Thursday, May 19, 2011
SF Rec and Park Honors Oak Woodlands Stewards
RPD Commission recognizes Rob Bakewell’s Leadership with Oak Woodlands Stewards
San Francisco – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) has recently honored and recognized the Oak Woodlands Stewards for their extraordinary service and talent in maintaining and enhancing the Oak Woodlands Natural Area located in Golden Gate Park.
“Our natural areas are important resources that are maintained by both staff and volunteers,” said Phil Ginsburg, RPD general manager. “Rob Bakewell and the Oak Woodlands Stewards have done an amazing job over the years, particularly in an area of the park that benefits from frequent care and attention.”
Under the leadership of Robert Bakewell, the Oak Woodlands volunteers have made great strides in the effort to restore native habitat and remove the aggressive invasive species that have thrived in the northeast corner of the park. Rob has been a steward of this area for over 16 years in various capacities, and with the support of an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers, has been instrumental in increasing visibility, access, and safety and in promoting more widespread use by the community. In addition to helping make the area more welcoming to human park users, the Oak Woodlands Stewards have made the area very attractive to our native wildlife as well; creating habitat for dozens of different birds, insects, and small mammals that call this area home.
In a location that requires constant maintenance, trash cleanup and the dismantling of fire rings, the Oak Woodlands Stewards have taken on each section of the Natural Area over the years. Some noteworthy improvements include revamping the Horseshoe Pits and surrounding hillside, cleaning up and increasing access to the Coon Hollow area, and recreating natural shrub habitat on the 3rd Avenue slope. Through Rob’s energetic efforts, and positive collaboration with the SFRPD, the Oak Woodlands Stewards have been invaluable in re-establishing this area as a safe and appealing destination where visitors can enjoy a healthy and diverse natural ecosystem right in the middle of an urban epicenter. Every second Saturday of the month, volunteers are involved in planting, pruning, weeding, and general clean-up of the area.
In the coming months, the San Francisco Recreation & Park Commission is scheduled to recognize Robert Bakewell and all of the Oak Woodlands Stewards for their tireless dedication to service, remarkable talent, and significant contributions to the Oak Woodlands Natural Area of Golden Gate Park.