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McLaren Park Trails Improvement Project

Posted on: August 12, 2021

McLaren Park Native Plant Garden Project Plans

Capital Project Update

Are shown with trees and trail.

The McLaren Park Native Plant Garden transforms a blighted and hazardous corner of McLaren Park into a functional open space, providing a safe resource for recreation and environmental education about the value of planting native plants throughout the City. The project has been made possible by a Community Challenge Grant and partnership with Growing Outdoors And Learning (GOAL) and SF Parks Alliance. The Native Plant Garden has received strong community support, includes extensive volunteer participation, and supports SF Rec and Parks community-driven vision for establishing a variety of pathways and recreational opportunities along the Visitacion Avenue corridor.

The plans for the McLaren Native Plant Garden have been refined through additional site assessment, tree assessments by a third party contractor, and input from a variety of stakeholders. Please see attached document for a plan showing existing trees, photos of existing conditions, the site plan for the new garden, and conceptual drawings for new ornamental metalwork. The project includes: removal of hazardous trees and invasive blackberry; irrigation, pulled from the adjacent community garden; soil amendments; California native tree, shrub, and low growing plant landscaping; wood mulch pathways; decorative iron elements; and interpretive signage.

Most of the trees on site are in very poor condition and sick and hazardous trees will be removed as part of the project. Note that the project is hoping to prune and protect the Tea Tree and Buckeye trees, but with the tangle of dead limbs laying on them at present, we’ll need to reassess likelihood to thrive once the dead wood is cleared. The plan calls for 18 trees to be removed and approximately 36 trees will be replanted on or near the project site, per Rec and Park’s target 2:1 replacement ratio.

Much of Visitacion Valley and Sunnydale neighborhoods are cut off from accessible open space in McLaren Park due to topography, physical barriers, and lack of trails and paths. The McLaren Park Native Plant Garden will showcase the benefits of California Native Plants, beautify the Visitacion Corridor, increase public access and participation, and provide a venue for outdoor education in one of the most underserved neighborhoods in the City. As an outdoor education resource, schools and the public will learn about the efficacy and necessity of native plants in a time of ongoing drought conditions and loss of wildlife habitat. It will provide open space for recreation and peaceful refuge for those living nearby in often unhealthy conditions.

To view the entire project package click here.

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