Friday, September 30, 2011

Reminder of October 1st meeting 10:30am-12noon

A reminder tomorrow, 10:30 -12 Noon
McKinley Square Design Meeting 3 
at Downtown High School. 

I've compiled a list of ideas of what has come up in the previous meetings.   I am encouraging the landscape architect John Merten to formulate a priority list at the meeting tomorrow.

What I have compiled is below.

As I mentioned at the end of last meeting,  there needs to be an identification of community priorities, what there is general consensus on, and what is controversial.   From that list of priorities John Merten, or John Merten with the working group of diverse volunteers of the community can put together plans, solicit input to the community electronically and in person, and keep the community abreast of the progress eventually come back to the community for approval.

Going down the list of ideas/features, a show of hands on each one / and determine what the community is for or against may be one way to accomplish this.
Perhaps a very limited speak period (1 min) if they feel strong on the idea/feature.

Perhaps starting out with a general plan what area needs to be improved?  Upper park?
A mix with emphasis on the hillside?
A mix with emphasis on the upper park?
Both equally?

Removal of fox tail weeds?
Native/sustainable plants on hillside?
Improved trails on the hillside?
Stairs on west side of Vermont?
A flat grassy area on the hillside?  (irrigated?) (non-native?)
Grass on slope? (irrigated?) (non-native?)
Drinking fountain on hillside (middle path)
Lights on middle path?
Bench(s) on hillside?
Table(s) on hillside?
Public art on the hillside?
Exercise / stretching stations?
Moving of cal-trans fence westward to have more trail area
<other features / ideas>?
(Perhaps a follow up question, if we have all the desired on hillside, would dog owners respect leash rules on upper park?)

Upper park
Leveling the upper park to street level?
Slope the park southernly?
BBQ area?
Bathrooms? (kid bathrooms only?)
Shade structure over playground?
New playground?
A play area for older kids? [what are examples of this?]
Safe & clean zone on grass?
A designated dog poop area (or should this be the hillside?)
A code of conduct document for dog owners?
A kiosk?
A loop on the upper park for walking & kids bikes?
Removal of fox tail weeds?
Plant more trees around park?
<other features / ideas>?

Slides from upper park to middle trail? Do these qualify as play area for older kids?
<other features / ideas>?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Proposal of Plants for McKinley Square Hillside

Community member Peggy L.L. composed a list of potential plants for the serpentine hillside along McKinley Square.  We are aiming to have a planting day in early November, before the holidays, and early January, after the holidays.

The focus of the plants will be sustainable native plants that grow on Serpentine soil.   These plant are aimed at promoting endangered native wild life such as the Mission Blue butterfly.

Peggy has supplied an extensive list, and it will be paired down for the planting efforts, as we will not be able to obtain and plant everything, and we will likely add other sustainable/native plants to this list as well.   If you would like to join us in helping planning (and/or potentially donating towards) please join our meeting tonight, or email us at:


Notes on Plants for Serpentine Grasslands and Other Native Plant Possibilities for McKinley Square

From California Native Grasslands Association
·       Remnant serpentine grasslands are among the most endangered ecosystems in the Bay Area
·       The serpentine prairie includes a wide variety of native grasses including Meadow barley, Bentgrass, California brome, Purple needlegrass*, California oatgrass, Big squirreltail and Blue wildrye. Other rare plants include the spring wildflower, Clarkia franciscana.  [*Purple needlegrass will not be planted as it is a potential hazard for dogs. ]
·       My thoughts: Deer grass is not mentioned but as listed above there are lots of other options some of which we can get from the San Bruno Mountain Nursery or from Larner Seeds.

Bunchgrasses of San Francisco and where they are found
·       Nassella Pulchra, Bromus carinatus found at Starr King
·       Danthonia californica (california oat grass) at McClaren
·       Deschampsia caespitosa (tufted hairgrass) at McClaren
·       Elymus glaucus (blue wild rye) East and West sides of the city
·       Festuca californica (california fescue) East and West sides of the city
·       Melica californica (red fescue) Bay View Hill

Flowers at Starr King photos at the end of the file. In addition to those flowers, the following could be found in serpentine grasslands
·       Silver bush lupines
·       Lupine varicolor
·       California golden violet or Johnny jump ups (Viola pedunculata)
·       Mule ears (Wyethia helenioides)
·       Shooting stars (dodecatheon clevelandii ssp patulum)
·       Allium unifolium
·       Dutchman’s pipe vineAristolochia californica
·       Solidago californica (California Goldenrod)
·       Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla)
·       Foothill penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus
·       Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)

Skyline Serpentine Prairie Plant List 6/17/11
·       Bicolored Linanthus ( LInanatus bicolor)
·       Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana)
·       Bush Monkey Flower ( Mimulus aurantiacus)
·       Blue-eyed Grass ( Sysyrinchium bellum)
·       California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
·       Climbing Morning Glory (Calystegia purpurata ssp.purpurata)
·       Clover (Trifolium sp.)
·       Cream Cups (Platystemon californicus)
·       Goldfields (Lasthenia californica)
·       Gum Plant  (Grindelia sp.)
·       Hayfield Tarweed (Hemizonia congesta ssp. luzulifolia)
·       Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
·       Presidio Clarkia  (Clarkia franciscana)
·       Seep- Spring Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus)
·       Soap -plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. divaricatum)
·       Sticky Rosinweed (Calycadenia multiglandulosa).
·       Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
·       Yellow Mariposa Tulip (Calochortus luteus)

Potential native tree species that were found on Potrero Hill include coast live oaks, buckeyes, pacific madrone, toyon (large tree like shrub), knobcone pines, Islais cherry (Prunus iliciflora). There are 4 redwoods that look less than 100 years old though very large at 20th near Carolina.

Here is a list of plants that could go under the pines (none of the existing pines or Monterey Cyprus would be there).
From Las Positas Nursery website:  Plants for closed pine forest (like a knobcone pine)
Arctostaphylos manzanita
Armeria maritime (sea thrift)
Ceonothus (wild lilac)
Danthonia californica
California Oat Grass
Sticky Monkey Flower
Equisetum hymale
Wood strawberry
Hummingbird sage
Gaultheria shallon
Heuchera micrantha
Douglas iris Iris douglasiana
Lonicera involucrata ledebourii
Lupinus arboreus
Monardella subglabra
Myrica californica
Wax myrtle
Ribes sanguineum glutinosum Red and pink flowering currant
Rubus ursinus
Satureja douglasii
Yerba Buena mint
Vaccinium ovatum

Aquilegia Formosa  and Calystegia purpurata (E. Greene) Brummitt ssp. Purpurata, Zauschneria (California Fuschia) and Asclepias speciosa showy milkweed (for the Monarchs), and California wood rose Rosa gymnocarpa could also work under the trees. Lonicera hispidula (hairy honeysuckle) is found in Oak forests.

Possibilities for habitat and or corridors – Bay checkerspot, Mission blue butterfly, Callipe silverspot,

Places to get plants/seeds to keep genetics as local as possible – Haight Ashbury Native Plant Nursery, Larner Seeds, San Bruno Mountain Nursery, Bay Natives (though pricey plants are great). Can we purchase plants through the Presidio Native Plant Nursery?

This plant list has sample images from Starr King Openspace, our neighbor on Potrero Hill.

Friday, September 9, 2011

McKinley Square Community Meeting Sept 9,2011

Scheduled Meeting #2 of #3 for McKinley Square Futures.

Unofficial notes for Sept 8th, 2011 meeting.

John Merten went over minutes of previous meeting.
Minutes of meeting #1 are posted here as PDF.
Other details are posted on SFPT web site here.

Video of this meeting is posted here.

Online discussion is encouraged in the Potrero Boosters online site here.

We are encouraging posting there as your email address remains private, and in general is easier than yahoo for posting discussions and pictures.
Please create an account and upload your picture for community discussion as you can discuss with your neighbors online "face to face".  Blank accounts are not encouraged as they are suspect to be fake accounts.

Items were listed, but there was not a specific polled priority process.
John Merten displayed some designs for McKinley Square which included:

  • Moving the Cal-Trans fence toward the freeway, providing more trail area. 
  • Adding a flat area, lower grass park to the off leash dog area.
  • Adding benches & lighting to the middle trails.
  • Splitting the children's play area and creating a slope on the upper park, and having a sweeping trail from the south end of McKinley Square to 20th & San Bruno Ave. 

Discussion ensued.

  • Attendees were asked about if design were to be modern or rustic, attendees responded with rustic.
  • Concerns were raised about the removal / transfer of serpentine rock for asbestos release. 
  • Concerns were raised about the determining the priorities without costs associated with items.
  • There was a request for more information to be shared more with the community electronically or otherwise in advance and outside meetings. 
  • The Potrero View editor offered to post plans in the newspaper and online. 
  • Next meeting, Saturday October 1st, Downtown High School will aim at polling priorities. 

Video of complete meeting will be uploaded in next few days.

Pictures with link to high resolution photo (click text description) are below:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three upcoming meetings for McKinley Square

1 . McKinley Square Park Futures Meeting
Sept 8th  6:30pm-8:30pm 
Downtown High School, 793 Vermont.  
Meeting #2 of #3 regarding.

If you missed the first meeting, pictures & video from the first meeting are available here:

And meeting details flyer is here:

 2. Sustainable gardening meeting up. Every 2nd Sunday of the month
Sept 11th,  10am, on McKinley Square Hillside
Removing invasive weeds and tending to trails & native/sustainable plants planted last January.

3. McKinley Square Community Association board meeting
Sept 14th,   6:30pm 
Downtown High School, 793 Vermont. 
Meeting to talk about upcoming fall planting, and elections for volunteer board for the McKinley Square Community Association.
Board is made up of volunteers, working on improving the McKinley Square Community through  improved safety, traffic calming, grants, native / sustainable planting, improved trails, public art.  If this sounds like something you are interested in, or if you have alternative ideas of improvements, all are encouraged to join our volunteer board. 
Although the board is all volunteers, elections, and a democratic open process are important and ensures the volunteer board is accountable, representing the community. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011