Native Plant Nurseries Build Bridges of Natural Habitat

Native Plant Nurseries Build Bridges of Natural Habitat

From Park E-ventures, May 2012

With the build-up to the joyous celebration for the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, I can’t help but think of what this amazing icon means and the role it plays in our beloved Golden Gate National Parks. What does this beautiful landmark bridge?

The naturalist in me thinks of the habitats that are on both sides of the Golden strait, and how this towering beacon makes it easier to experience natural wonders around the Bay. As a Conservancy staff member that helps support the six nurseries in the parks, I get an in-depth look at how they play a fundamental role in the restoration and stewardship of the unique plant communities on both sides of the Golden Gate.

Rubus ursinus

The nurseries of the parks have the amazing privilege of growing native plants for projects all across these national parklands. Spanning from Marin down to San Mateo, the six nurseries’ different locations provide very special growing conditions, specific to the projects for which they grow. Here is a sample of the plants we will be growing and fostering for outplanting during our next rainy season:

Redwood Creek Nursery (near Muir Woods)
California or Pacific blackberry (Rubus ursinus, pictured above left): This plant will be grown for the coastal climate and stream bank at the Muir Beach Redwood Creek restoration project.

Grindelia hirsutula

Tennesee Valley Nursery
San Francisco gumplant (Grindelia hirsutula var. maritime, pictured right): This coastal-dwelling flower will be grown for the areas surrounding Bolinas Lagoon.

Marin Headlands Nursery
Dune or salt rush (Juncus lesueurii): This native rush will be grown for the marshy habitat found at the Rodeo Beach wetland.

Presidio Nursery
Blue blossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, pictured at top): This native with the showy blue floral display will be grown for the coastal bluffs area of the Presidio.

Fort Funston Nursery
California goldenbush (Ericameria ericoides): Finding its home in the coastal scrub, this golden flower will be planted in the beachy surroundings of Fort Funston.

Oceana Nursery (at Oceana High School in Pacifica, in collaboration with the Conservancy Stewardship team)
Beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis): A common coastal native, the familiar beach strawberry will be grown for areas of Mori Point.

Though the nurseries are all located in different locations, they all work and grow together to create a beautiful mosaic—helping to bridge the many habitats that create a seamless park landscape. So, as you attend the festivities on May 27 to celebrate our beloved Golden Gate Bridge, keep in mind the wonderful natural wonders it brings together!

By Clara Voigt
Nursery Office and Park Academy Administrator

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