The Presidio Native Plant Nursery—one of six nurseries in the Golden Gate National Parks—will soon open a long-awaited structure: a new 72’ by 110’ shadehouse!
A shadehouse is a structure used to house tender plants coming out of a greenhouse, as a way to harden them off and get them ready to go out into their natural environment. In the Presidio Nursery’s case, the new shadehouse will house many of the 124,000 plants the nursery will be growing this year for over 20 restoration projects in the Presidio. Most of the 65,000 plants that are currently in the house will be planted for a re-landscaping project at Baker Beach Housing, a residential neighborhood.
Though one of the old shadehouses is still being used this year due to the large number of plants the nursery is growing, this new structure replaces two wooden shadehouses that are more than 15 years old. In fact, over those years of service, these old structures shaded an incredible 800,000 native plants!
Though the old ones served the nursery and surrounding plant communities well, the new structure includes many upgrades and sustainable features that will ensure its functionality into the nursery’s next phase:
- The frame of the house was built with galvanized metal tubing to keep it from rusting.
- The frame was built atop a graded surface treated with a sustainable and non-toxic enzyme that binds soil particles to create a strong substrate for the structure.
- The shadehouse is designed to catch all the irrigation water that falls between the pots; the water will go to a created weltand or bioswale, where it is purified by native wetland plants and reused again and again for irrigation (this wetland will be designed and created when funding becomes available).
- Pending funding, the nursery will become a hub of sustainability with a new “green” building to support the volunteer and education programs at the nursery; each year the nursery is supported by over 5,000 community volunteers, and provides hands-on science programs to 1,000 underserved students in San Francisco.
To celebrate this milestone, Presidio Nursery will hold a small opening ceremony in conjunction with its regularly-scheduled drop-in volunteer program: Wednesday, September 12, 3–4 pm. Come for the volunteer program at 1 pm and then join us for the grand opening!
Want to help name the new shadehouse? Leave a comment below with your suggestion!