Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk Update

As we were finishing our planting and plant establishment activities with our California Strategic Growth Council Grant, the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk continued to grow and thrive, as we planted, weeded, and watered, thus accomplishing much more to beautify the diverse parks, schools, and street environments of the neighborhood. This Grant has made a huge impact on this community by transforming formerly disconnected and uninteresting areas into new places of beauty and health for all species.

Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Park

Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Park

During this period, we had the great support of San Francisco Recreation & Park Department Apprentices – very hard workers – who were able to make many additional California native drought tolerant understory plantings as well as accomplish other plant establishment activities including mulching many areas in St. Mary’s and Holly Parks.

Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Park

Other numerous volunteer groups and children also helped, including students from Junipero Serra Elementary and Junipero Serra Early Education Schools on two streets adjacent to their schools.  Additionally, many entrances to both Holly Park and St. Mary’s Park were supplemented with colorful native plantings – as the plants grow, these areas will become very special habitats for diverse species.

This Nature Walk continues to be an inspiration for other communities and serves as a successful prototype to be replicated throughout the whole Islais Creek Watershed that could eventually interconnect the eleven currently fragmented communities including the two freeway interchanges and diverse right-of-way areas. Many city and state officials are considering these systemic opportunities for ecological transformation, flood mitigation, and other related issues that this Nature Walk is actively modeling and promoting.

The opportunity and vision is to create Northern & Southern Gateways to the Watershed in the two freeway interchanges, and that would become Islais Creek Watershed Northern & Southern Community Gateway Parks while mitigating flooding and addressing issues of climate change, wildlife protection, and environmental justice amongst other systemic issues and opportunities.

Additionally, the Nature Walk was featured in two major international art exhibitions in 2017, in which the chief conceptualizer and designer of the Nature Walk, landscape architect and artist, Bonnie Ora Sherk, was invited to participate and create art installations for the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy and an international exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada.

Details from the Venice Biennale shown below, show Before and After images of a few areas within the Nature Walk as well as the Master Plan and Islais Creek Watershed Map in addition to other Branch Living Library & Think Park projects in San Francisco and New York City.



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