Tree Removal Update
In response to the many messages we have received regarding the extent of tree removal planned for this project, we have asked our consultant arborist, Jim Clark, and Landscape Architect, Lizzy Hirsch, review the tree removal and planting plan and make recommendations on which trees could be retained. The completed their assessment this week and expect their final recommendations next week. RPD will be issuing an official report detailing the results of their investigation, and our action plan to address the issue of tree removal within the park boundaries. This should be available on the project webpage during the week of July 9.
Street tree removal and planting is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Urban Forestry. DPW BUF is in the process of re-evaluating the approved street tree removal permit associated with the Lafayette Park renovation project. RPD will follow their lead as to what, if any, street tree planting and removal is ultimately deemed best for the trees boarding the park along Laguna, Washington and Gough Streets.
Nesting Birds Update
Consulting Biologist, Josiah Clark, reported that our resident Red Tailed Hawk young successfully fledged on Wednesday 6/20. We wish them luck in their pursuit of gophers. Josiah also gave the thumbs up for the removal of trees and shrubs around the tennis courts. No active song bird nests were found in this area during his site walk last week. Mr. Clark will continue to be on-call through the nesting season to assist us visiting every few weeks, or when major construction activities are scheduled to begin.
In the absence of an operating irrigation system, General Contractor, Bauman Landscape Construction, will be watering the site as-needed using a watering truck. Finding a good time to water the temporary dog play areas has been problematic due to its heavy use. Please spread the word that watering of the dog play areas will be performed each Wednesday morning between 6 and 7 AM. The DPA will be officially closed during that time, and people who elect to enter during that time may find themselves unceremoniously soaked. Anyone in need of a quick dog wash?
We have received many calls from park users concerned about the watering of the park plants and trees. We realize that the site looks very dry, but this is part of the process. 95% of the site landscape, including all the turf, is scheduled to be removed and replaced with new planting materials. Allowing the existing vegetation to dry out has many advantages in both the long and short term. Bauman is an experienced contractor with extensive experience in park landscape construction. They have walked the site with our project landscape architect and are well aware of the extent of plants and trees to be retained, and their on-going maintenance needs. Per the terms of contract, Bauman is required to take whatever measures are appropriate to care for the Lafayette Park site during the construction process.
The unscheduled reopening of the northeast quadrant of the park has left us unprepared to handle some of the day to day park operation issues. Unfortunately the designated Recology garbage handling and pick-up station falls within the area of active construction and park staff is not equipped to handle all this trash themselves. Bauman Landscape Construction has stepped up and started to collected and moved trash to the sidewalk for collection. However, this is a temporary solution. For the long-term, RPD is in the process of securing and placing sidewalk cans near the DPA and at other key location near active park entrances. We are asking that park users be conscientious and take their trash with them when they leave the park, depositing it at home or into a street can.
Reporting Vandals and Trespassers
Over the weekend our construction site was struck by a gang of vandals and would-be thieves. Overnight someone attempted to enter the locked construction trailer, breaking windows and door locks. Luckily nothing was stolen. They tampered with the large construction equipment, damaged trees and vandalized construction materials. This is not the first incident of people breaking into the site after hours, but it is the most destructive. Bauman is taking their own measures to secure the site, but RPD is looking for your help in stopping this type of illegal activity. Sections of dust screen have been removed along the temporary dpa to allow users a clear view into the work site. DPA users and neighbors’ whose widows face directly onto the site are our best defense.
If you witness acts of vandalism occurring in or around the project site, or see suspicious people inside the construction zone, please contact Park Patrol at 242-6390 or SFPD dispatch at 553-0123. Please help keep Lafayette Park safe for all of us.
Construction is moving full steam ahead. The Contractor has completed demolition of the children’s playground and is currently working on demolition of the adjacent asphalts paths. The fencing in the tennis courts were removed and selective demo of sub-surface utilities is in progress. Next week we will see a special crew on site performing hazardous materials abatement in the restroom building and gardener’s shed.