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San Francisco Presidio Walk

by Susan Saperstein

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This view is at Fort Winfield Scott in the Presidio. The bridge crosses a ravine where Dragonfly Creek is located—a stream supporting a variety of native plants. It had become overrun by eucalyptus trees and other non-native plants. However, restoration through the Doyle Drive and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy projects is now cleaning it up. The creek drains into Crissy Marsh and then into the San Francisco Bay.

Dragonfly Creek is located on a hill below tennis courts and above the Presidio Native Plant Nursery. These tennis courts are now part of the Presidio YMCA, and have been at Fort Winfield Scott since the early 1900s when the game began becoming popular. The Presidio Native Plant Nursery collects over a million seeds each year, and grows between 90,000 – 170,000 plants for different habitats in the park. They are always looking for volunteers.

By the nursery, you can see granite slab remnants. They appear to be gravestones, but Adah Bakalinsky says in her early edition of her Stairway Walks in San Francisco that they are from buildings destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. She says they were originally stored at Lands End but were brought here when people began pilfering them.

Fort Winfield Scott is named for a general who served in the War of 1812, Civil War, and Mexican-American War. The fort occupies an area of land that had been a military installation since the Spanish built a fort 1793, until it became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1994. The fort also has another claim to fame: it was the post for Grateful Dead musician Jerry Garcia during his 8-month stint in the Army.

These views are included in the Presidio Habitats installation walk that has been running for the last year, and ends on May 15. It is an art exhibition celebrating the wild Presidio created by artists, architects, and designers.

Berkeley Paths Wanderers Association,
Stairway Walks of San Francisco, Adah Backalinsky
Fort Scott photos courtesy of Susan Saperstein.

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The causeway over Dragonfly Creek in the Presidio

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The Presidio tennis courts

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The Presidio nursery

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