May 14, 2015

May workday report

At the community workday on May 9, volunteers planted a bunch of new plants provided by Rec and Park for both the rain garden and the plots surrounding the children's playground. Two years after initial planting, our rain garden appears more filled in as the plants mature and we continue to bring new plants in. 

Guillermo organized a special snack for us at breaktime: organic fruit and juice smoothies blended by bicycle. Delicious, and healthy, with second servings for all! 

Rain garden filling in

Anna and Guillermo at work on our snack
Conversations at the park often turn to California's extreme drought, and how to manage parklands to reduce water use. As watering is cutback further, some sections of the park have turned dry. To protect the soil from drying out completely and blowing away, one tool in the toolbox is to amend the soil and spread woodchips. Piles of compost fines and wood chips, sourced from the compost yard in Golden Gate Park, were situated around the Panhandle, and Guillermo explained that he would have help from the sixth graders of San Francisco Day School during the coming week to spread the material around the trees of the Panhandle. The timing is excellent, since a couple hundred thousand of runners, walkers, and partyers will be out in the Panhandle for Bay to Breakers on Sunday, May 17. The park always gets wear and tear from this event, and spreading woodchips will help protect the turf around mature trees, which can be a sensitive spot. 

Many of the park meadows are resilient and are still green, due in part to our late spring rains. The horse-chestnuts (near Shrader) and the cherry trees at the eastern edge (by Baker) are also in bloom. Get out to the park to enjoy them this month.  

Apr 16, 2015

April workday report

Volunteers helped out at Saturday's community workday by planting dozens of new plants: ceanothus, mugwort, bee plant, yarrow, sticky monkey-flower, and white sage, to name a few. Some went into the area next to the playground, and others into the rain garden, helping to finally build up the plantings around the edges of the garden, something we've been hoping for a long time. The plants were provided by SF Rec and Park Department.

As we gathered in the morning, everyone's attention was on the worsening drought in California. San Francisco must cut water consumption by another 10 percent. Guillermo, the gardener from Rec and Park, told us that he will cut back further on watering in the Panhandle, and that fortunately, some new sprinkler heads have been installed that will help him to do that. Many other localities around the state must cut back by more than ten percent. Much attention has been placed on changes to gardens and landscaping, and losing your lawn is catching on.

Apr 8, 2015

Panhandle Workday this Saturday, April 11 - with Irises

There's a Panhandle workday coming up this weekend:

Panhandle community workday
Saturday, April 11
9 am - 12 noon
Meet at the bulletin board (near Oak at Ashbury)
Gloves & tools provided

Come and enjoy the Panhandle with us. There are some Douglas Iris in the rain garden that you've got to see! 
Thanks Michael Helquist for the photo

Mar 14, 2015

March workday pictures from the Panhandle park

Kicking up some dust beneath the big trees
 At our March workday, volunteers made a big effort in the first half to remove eucalyptus leaves and gumnuts, and bring in a thick layer of compost fines, for an area near Fell @ Masonic.  With the healthy soil imported from the compost yard of Golden Gate Park, the grass will have a chance to resprout. Just nearby, right at the pathway, the work by the city is almost completed.

The curbcut at Masonic is complete and some work still remains to be completed by the corner
The group of volunteers was reinforced this month by families from the San Francisco Day School and had the support of Joel, the area gardening supervisor for the eastern end of Golden Gate Park. We also worked on our planted beds around the playground, spreading a thick layer of woodchips. There was also a lot of raking around some of the big eucalypus near Ashbury, and some brand new plants for the rain garden (ceanothus, mugwort, & bee plant). Guillermo wrapped up our morning with some recognition of the younger volunteers to express his appreciation for the support from the community.

At work with the heavy rakes 

 Closing circle