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Revitalization of Tennessee Hollow Watershed Proposed

Presidio Trust released an Environmental Assessment for plans to enhance up to 28 acres



Presidio of San Francisco (August 27, 2007) — The Presidio Trust has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for plans to enhance up to 28-acres within the Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow Watershed. The proposal calls for creek and habitat restoration, new trails, an interpretive garden, reorganization and rehabilitation of playing fields, picnic areas and other visitor amenities. The project represents one phase in a broader effort to restore the Presidio’s largest watershed.

“At Tennessee Hollow we have a unique opportunity to restore a watershed from headwaters to bay” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “It will be a wonderful place for children to learn about history, nature and San Francisco’s creek system.”

Tennessee Hollow is the Presidio’s largest watershed, occupying 270 acres or roughly one fifth of the park. It was named after the first Tennessee Regiment, a group of volunteer soldiers who made camp there just before shipping out to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. The watershed later served as a temporary housing location for San Franciscans displaced by the 1906 earthquake. During an earlier time, the watershed and its creeks were an important resource for native peoples and colonial settlers. Today approximately half of the Presidio’s creek system is buried in storm drains or contained in concrete channels. Recent wildlife surveys indicate that small pockets of remnant habitat within Tennessee Hollow are ecologically rich and diverse.

“Riparian forest, like that present in Tennessee Hollow, has been eliminated or extensively degraded around the Bay Area,” said Beth Huning of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, a public-private partnership dedicated to the protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. “This project represents a unique opportunity to restore scarce and highly valuable riparian habitat in an urbanized area. The project’s proximity to the Crissy Field saltwater marsh and the Bay contributes to regional efforts to establish a diverse mosaic of habitat along the edge of one of our nation’s most biologically significant estuaries.”

The Trust invites public comment on the project and EA through October 9, 2007. Self-guided and guided hiking tours of the watershed are available. The Trust will host a public meeting to accept comments on the EA on October 2, 2007.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1994 to manage the Presidio of San Francisco, a former army base located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains the infrastructure of a small city as well as expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District, making it unlike any other national park. In establishing the Trust, Congress mandated that it make the park financially self-sufficient by 2013. The Trust is the only federal agency with this mandate.

Media Contacts

Lisa Petrie

Presidio Trust

(415) 264-7787