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Union Square Palm Trees Get New Presidio Address


Presidio of San Francisco (June 20, 2005) — Canary Island Date Palm trees that for decades swayed above Union Square before its dramatic redesign are getting new digs along the Presidio’s main visitor gateway, extending a landscape first seen in the former military post in the 1920s.

“The palms are beautiful and grand in size – about 30 to 50 feet tall -, much larger than what we originally had planned for,” said Michael Lamb, historic landscape architect with the Presidio Trust. “It is a wonderful synergy of events that we can rescue the palms from one signature San Francisco location and relocate them in another. Their presence will make a powerful impression as visitors enter the park’s ‘front door.'”

The trees, known as Phoenix canariensis, will line the Lombard Gateway along the park’s eastern border near Lucasfilm’s new digital campus. They are a highlight of an emerging park trail, known as the Presidio Promenade, which will link some of the Presidio’s most historic sites from the Lombard Gate to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Presidio Promenade is one of several new visitor trails and scenic overlooks being built as part of the Trails Forever initiative, which will nearly double the mileage of park hiking paths and bikeways in coming years. Just last month the new Immigrant Point Overlook featuring bay and ocean vistas was dedicated in an event featuring a naturalization ceremony.

“Palm trees were first planted near this area by the Army just after World War I,” said Lamb. “With this planting we will complete the vision of a striking Presidio gateway that is beautiful and pedestrian friendly. The Presidio Promenade trail will allow visitors to connect to the spirit of the Presidio’s past.”

The trees will be planted at the Presidio beginning on Tuesday, June 21.

Created by Congress in 1996, the Presidio Trust is charged with preserving the Presidio’s natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources while achieving financially self-sufficiency by 2013. Six presidential appointees and the Secretary of the Interior, or her designee, sit on the Board of Directors and oversee the management of 80 percent of the Presidio lands.

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Lisa Petrie

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