Presidio of San Francisco (July 31, 2009) — One hundred Coast Redwood trees will be planted in the historic Presidio forest thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Feigenbaum-Nii Foundation. The new trees will allow Presidio Trust foresters to complete a solid stand of Redwoods along both sides of Arguello Boulevard, near the Inspiration Point Overlook. The project will be undertaken in partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Feigenbaum-Nii Foundation, we’ll be able to take another step forward in our reforestation efforts,” says Trust forester Peter Ehrlich. “The new trees will add to the diversity of the forest, which adds to the forest’s long-term health. Greater variation in species helps protect the forest in case, for example, disease strikes one particular species.”
Currently, Coast Redwoods make up about five percent of the Presidio’s historic forest.
The seedlings, obtained from the nursery at Cal Fire, the state agency formerly known as the California Department of Forestry, will grow up among the older redwoods which were planted in the 1940s. The planting will take place in December, following the removal of 100 non-native, invasive Blackwood acacias in September.
Planted by the Army in the late 1800s, the 300-acre forest is one of the Presidio’s signature features. Home to more than 250 different species of birds, the Presidio’s 40,000 trees provide an important wildlife habitat and contribute to the Presidio’s National Historic Landmark status.
In the last several years, the Trust has undertaken an ambitious effort to revitalize the historic forest, replacing aging and unhealthy trees with hundreds of young trees, primarily Monterey Cypress, Monterey Pine, and Coast Redwoods. Each year, the Trust forestry crew replants two to three acres, staggering the planting to create an uneven-aged forest that can be more easily sustained. Since 2002 nearly 2,000 trees have been planted, while the qualities that define the forest’s character, such as the orderly military alignment of trees have been preserved.
The Feigenbaum-Nii Foundation is a small, family foundation based in Morgan Hill, California that has donated to a variety of causes throughout the Bay Area.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to oversee the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It also comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District.