Work to restore Islais Creek begins

 

Earth mover removing sediment in Islais Creek on October 3, 2012. Photo by Murray Schneider

 

By Murray Schneider

Beginning earlier this week a behemoth earthmover positioned itself in front of a Islais Creek culvert and began clearing the creek and the surrounding banks of debris, with the goal of improving the quality of water flow into San Francisco Bay.

Friends of Glen Canyon Park, in partnership with Recreation and Parks Natural Area Program, routinely work along the banks of Islais Creek in what are dubbed “pools.” Here weeds are pulled, debris is bagged, and native plants and shrubs are reintroduced, which account for much of the habitat diversity valued so dearly by the NAP.

Pool 1, sometimes called the Levi site, because Levi Strauss donated money for its initial plantation, is closest to the Recreation Center. It is here Islais Creek enters a culvert, beginning its underground journey that will eventually end in the bay not too far from where the San Francisco Giants will engage the Cincinnati Reds in tonight’s opening game of the National League baseball playoffs.

While the Friends of Glen Canyon volunteers contain their interests to the well being of its neighborhood 70-acre canyon, the NAP broadens its sights to protecting 31 other natural open spaces in San Francisco. While safeguarding San Francisco Bay may not exactly fall under this rubric, it didn’t deter Lisa Wayne, the NAP Program Manager, from writing a government grant that funded work dredging Islais Creek of offensive sediment that, left unattended, would deposit unhealthy silt into the bay.

Work will continue, probably ending by the time the Giants defeat the Reds and move to the next level of baseball playoffs!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Work to restore Islais Creek begins

  1. dolan eargle

    NAPsters spent a lot of time clearing out the creek bed in the past. It is beyond understanding why this silly “silt” stuff is going on. What does this “silt removal ” do other than deepen the channel? anybody know? -dolan eargle

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  2. Dee

    If we don’t understand something, is it reasonable for us to call it “silly?” Are you open-minded enough to really understand? It is not reasonable for you to expect anyone to answer your question the way you phrased it with a put-down. It seems you wouldn’t accept a perfectly proper answer, anyways, given your seemingly poor attitude toward folks who are paid to know what they’re doing to maintain the Significant Natural Resource Area that Glen Canyon is. Instead of putting down the good people of the Natural Areas Program, you might consider spending some time reading about California as a biodiversity hotspot and our valuable ecosystems, which are at risk due to human impacts.

    Maybe then you could explain to folks who want to save all the trees of Glen Canyon the fact that invasive plants, like eucalyptus, are harmful. Eucalyptus, for example, alter soil conditions and hydrology and are a fire hazard. Nothing much grows under the eucs, except other invasive plants. Invasive plants not only take over the habitat of native plants, they deprive native fauna of the plants they co-evolved with. Humans are at fault for having planted invasive plants to begin with. Most of us recognize eucs were a huge mistake; else they would have been cut down to serve their intended purpose. And now it’s up to us to correct past mistakes, because now we have science to guide us. Data shows that native flora and fauna will return once invasive plants have been removed.

    If you find native wildlife undesirable, I suggest you stay away from the Significant Natural Resource Areas of San Francisco. You’ll find an abundance of manicured lawns and exotic species in Golden Gate Park.

    I think it is offensive for you to refer to folks as “NAPsters,” because it is deprecating. So please don’t do this anymore.

  3. K

    Dee – I live in GP and have used the park for years. I love GP the way it is, and am in favor of saving all the trees in GP and, like many people who use the canyon, do not share your view with regard to there being an imperative to cut the Eucalyptus down. This is an urban City Park and trying to restore it to its native state, I feel, is a waste of the gorgeous park that is there now, and a waste of limited valuable resources that could be better spent on other projects. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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