Presidio of San Francisco (April 8, 2003) — The Presidio Trust has received the 2003 Environmental Achievement Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency for its work on a compost and regeneration program, it was announced today.
The primary goal of the compost and regeneration program is to develop high-quality, natural soil amendments for use throughout the Presidio, a 1,480-acre national park site.
In 2002, this program produced over 800 cubic yards of biodynamic compost for use on landscapes, grounds, forests, and natural areas.
Over 2,000 cubic yards of soil amendments were prepared for use in reforestation and a specialized potting soil mix was developed for use in other Bay Area settings. A small-scale site at the Presidio Nursery demonstrates backyard composting and has been visited by hundreds of volunteers and students.
“This is a good example of how hard, dedicated work can turn into environmental success,” said Craig Middleton, Executive Director of the Presidio Trust. “I believe what we have started in our compost and regeneration program will serve as a model for other facilities.”
In close partnership with the Presidio Golf Course, a compost tea research trial resulted in a new practice of compost tea use for suppression of turf disease and promotion of greater root depth of turf grass on golf course greens.
In addition to improving soils at the Presidio, this program has helped to eliminate toxic material use and significantly reduce waste.
Over 3,500 cubic yards of organic debris were diverted from the waste stream, and the golf course reduced pesticide use to 98% less than private San Francisco golf courses.
Using compost to regenerate soils allows us to reduce and even eliminate the need for some chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
This is especially important at the Presidio Golf Course, where the Presidio Trust has assisted with systematically reducing the need for chemical applications. This has great applicability for other golf courses in the Bay Area.
The compost and regeneration program at the Presidio is essential to the restoration and healthy maintenance of the Presidio’s remediation sites, the historic forest, natural areas and landscaped grounds.
Applying compost builds topsoil and re-introduces nutrients, moisture and beneficial micro-organisms to otherwise depleted soils. At the Presidio, this is especially important for the Presidio forest, where soils have been slowly depleted and require compost for reforestation.
The EPA award notes that this program “made significant contributions toward enhancing and protecting the quality of our environment.”
The award will be presented on Earth Day, April 22 at the EPA Office in San Francisco at a formal ceremony.