Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mountain Lake Planting Day and Celebration this Saturday, February 8th

Come to Mountain Lake Park this Saturday, February 8 to celebrate the beginning of a new healthy chapter in the life of Mountain Lake. In January, the project reached a significant milestone with the completion of dredging and remediation work. Over the next five years, staff and volunteers will plant thousands of native plants and make the lake’s ecosystem vibrant once again.

At this event, help us get this work started and learn more about what the future holds. Volunteer opportunities will run from 9 am to noon, followed by guided walks and a talk about future plans for Mountain Lake by Michael Boland, Chief Planning, Projects & Programs Officer for the Presidio Trust.

Learn more here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Minus Tide December 3rd

This Tuesday at 5:37 pm there is a minus tide, in fact it's one of the lowest of the year. To read the 2013 SF Bay tide tables, click here.

There are several fun things to do around a low tide: walking underneath the Cliff House and climbing on the rock in front of Sutro Baths; braving the climb to the hot springs hiding in the sand near Steep Ravine (best for grown ups); tide pooling at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. During low tide, the National Park Service suggests you walk between China and Baker Beaches to admire the star fish and sea anemones clinging to the cliffs.

Any other low tide outings to recommend?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Upcoming Events in the Greater Bay Area

Saturday, December 7 and 8, 2013
The Mycological Society of San Francisco presents their annual Fungus Fair

On Saturday, see the MSSF website for information on mushroom forays around the Bay Area, locations include several parks in the Peninsula foothills, the San Francisco watershed, and a foray within San Francisco itself. Forays take participants on mushroom hunts for identification purposes and possibly foraging opportunities.

Sunday, the fair runs from 10am-5pm at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Events include admiring wild specimens, cooking demonstrations, and identification.

You can get advance tickets through Eventbrite, or purchase at the door.

Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8, 2013 from 10am-4pm
Christmas at Ardenwood Historical Farm

Enjoy live music, holiday decorations, a visit to the Victorian homestead, and many holiday craft activities.
See the schedule of events here

Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 5:30-8pm
Naturebridge's Family Night Hike and Campfire  $12 per person

Celebrate solstice and learn about different solstice traditions around the world.
Fort Cronkite, Sausalito

Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, 2013 Noon-4p each day
Winter Open House at the Institute of Urban Homesteading, Oakland

IUH founder Ruby Blume hosts this year end social and celebration of the season's bounty. Enjoy tastings of mead, mustard, preserves and cordials. Art and handmade items for sale.

Ongoing: Tuesdays from 1-4pm
Tennessee Valley Nursery, GGNRP

This nursery grows over 10,000 plants for restorations efforts throughout GGNRP land in Marin. You can work in the field on native plant restoration, or in the nursery. Activities may include transplanting, seed saving, pruning, and invasive species renewal.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Upcoming Events in the Greater Bay Area

Feel like getting up early this week?

You can see comets in the eastern sky with no binoculars needed! Visit for more information.

Ongoing this fall and early winter, an opportunity to make improvements to parks near your home.

Saturday, November 16  10am-2pm

As the dry California fall continues, our fields and garden beds are eager for the winter rains.  And we're looking forward to your support in planting 800 square feet of NEW Sidewalk Gardens in Noe Valley.

Join us on Saturday, November 16th from 10am - 2pm as we plant hundreds of California Native plants that can handle these long fall days.

The Climate Action Now! Pollinator Garden Project
@ Mission Education Center School
1670 Noe Street (x30th) SF, CA 94131

November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm | Free

Come and view an exciting array of waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors in Bothin Marsh along the bike path. We will focus on the different species that have arrived for the fall migration.

This event is open to all ages and skill levels. Rain will cancel this event. Questions: Contact Ranger Christin Lopez at (415) 897-0618 or

Meet at the Pohono Park and Ride.

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 north take exit 445B for Stinson Beach. Merge onto CA-1 S. Turn right onto CA-1 N. Turn Left onto Pohono St. Make an immediate left into the parking lot, drive to end and park under Hwy 101. From Hwy 101 south take exit 445B onto CA-1 N toward Mill Valley/Stinson Beach. Turn right onto Pohono St. Immediate left into the parking lot, drive to end and park under Hwy 101.

Saturday November 16, 2:00-3:30 PM

Discover the secrets of the Cloud Forests in this informative tour with SFBG Curator Dr. Don Mahoney. The Garden is the only place besides their native lands where you can walk outside among these plants, many rare and endangered. Find tasty fuchsia berries, and tiny relatives of the kiwi, learn about medicinal plants and how these rare plants came to San Francisco and what is happening to these magical places in the wild.

About the Meso-American Cloud Forest:

High above the tropical rain forests in Central and South America, the landscape rises to elevations upwards of 6,500 feet, the close tropical air cools to mist and fog and reveals an abundance of mosses, ferns and epiphytes. Amidst a backdrop of every shade of green imaginable, high moisture levels and cool year-round temperatures sustain plants that vie for precious sunlight. Here in San Francisco, conditions are ripe for cloud forest plants. We have mild temperatures and, especially in summer, plenty of fog. We started planting our Mesoamerican Cloud Forest in 1984. Over the decades, this garden has matured to represent a typical cloud forest plant community.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 6:30-8 pm

Audience: Adults, High School Students, Public, Middle School Students, Families, Seniors
Location: San Francisco, Fort Point
See Fort Point by the light of candles and stars on this evening tour.

Reservations required; phone (415) 556-1693.

NOTE: The park is having technical difficulties with the Fort Point phone line; if you get a busy signal at (415) 556-1693, please call the Presidio Visitor Center at (415) 561-4323 to make reservations.

Tour fills quickly, so please call early.

Sunday, November 17 from 10am-1pm

Join the Presidio Park Stewards as we help restore the beauty of the Presidio by planting native plants, removing unwanted weeds and various other activities to help preserve native habitat.
Snacks are provided and we will be finishing off the day with a story circle!

For program details, RSVP to (415) 561-2730 or

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Upcoming Events in the Greater Bay Area

 Register now for Spring 2014 Girlz Climb On

Bay Area girls entering the 6th through 9th grade

Do you want to learn how to rock climb, improve your climbing technique, and build leadership skills? Here’s your chance! Girlz Climb On is an after-school program that pairs you with an adult female mentor. You will climb, laugh and learn together once a week, for 10 weeks, in an indoor climbing gym in either Oakland or San Francisco.
Each week we focus on developing technical climbing skills, everything from tying a figure-8 follow-thru knot to belaying to techniques like smearing and edging. If you don’t know what these terms are, don’t worry… you’ll learn!
We also focus on issues that connect rock climbing with a strength you may already have or would like to improve on, like building relationships with friends, trust, leadership, self-expression, working as a group, communication, or resolving conflicts.
We begin with a one-day outdoor ropes course at Fort Miley. Later in the program, we’ll go on a weekend outing to a local state park, where you will have a chance to show off your new skills on real rock!

January 5-19, 2014
Earth Activist Training
Taught by Starhawk and Charles Williams

Take a dream and make it real!

Permaculture—a design science and a set of practical tools and principles for creating a future we want to live in!  Do you dream of a world that is beautiful, healthy, just and balanced?  Where everyone has fresh food, clean air, flowing water and thriving community?  Permaculture gives us the tools to create it, to heal soil and water, build fertility and resilience, and meet our human needs while regenerating the world around us.

Earth Activist Training combines an internationally-recognized permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.  We learn not just through classroom presentaions but through participatory, hands-on projects, games, songs, laughs and ceremonies.  Topics include permaculture ethics and principles, water harvesting, rain catchment, graywater, soil biology, soil building, compost and compost teas, mushrooms, bioremediation, plant guilds and polycultures, plant propagation, food forests and agroforestry, natural building, strategies for drylands, cold climates and tropics, alternative and renewable energy, group dynamics, meeting facilitation and social permaculture, design process, alternative economics, strategies for organizing and activism, and lots of ritual and magic!

Location: Black Mountain Preserve, Cazadero, California

Cost: $1600- $1900 sliding scale, includes food and lodging. Some worktrade available-apply early!  Also limited diversity scholarships for people of color working in earth justice and food justice areas.

For more information:
Contact EAT at: or phone 1-800-381-7940

November 5, 2013 10am

Garden Spotlight: Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden

The new Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden at Frederick and Arguello will be opening to the general public on Tuesday, November 5 at 10am. The garden will be a “hub” for urban gardeners, with raised bed plots, demonstration garden beds, educational programming, and a native plant nursery. Gardeners will also
be able to come by to pick up supplies, like compost, through the on-site materials resources center.

Saturday November 9, 2013 10am-1:30pm

Living Earth: Soil Health and Science for Gardeners
Instructor: K.Ruby Blume
Location: North Oakland 
Cost: $35-75 sliding scale

In this mini-intensive we'll meet the living organisms in the soil, learn what each does to enhance garden productivity and look at how to feed and proliferate life in the soil for specific results. We'll learn about how plants entice micro-organisms to meet their nutrient needs and different types of partnershipsWe will demystify the nitrogen cycle, learn about the differnt forms of nitrogen plants prefer and how to harness your soil food web to give plants their preferred nutrient cocktail using compost. mulch and compost teas. Participants will have the opportunity to mix up samples of their own soil and idenitfy who is living there using the microscope and we'll be mixing compost teas on site. Glossary, resources and recipes will be provided in a handout

Sunday, November 10, 2013  10 am - 3 pm
Pine Needle Basketry

Judith Thomas, master weaver and Waldorf handwork teacher will instruct students on how to source materials and craft a pine needle basket.
Pack a lunch to enjoy in the beautiful Garden setting during the break! All levels welcome.
$85/$75 members

November 16th, 2013 10a-12p at Garden for the Environment

Intro to Rainwater Harvesting

Learn hands-on how to install a simple rainwater harvesting system. It is easier than you think! We'll start with systems as simple as a single barrel under a downspout, and discuss systems as complicated as an indoor plumbing system for toilet flushing.

November 16, 2013
Second Annual Wool and Fine Fiber Symposium

The event will run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with a post-symposium BBQ and pot luck at Valley Ford Mercantile & Wool Mill, starting at 5:30.

This year’s Symposium moves forward with the ‘Cool Clothes Campaign’ through detailing the best soil-to-skin practices for reversing climate change, including land management practices for healthier pasture, healthier animals and higher quality fiber.

Among the speakers are rangeland scientists reporting on the results of five years of soil carbon analysis on grazed lands. Following upward through the supply chain we will hear the voices of emerging young sheep ranchers, we will share our research on the California Wool Mill Project, and provide our findings on the six-month-long wool inventory project.

A host of amazing local artisans and farmers will display the latest fibershed fashions, and sell their freshly farmed clothes and fibers. For those who aren't attending the Symposium itself, a portion of the Marketplace will also be open to the general public at no charge.

The lectures at the Symposium will be steaming live via the internet for those who can't attend. Organize a group of friends and watch together! Visit our live stream page to watch online:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Upcoming Events in the Greater Bay Area

Sacred Mountains of the Bay Area - October 26-27, 2013

Living in earth-honoring ways calls for an integrated approach to ecology, culture, and relationship with the Sacred. If you live in the Bay Area, chances are you live between the Estuary and a ring of prominent mountains. How can relating consciously with these mountains support a sense of home and nourish your relationships and inner life? On Saturday, October 26th over 15 presenters will guide our approach to the mountains from five disciplines:
• Natural science (inc. geology, flora, and fauna)
• Bay Area cultures past and present
• Storytelling, song, and creative expression
• Public policy and advocacy
• Spiritual practice focused on relating with mountains
On Day Two join one of three smaller circles led by conference presenters on or near local mountains. Cost is $75 for both days (ask about work trade). For more info see: CONFERENCE FLYER. To register visit:

Growing Edible Mushrooms - October 27, 2013 from 1-3pm
Graze the Roof, Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis Stret, SF

A FREE Community Workshop on :::

Come help build Glide's mushroom garden with two types of Oyster mushrooms : Blue and Phoenix.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Upcoming Events in the Greater Bay Area

October 19, 2013  Tree Fall by Andy Goldsworthy  10am-4pm

Tree Fall is the first Presidio Goldsworthy installation to be created indoors. Its backdrop is the historic Powder Magazine, constructed on the Main Post during the Civil War. The petite structure protected gun powder and munitions and is made up of four-foot-thick stone walls. The building was used to store the blank rounds for the daily 5 pm evening gun salute until 1994 when the Army departed the post.

While Spire articulates the space into which trees grow and Wood Line investigates the relationship of a tree to the earth, Tree Fall explores what occurs beneath the ground. The sculpture is comprised of a tree trunk removed as part of the Presidio Parkway project, suspended inside the building so that the sculpture does not touch or alter the historic walls. The trunk and the domed ceiling were covered with clay, also from the Presidio, that dried and cracked into a beautiful organic pattern.The sculpture illustrates the relationship between the natural and built environments.

Tree Fall Hours: October 19 to December 1, 2013
The public is invited invited to docent-led tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm through December 1 (no reservations required). Tree Fall is also open weekdays by appointment. Call (415) 561-5300.

October 19th 11am-2pm  International Archaeology Day
49 Moraga Ave in the Presidio

Visit the Presidio Archaeology Lab and discover the exciting field of archaeology. There will be hands on activities for kids, information on current projects at the Presidio, volunteer information, a peek inside the collections and more. Free.

October 19th  11am-5pm
9th Annual Alemany Farm Harvest Festival
700 Alemany Blvd, SF

Gather with us for...

Food:  BBQ & potluck (we'll have BBQ, beans & greens, and tossed farm salad) --                             please bring a side dish or dessert to share
Fun:  T-shirt stenciling (bring your own shirt); farm tours & vineyard tour; face painting, nature crafts, & scavenger hunt for kids courtesy of BranchSF
Farm tasks:  Garlic planting, fruit tree planting & more
Music:  Live acoustic music by The Knuckle Knockers
...and Community!
We hope you will join us for this annual fall gathering!

October 19th 11am-3pm
India Basin

 "Youth Day on the Bay": India Basin Shoreline Park, Hunters Point. Youth will be able to go out in kayaks with experienced adult instructors -- life jackets and BBQ lunch provided! 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., sponsored by America True, India Basin Neighborhood Association, Recology and many more!

October 19th  10am-12pm

San Francisco Nature Education.
Birding El Polín Spring in the Presidio.
Led by Logan Kahle, 10 am–noon. Adults $10, children free. Meet at parking area on McArthur
Avenue. With its charm, nature, and history, El Polín Spring is an “outdoor classroom” welcoming school
groups, birders, history buffs, and picnickers. It is ocated at the heart of Tennessee Hollow, the park’s
largest watershed, just off the Ecology Trail. Map:

Photo credit: Nancy DeStefanis
California Towhee

Hike Ideas

Try Castle Rock State Park above Saratoga on Skyline Boulevard.
A wonderful mix of shade forests and coastal chaparral with ocean views. Great sand stone rock formations and even a waterfall! Lots of rock climbers to watch and rocks to scramble on.