Summer is in full swing, and I hope you are enjoying all that Brisbane has to offer! Today, I took a walk on San Bruno Mountain and saw the wildflowers blooming and butterflies enjoying their beautiful habitat. I hope you have a chance to venture out this summer onto our precious mountain and appreciate the nature that surrounds our wonderful town.
Last month, my daughter attended Mission Blue Camp, a wonderful community-based and city-supported summer camp based right here in Brisbane. As part of the camp, leaders from San Bruno Mountain Watch led students on hikes on San Bruno Mountain, and taught campers about local flora and fauna. Each day, my daughter came back from camp, excited to tell me about her new adventures and show me the trails she hiked on the mountain. After being a Brisbane resident myself for over 13 years, I was elated to discover new trails, thanks to my daughter and the knowledge she gained from camp. I am so grateful to Mission Blue Camp for teaching our children about the importance of being ecological stewards of San Bruno Mountain.
Recently, I had the opportunity meet with Ariel Cherbowsky Corkidi, Programs Director at San Bruno Mountain Watch, to tour the newly planted Guadalupe Valley Native Plant Garden. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the City of Brisbane in support of the Guadalupe Valley Stewards program, San Bruno Mountain Watch has been able to work on this important project supporting the goal of restoring urban environments and transforming overlooked areas into engaging and dynamic public places. The Guadalupe Valley Stewards Program aims to create vibrant and educational native landscapes along the public trail in Brisbane’s Crocker Industrial Park in order to connect our local community with the cultural and natural history of San Bruno Mountain and Guadalupe Valley.
Throughout a year of devoted community-based efforts, a harsh and highly compacted plot of land within Guadalupe Valley was transformed from an unsightly and desolate patch of gravel and weeds into a dynamic, colorful, ecologically-rich and locally-significant garden. The ingredients involved were all locally sourced, and included 52 native species propagated from seeds grown on San Bruno Mountain and grown at the Mission Blue Nursery, only one-third of a mile away from the garden site. One of the most wonderful aspects of the project is that it was created by volunteer stewards as well as students from Lipman Middle School, and will hopefully encourage students and others to be more environmentally engaged.
On my visit to the site, which is located east of Cypress Lane in Crocker Industrial Park, I was struck by how well the garden site interacted with the Crocker Park Recreational Trail, and how easily it could be appreciated by dog walkers, joggers and others accessing the trail. We also visited the adjacent “Chorus Frog Creek,” which was cleaned of invasive plants as part of the project.
I am extremely grateful to San Bruno Mountain Watch and Ariel Cherbowsky Corkidi for partnering with the City on this project, which showcases a model of sustainable landscaping that is place-based, conserves natural resources, proceeds with a light carbon-footprint, and provides multiple benefits at all stages of the project to people, plants and wildlife. I look forward to seeing this model scaled up and being applied to other local sites throughout Brisbane.