Jun 23, 2017

Complete restoration of William McKinley monument is underway

The Panhandle's largest public artwork is under restoration after years of deferred maintenance and suffering from exposure to the natural elements and occasional vandalism.

Stains on the marble and on the granite visible in this photo from 2011
The restoration includes cleaning stains from the inset white marble on which the face of William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, is carved. The tall bronze figure of a standing woman will also be resurfaced. The mortar between the granite pieces of the base will be replaced, a process called "repointing." New rods will be inserted to seismically strengthen the structure.

According to project manager Jennifer Correia, the work will be done by ARG Conservation Services at the cost of $300,000, from San Francisco's general fund allocation for capital improvements to the Civic Art Collection. A fence and scaffolding went up around the monument in late June and the work will continue through August.

Jun 19, 2017

Repairs to the multi-use path completed

As the Panhandle Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project neared completion, repair crews last week smoothed out the major bumps in the Panhandle's busy multi-use path. The sites of the repairs were scattered across both the eastern and western halves of the park.

The easternmost repair site, located between Baker and Lyon, was where two massive cypress trees grow just a few feet off the pathway. This repair required more extensive work - the entire path needed to be nudged over a few feet to create more separation from the two trees and their root systems.

Pictures from June 15

The framework for the pathway
This adjustment to the pathway required a surprising amount of digging and the building of a wooden framework. By the weekend, the repair was completed and the pathway was back in operation.

Jun 17, 2017

Redwood pruning gives the southeast corner a new look

The coast redwoods in the southeast corner of the park were pruned of most of their low branches last week, resulting in a significant change of appearance. Long a focus of community stewardship efforts, the coast redwoods at the park's eastern edge exist in a few different clusters - at the two eastern corners of the park and behind the McKinley Monument. This ambitious pruning is a sign that the city is increasing its efforts to take care of the trees in the Panhandle. 

From inside the park, the facade of Mt Zion Baptist is more visible than in recent history.

With the low-hanging branches removed, the massive trunks of the redwoods make an even more dramatic statement.
Still shady, but less gloomy at the southeast corner.

By contrast, the north-side redwoods haven't been recently pruned, and branches dip within reach. 

Jun 14, 2017

June workday report

The workday on Saturday, June 10 brought out regular volunteers and some new folks as well, to work on keeping the Panhandle beautiful. After a thorough weeding of the rain garden, we turned to pruning basal shoots and root sprouts (suckers) produced by the large elm trees near the playground. We continued with our loppers towards the east, making it all the way to Baker Street, clearing basal shoots around more trees and also some pruning back some shrubs that had begun to intrude on the multi-use pathway.

Get out and enjoy the additional clearance on the path

Jun 8, 2017

Panhandle workday this Saturday, June 10

Join us at the Panhandle Park on Saturday, June 10 for a community workday:

Saturday, June 10
9 am - 12 noon
Meet at the bulletin board near the playground (near Oak @ Ashbury)
Tools & gloves provided
All are welcome!