Save McLaren Park!

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Neighbors and friends of McLaren Park,
Here's whole handful of ways for you to get into McLaren the next couple of months, from hunting butterflies to building trails to enjoying picnics and nature walks. But don't wait for us, get out and explore McLaren Park every chance you get, and tell us what you find!

Celebrate our work and enjoy our park... McLaren Park Community Potluck Sunday, May 22, Noon - 4 P.M.
Redwood Grove picnic area (north side of Shelley Drive Loop)
All friends and neighbors of McLaren Park (this means you!) are encouraged to join Friends of Crocker-Amazon Excelsior (FACE) for their annual picnic meeting. Help McLaren Park, Save McLaren Park, McLaren Park Collaborative, and other groups will be helping, too. Meet old friends, make new ones, and learn about what's happening in the park and surrounding neighborhoods. 

Birds! Bees! Views! Trees! Short nature walks leave at 1:00 and 3:00 P.M., and will take about half an hour -- just enough exercise to shake off that last bit of pie you snuck off with. Announcements about FACE activities, other groups, and upcoming events will take place throughout the afternoon. Bring a dish or some grillable food to share, as well as your favorite beverage. See you there!

Help our kids play safely... Crocker Amazon Playground Monthly Work Party Saturday, June 4, 9:00 A.M. - Noon Join Friends of Crocker-Amazon Excelsior (FACE) and other volunteers along with SF Recreation and Parks Department staff in cleaning, planting, painting, and otherwise improving this local hub of rough and tumble goodness.

For more information, contact Linda Litehiser at 415-585-8005 or eMail

Experience our species diversity... 17th Annual San Francisco Butterfly Count Monday, June 6, 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Mansell@Visitacion parking lot
McLaren Park is second only to the Presidio for butterfly species diversity within San Francisco's natural areas. The Butterfly Count is a fun way to learn about our local varieties while collecting valuable data about our environment -- in other words, it's citizen science at it's best. Lepidopterist and event coordinator Liam O'Brien tells us "it will be very thorough and will take you about all over. We will give you a "Butterflies of San Francisco" brochure and maps to show what you might find where. You'll have a blast!" Here you can review last year's results and here are articles from the Marina Times, SF Weekly, and Bay Nature

If you are interested in attending the McLaren count, please drop a note to We'll gather at 9:30 A.M. with coffee and pastries but please bring your own lunch and water. If you would rather participate at another park in the City-wide count, meet at Randall Museum at 9:00 A.M. For more information, please contact A $3.00 fee from each participant will go towards butterfly conservation through the North American Butterfly Association.

Join our Collaborative... Working Together for a Better McLaren Wednesday, June 15, 6:30-8:00 P.M. Several Save McLaren Park volunteers attended the March 30 and May 2, 2011 meetings of the McLaren Park Collaborative. At the March meeting, the guest of honor was SF Rec and Park Planner Karen Mauney-Brodek who presented a follow up on last year's McLaren Needs Assessments meetings. She reported on the road work and sidewalk cuts/ramps being installed at the corner of Visitacion Ave and Mansell St, making the Philosopher's Way trail accessible to persons of different abilities. She also briefly discussed a few other topics such as more garbage cans being installed in the park, various drainage issues, and Help McLaren Park's procurement of a large grant for upgrading the Peru St. playground and the Gambier St. entrance to the park.
At the May Collaborative meeting, participants met Robert Watkins, the new Recreation and Park Service Area #3 Manager (includes McLaren). He shared that each of the gardeners at McLaren is responsible for an overwhelming 80 acres! So, volunteers are appreciated to help with weeding, trash pick up, trail maintainance and to be watchful eyes/ears in keeping McLaren Park beautiful and safe. Robert Watkin's phone number is 415-468-1292.

Recently the Natural Areas committee enjoyed an informative get-acquainted hike in the park with Lisa Wayne and  Chris Campbell of SFRPD's Natural Areas Program. We discussed threats to native vegetation such as invasive species, soil compaction and erosion, trampling and social trails, various classifications of Management Areas, volunteering and stewardship opportunities, the philosophy and mechanics of trail building, and disc golf, among many other topics. An upcoming meeting of the Infrastructure Committee will discuss installation of some new signage at entrances to the park, and explore other ideas for future improvements.

To learn more about the McLaren Park Collaborative join their Facebook group. The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 6-8:00 PM at a location soon to be announced. All are welcome.

Build and repair our trails... Trailbuilding Weekend In McLaren Park Friday - Sunday, July 22-24 Once again the stewardship organization V-O-CAL (Volunteers for Outdoor California) will spend a weekend helping SF Recreation & Parks Department build and repair several different sections of the park's trails, and you can help! Watch this video to see what V-O-CAL and 150 volunteers accomplished a couple of years ago in McLaren. 

Most folks we talk to didn't find out about the 2009 project until it was all over, and many of the volunteers came in from out of town (not that there's anything wrong with that).  This time, let's all pitch in and show V-O-CAL what us locals can do!  You can sign up for a single day or the whole weekend, and you can even sign up for a campsite on Friday or Saturday night and wake up to a spectacular City view. 

On Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch are provided, and Saturday evening there will be entertainment and a scrumptous outdoor dinner. Bring boots, work gloves and water. More information and a registration form is available here.  Don't delay, sign up today!
Keep McLaren Wild!
Questions, comments, or observations about what's happening in the Natural Areas of McLaren Park?

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