Native Plants Restoration Task Force
A small group of volunteers has met the first Saturday of each month (1:00 P.M. for those of you who would like to join the effort) to restore native plants at the Mesa. This effort was recognized in an article by Geoffrey Coffey published in the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday, August 18, 2004, A merciful sign flourishes at Lake Merced. Congratulations to Craig and Martha Spriggs and their hardy band of volunteers, and many thanks to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Natural Areas Program for their unstinting support.
A few years ago the Mesa, a small peninsula across Lake Merced Boulevard from the Lakeshore Elementary School, was literally covered with Iceplant. Iceplant is an invasive exotic species that drives out all competition, including all native species.
Iceplant does not attract insects, and with no insects there were no birds. Burrowing animals are similarly discouraged. In short, the Mesa was for all practical purposes dead.
On this map north is to the left.
A committee of Friends of Lake Merced, led by Martha and Craig Spriggs, decided to do something about this sad state.
That's Martha in the green jacket, and Craig kneeling, discussing the future of the Mesa with Jon Campo, a Rec & Park gardener, and Lisa Wayne, head of the Rec & Park Natural Areas Program.
The first task was easy to plan, but harder to do:Pull the @#!!*%& Iceplant!Piles and piles of Iceplant.
Good thing they're biodegradable! We hope.
Then the committee really got to work, preparing areas for planting.
Today the Mesa abounds with native plants. Insects buzz and the birds sing. The Mesa is alive again.
This is Lupine, growing in great bushes. In season it is covered with a familiar yellow flower.
Evening Primrose is present in great quantities. Here you see a view overlooking the North Lake bridge. We've inset a close-up of one of the flowers.
This is Cobweb Thistle, sort of a gangling plant with an interesting flower.
This is another Cobweb Thistle, towering over an Indian Paintbrush, just two of the many native species now found at the Mesa at Lake Merced.
The Friends of Lake Merced Native Plants Task Force meets the first Saturday of every month at 1:00 P.M. (rain cancels).
For more information, or to provide additional information on native plants in this area, please send an email to Craig and Martha Spriggs, the leaders of this Task Force.
Friends of Lake Merced and the Natural Areas Program of the
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
have developed a restoration priority plan.