Rain, Creek, and Drinking Water: Important for Ecosystem, Living, and Learning

With the addition of many new plants in the OMI/Excelsior and Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Parks, we were also delighted by the visit of more November and December showers that gave our Gardens many, much deserved, long drinks, and softened the soil for planting.

With the falling water and rising puddles to splash, our classes began to learn about the Cycle of Water; water as a significant, precious resource, and the local Islais Creek Watershed that runs under and around our Branch Living Library & Think Parks in Bernal Heights and the OMI/Excelsior. 

Some of our James Denman Middle School Students taught our A.L.L. Garden Teachers how to say the different stages of the Water Cycle, and capture points of water, in Sign Language.  Because of this student training, our Teachers were then able to share this knowledge with many more students in our diverse Branch Living Library & Think Parks.

Learning About The Islais Creek Watershed


Students in Bernal Heights at Junipero Serra Elementary School, were introduced to their Watershed, the Islais Creek Watershed, that interconnects 11 neighborhoods of the City, the largest in San Francisco.  The underground creeks have channeled ground water and rain water for hundreds of years, through the once existing farmland of the Excelsior, and in earlier times, near native Muwekma Ohlone Indian settlements.   Today, the underground Islais Creek can only be seen in areas of Glen Park, since the Creek has been covered and diverted underground from the layering of concrete with city development.

Students Learn:  What Is A Watershed ?


We are hoping to daylight the Creek wherever possible, someday soon, so we can experience its beauty once more, in diverse places in this significant Watershed.   A Watershed Moment For San Francisco Creeks.

Below, a map of the Islais Creek Watershed and some opportunities promoted by A Living Library & Life Frames, Inc.


Our Drinking Water Comes From Hetch Hetchy

Though San Francisco’s drinking water comes from the Tuolomne River in Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park, 200 miles away, we do have many natural water systems here within our city, that can be restored to serve practical, educational, ecological, and aesthetic values.

SF Public Utilities Commission

In December, A Living Library  welcomed visitors from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to the Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Park Gardens and Nature Walk. The SFPUC has been very busy over the past few years reconstructing sewer and fresh water systems and encouraging the protection of natural resources and environments. 

You may have seen them hard at work digging up Cesar Chavez this year.  Chavez is the northernmost frame of the Islais Creek Watershed.  The communities in this Watershed are:  Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview-Hunter’s Point, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park. 

We support the PUC in their work to conserve the natural resources of water and land throughout the City, and we work with them in this significant ecological and educational endeavor.  Thank you, SFPUC !

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