One of the really exciting things about wetlands restoration is how quickly nature responds to a little care and love. Many wetland plants are easy to grow – all they need is water. If there are any frogs and insects around they find the water and the breeding starts. In not too long a time, a thriving community gets going.
Crocker Industrial Park, in Brisbane, California, was built on top a former freshwater marsh, where the interior slopes of U-shaped San Bruno Mountain form a watershed to San Francisco Bay. This is a great place to restore wetlands, right in the heart of the Bay Area.
The mountain itself is just south of San Francisco, 2700 acres that were miraculously spared from the intense development on the San Francisco peninsula. Within the species rich San Francisco Bay Area, San Bruno Mountain serves as a gene bank for the many, mostly plant and insect species that were nearly wiped out through habitat loss.
A remnant creek along side a warehouse in Crocker Park, like the rest of the mountain, contained many locally threatened species. San Bruno Mountain Watch, EarthCare, and the City of Brisbane teamed up to bring the creek back from the brink. EarthCare volunteers cared for and protected the wetlands from random weed whacking by landscaping crews, and the frogs and dragonflies began to thrive along with the native wetland plants. Mosquitoes, formerly a problem, virtually disappeared. The little wetlands became a favorite place to stop a moment along an exercise path through the industrial park. Children came to view the tadpoles, birds, and flowers.
Will these wetlands survive? The landowner, formerly in favor of the project, now wants to fill it in. This is only one of the issues that San Bruno Mountain Watch, a small non-profit with the BIG job of protecting 2700 acres of rare and endangered plants and animals in the middle of urban sprawl, faces on a daily basis. Check out our website. Come for a hike. Stay to help us preserve this important place in the heart of the San Francisco Peninsula.