Monday, May 18, 2009

Mount Sutro excursion

Alerted by UCSF to restoration plans under public review, I visited Mt. Sutro last week with a map in hand.

The public image the open space preserve at Mount Sutro, owned and managed by UCSF, has been that it's covered with planted eucalyptus trees, many overtaken by ivy, resulting in a dank and boring monoculture.

In reality, the paths across the mountain are underused, but have interesting features, like these great mineral specimens of San Francisco serpentine.

Several species of ferns abound, including these growing from a tree trunk.
Also, some major work in recent years has opened up some space to a greater diversity of plants, such as these natives in the Rotary Meadow area.

The new work will be propelled by FEMA grants, and will be designed to reduce the fire hazard of eucalyptus forests growing on steep slopes within yards of residential neighborhoods. 
The projects will take place in two areas: one just west of Edgewood Avenue and the other north of Crestmont Drive. According to the letter from UCSF, the slopes will be planted with California Buckeye, Pacific wax myrtle, Pacific Madrone, toyon, California coffeeberry, Monterey cypress, and coast redwood.

A great trail map is available online from Pease Press to guide people who want to explore Mt. Sutro. 
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