The Greenway is a link in several local and area-wide nature trails: the Creeks to Peaks Trail, which traverses Glen Canyon Park and ends at the summit of Twin Peaks; and the Crosstown Trail, which spans Candlestick Point to Lands End. It’s also a spur of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
The focus of the celebration was the parcel between Brompton and Lippard Avenues, which is called the Meadow. The next area, between Lippard and Chilton Avenues, is the Woodland. Both of these sections have trails made of decomposed granite. The adjacent burlap sheeting is meant to limit erosion until the area is revegetated after the rains begin late this year.
The Greenway will also feature a California Oak Woodland throughout, most trees being live oaks. Nicholas Dewar, a leader of the Greenway project, bemoans the fact that, “Many of the trees are failing because there have been so many drought years this century and they are stressed and vulnerable to beetles and other pests.”
The Glen Park Association, under the leadership of Michael Rice, initiated the project and managed it until 2015 when it transferred the Greenway project to the San Francisco Parks Alliance. GPA has continued to support it as have SF Public Works, SF Public Utilities Commission, SF Community Challenge Grant Program, and especially adjacent neighbors and local merchants who’ve supplied power, water and storage spaces, and food to sustain hungry volunteers. A number of dignitaries were on hand to salute the achievement.
Dan Wright, a local architect, and Adam King, also an architect, and who pioneered the Penny Lane stairway project, have been managing the day-to-day activities along the Greenway. “It just keeps on going,” says Wright. He noted that five years have passed since the Greenway Concept Plan was approved and incorporated into the Glen Park Community Plan which was adopted in 2012.
Initially more than fifty oak trees and shrubs were planted, and the Glen Park Garden Club, adopted a patch beside the pedestrian ramp between Chilton Avenue and Bosworth Street.
Since the transfer of the Greenway from GPA to SFPA in April 2015, SFPA has directed the project and provides support to local volunteers with fundraising, financial management, fiscal sponsorship and procedural guidance.
Drew Becher, CEO of SFPA, lauded the cooperative effort that has been evident all along in the project: “We love that time when the private sector, the nonprofit sector, the public sector and the community come together to form these amazing projects.”
The most effusive praise was reserved for Nicholas Dewar, who has coordinated and led the Greenway project from the beginning: planning, fundraising, navigating bureaucracy, and wrangling volunteers–through ups, downs and glitches, which of course includes the Covid-19 pandemic, when work parties continued at a scaled back level with strict safety precautions. In short, Wright maintains, “Without his efforts this project probably wouldn’t have happened.”
Also in attendance were Nicholas Crawford, of the Bureau of Urban Forestry of SF Public Works (sporting a yellow vest in a photo); Sarah Katz-Hyman of the San Francisco Parks Alliance; two landscape designers from Base Landscape Architecture, Šarka Volejníková and Patricia Algara; and Jacob Bintliff, aide to Supervisor Mandelman.
Supervisor Mandelman, whose office helped with much needed funds, did the honors with a traditional ribbon cutting, and led the group in a (second) round of applause for Dewar. To cap off the celebration, he presented a Certificate of Honor to the Friends of the Glen Park Greenway for the wonderful work they’ve done over these many years.
Before the group dispersed, they strolled the length of the Greenway.
Then, up on Bosworth Street, everyone noticed the street noise and that, just a few feet down below on the Greenway, it had been quiet and peaceful, due to the sound canceling effect of the vegetation.
Much work has been done and much remains. It just keeps on going.
To learn more about the Glen Park Greenway, visit the Greenway’s webpage or see more at the SF Parks Alliance.