscape, and the natural politics of Golden Gate Park in this special edition Nature in the City TALK with a panel of dedicated Golden Gate Park advocates, historians, and Recreation and Park managers, discussing a vision for the great park's future built on an excavation of its fascinating past.
* PODCAST AVAILABLE *
WINTER 2010 TALKS
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Not only are trees and "urban forests" the most prominent features of the city's current "natural" landscape, they comprise the largest elements of biomass in San Francisco. Those who call the shots with trees ultimately have the biggest influence regarding habitat resources for countless less obvious, but no less important species of flora and fauna. What are the facts about trees, "forests" and woodlands in San Francisco? This TALK will be a special forum and debate on the benefits and drawbacks of specific tree species and issues in the city, as they relate to habitat, aesthetics, and the human experience of nature in the city. Doug Wildman (FUF); Josiah Clark (Habitat Potential and NTC Steering Committee member); and possibly Peter Ehrlich (Presidio Trust Forestry).
Golf Courses, Parks, Natural Areas
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica (owned by the city of San Francisco) has become a point of sharp controversy, pitting golfers against endangered species. Meanwhile the city's budget is strained by the impossibility of maintaining a failing, moribund golf course while recreational needs go unmet, and threats of endangered species and habitat lawsuits further jeopardize the city's strained resources. Casey Allen will give a thorough presentation. Click here to view the flyer!
Twin Peaks Bioregional Park:
Conservation strategy for the heart of San Francisco
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Twin Peaks Bioregion is the hilly heart of San Francisco - the top of the city's watersheds - from the oak woodlands of Golden Gate Park to Glen Canyon, and from Hawk Hill to Buena Vista Park. Nature in the City has been talking for a couple of years about the heart of the city as a special place to which we should pay attention. Now we are ready to give a more concrete presentation to the community about our vision for a Twin Peaks Bioregional Park, which would consolidate 10-12 different City jurisdictions into one management entity for the protection, restoration and connectivity of one of the most open space and biodiverse rich parts of San Francisco. Peter Brastow, Nature in the City; Claire Beyer, Master of Landscape Architecture and author of Revisioning Open Space: A Framework for Designing a Recreation and Habitat Corridor Across San Francisco, CA; Lisa Wayne, Director of the Recreation and Parks Department Natural Areas Program. Get a sneak peak of the draft Twin Peaks Bioregion Brochure!
FALL 2009 TALKS
Ecology and Redevelopment in Bayview Hunter's Point
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The City and Lennar Corporation are promulgating a redevelopment plan, about which very significant concerns exist for ecology, wildlife and the human community. Come learn about ArcEcology's recent report that illustrates brand new and exciting alternatives for the Bayview-Hunter's Point Redevelopment. Are these better than Lennar's? How is Candlestick Point State Recreation Area affected? Isn't Bayview-Hunter's Point entitled to its own Crissy Field? As well as (re)development that benefits the current residents and is driven by their needs and wants? Saul Bloom (Arc Ecology).
Global Climate Change
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
President Obama has prioritized climate change legislation this year, but what is going to be accomplished by "cap-and-trade." Will fighting global warming be coopted by corporate power or will the solutions in anticipation of the global climate catastrophe be equitable, involving local communities? In addition, what in fact, will be the effects of climate change on the planet's and the Bay Area's ecosystems? What are the current effects? Finally and critically, what is the relationship between climate change and ecological restoration? Join us for a panel of activists and ecologists to attack these questions and more....Tom Athanasiou (Eco-Equity), Laura Castellini (GGNRA and Nature in the City Steering Committee member), Jon Christensen (writer, blogger), Dan Gluesenkamp (former President of the Calfornia Invasive Plant Council, and Director of Habitat Restoration at Audubon Canyon Ranch).
Lake Merced Natural Area
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The largest coastal lagoon between Point Reyes and Pescadero, Lake Merced is an incomparable natural resource for San Francisco. The SFPUC owns the land and water while Recreation and Parks still largely manages the landscape, including Harding Park Golf Course. The PUC has undertaken a community watershed planning process in order to articulate a bold vision for the future of the lake and its environs. In addition to restoring native plant communities and wildlife habitat, the SFPUC wants to activate the lake for more and exciting natural resources-compatible recreation. The process is not without controversy, since the Pacific Rod and Gun Club leases a substantial portion of lakefront property and has done so for many decades. Nature enthusiasts generally prefer increased access to that site, not only for ecological restoration, but also for more diverse lake-dependent uses by the public. A preserve has been proposed for East Lake and large portions of the intact habitat portions of the lake, where human use would be further controlled for the protection of wildlife and threatened and endangered species. Dan Murphy (Golden Gate Audubon Society), David Behar (SFPUC) & 3rd panelist TBA.
Bees in the City
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Learn about the "Colony Collapse Disorder" afflicting commercial beekeepers and the threat to agribusiness, in juxtaposition to the dozens of native bees flourishing in California's urban environments, which reinforce local biodiversity and provide another important link to growing our own food in cities. Phillip Gerrie (SF Beekeepers Association), K. Ruby (Institute for Urban Homesteading)
The Presidio and Bayview-Hunter's Point: Is one Superfund site cleaner than the other?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard, 2005.
Photo by Telstar Logistics.
Superfund sites in San Francisco? Come find out whether people and nature are being treated appropriately and fairly in these two well known but very different communities and environments.
Is the Presidio Trust fulfilling its commitment to protect and restore the natural resources of this great urban National Park? Are the Navy and the City of San Francisco taking the best care of the residents and their environment at Hunter's Point Shipyard? San Francisco is blessed with significant remaining natural areas and biodiversity, and these two places - the Presidio and Bayview-Hunters Point - each harbor an important share. Comparing and contrasting the two areas helps us consider with more focus what our goals should be for taking care of people and our environment. Come learn about ArcEcology's recent report that illustrates brand new and exciting alternatives for the Bayview-Hunter's Point Redevelopment. Are these better than Lennar's? How is Candlestick Point State Recreation Area affected? Also, find out about the Presidio's environmental remediation program, and then make your own decision about whether they're making the right decisions! And given that these two communities are very different socio-economically, is one being "cleaned-up" better than the other?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Permaculture transformation, redesigning and getting off the grid. How can urban dwellers begin immediately to move towards self-sufficiency? What are the impediments, what are the resources? We'll have several permaculture practitioners presenting step-by-step recommendations for the next six months, a 1-year and a 3-5 year transition. Is there a relationship with backyard habitat restoration?
A little known fact is that San Francisco has its very own California State Park. Candlestick State Recreation Area is much more than the stadium (which is actually owned by the City). The urban shoreline park is a very important community environmental resource, used by bird watchers, picnickers, fisherman, and is in the process of an ecological transformation for the benefit of local critters and the Bayview community. The "Bayview Waterfront Plan," the development that includes Hunter's Point Shipyard and Yosemite Slough, will transform the entire area. Come learn about what ecological and community resources currently exist there and what we can all do to maintain and enhance our very own State Park. Restoring wetland habitat for local wildlife figures prominently in the discussion. Alan Hopkins (Golden Gate Audubon Society), Patrick Rump (Literacy for Environmental
Justice) Claude Everhart (Friends of Candlestick).
Green Streets: Redesigning San Francisco 1 Block at a Time
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Nature in the city is not only in our wildlands and water bodies, but also underground, and in the potential created by the increasingly common practice of ripping up concrete street by street. A movement is afoot in this city - and others around the world - to transform the way we experience our streets, and planting for wildlife habitat, stormwater management, and water resource conservation is a critical part of creating that new urban ecological experience. Come learn about this exciting urban environmental work happening right now, and how we can organize it all into an ecological revolution in
Sorry, no podcast available - technical failure!
Twin Peaks Bioregion
Wednesday, March 26
The Franciscan Bioregion is the unique ecological area of Planet Earth and the area of our keen interest, north of the San Francisco airport, from San Bruno Mountain to the Golden Gate. In the heart of the city is a series of hilltops, e.g., Mt. Davidson, Tank Hill, Corona Heights, as well as Glen Canyon, that are still rich with natural areas, wildlife habitats, and indigenous biodiversity. This “Twin Peaks Bioregion” is severely threatened by noxious weeds and insensitive uses of our local natural habitats. Still, many people are working hard to steward these special places, and they hold an exciting vision for this area and the whole city as a restored network of wildlife corridors, nature trails, and livable communities, for example from Golden Gate Park to Glen Park.
Tom Radulovich - Livable City, BART Board
Greg Gaar - Natural Historian, Haight-Ashbury Native Plant Nursery
Craig Dawson - Mt. Sutro Stewards, Inner Sunset Merchants Association
Local to Global: Butterflies and Lilies
Local rarity in the Franciscan bioregion: Who cares?
Wednesday, April 30
Come hear about the very charismatic Green Hairstreak butterfly and Nature in the City's project to restore its habitat and an entire ecological corridor amidst spectacular hilltop natural areas in the heart of the city. Also, Hunter's Point is home to one of the last populations of the gorgeous yellow mariposa lily. Find out whether PG&E, the current landowner, is doing evervything they can to protect it. The Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is certainly doing its best. And, meet the filmaker and view a segment of Still Wild at Heart, a film about nature and wildlife in the city.
Finally, come and discuss with us why we should bother trying to save these little pockets of nature even though these species are not endangered
Liam O'Brien - Local Lepidopterist, Nature in the City
Margo Bors - California Native Plant Society
Melissa Peabody - Still Wild at Heart Producer
Local to Global: Frogs and Butterflies
Federally listed endangered species: Legally protected but still fragile and fighting for survival!
Wednesday, May 28
The story of the San Francisco bay checkerspot butterfly at Edgewood County Park and hope for the mission blue at Twin Peaks. Then, the "jumping frog" of San Francisco,: the story of the west's largest native frog, the California red-legged. Stuart Weiss, Ph.D., Creekside Science for Earth Observation
Chris Giorni, Tree Frog Treks
TALKS are held at CounterPULSE
1310 Mission Street (at 9th)
San Francisco, CA 94103