Today I visited Buena Vista park to see the changes made to the southeastern slope. Weeds and fallen trees have been cleared, and hundreds of young plants are in the ground, many of them San Francisco native plants: yarrow, lupine, flowering currant, as well as many I did not know. Also in the ground is a lot of apparatus: jute nets peak through the soil, fat wattles cling to wooden stakes pounded into the slope, and irrigation pipes snake in every direction.
I had so many questions, especially about how long the prolific irrigation system will be needed, if it's going to remain so darn visible, whether the plants are a good match for the sandy soil, and how the community is planning to control weeds.
Besides all the stuff for the plants, there's the heavy-duty construction: for people. A solid path, retaining walls (some cement, mostly wood), hand rails, and new wood stairways.
My friends told me that one of their reactions to the new path, with its waist-high walls on each side for much of its length, was to feel strangely cut off and separated from the natural surroundings.
But nature is there if you look for it. As I sat my bag down to snap a few pictures, butterflies circled around and landed on my bag. And a benefit of these new walls is the abundant places to sit, talk, and zone out looking at the fabulous views of Corona Heights and beyond.
We have a new path to enjoy, and it's ADA accessible. A chunk of the park has less ivy and more native plants. Good reasons to celebrate. It's the biggest investment in the park we're likely to see in a long time. Let's take care of it.