Plant Trees SF Events 2008 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024


1.   Job opportunity--Native Plant Nursery Manager
2.   Mushroom walk December 19
3.   Endangered Species Big Year wind-up:  field trips Dec 18 and 19
4.   Garber Park Stewards One-Year Anniversary Celebration Dec 18
5.   White-crowned sparrow habitat work party Saturday 18
6.   Using Waste, Swedish City Cuts Its Fossil Fuel Use
7.   Literacy for Environmental Justice wins US EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award
8.   Demo projects promise a healthier future for Bay Area watershed/What's in your watershed?  Snowy Plover
9.   Limits:  We have three choices:  Mitigation, adaptation, and suffering.  What will we choose?
10. "Madam Speaker, this asteroid alarmism is the biggest hoax ever" - cartoon
11. The world without us
12. SF Port's waterfront improvement projects include public art.  Want to participate?
13. KPFA transmitter site volunteer heroes, and a peek at results
14. The "gift" that keeps on giving: globalization/urban violence spreads to wildlands
15. Why do smarter people live longer?/How to stop a hurricane
16. Documentary films and videos for, by, and about First Nations people
17. Save The Frogs poetry contest winners
18. Feedback:  Apologies to Michael Krasny/Wikileaks
19. Now showing in early evening sky:  Castor and Pollux - and more than you would expect
20. Don't even think of parking illegally in England - with photographic proof
21. Notes & Queries

1.  Job opportunity - Native Plant Nursery Manager with Save The Bay
Mushroom walk with Bill Freedman
Sunday, December 19, 10 - 12:30
Meet at the San Bruno Mountain Watch Office
44 Visitacion Ave. Suite 206, Brisbane

$10 for adults.  Space is limited -- so RSVP!

Visit for details.  Sign up at or call 415-467-6631


Saturday, December 18, 2010, 10:00 am-12:00 pm: Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for two of the most imperiled vertebrate species on the San Francisco peninsula: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. This will be a leisurely walk to enjoy the restoration work being conducted at Mori Point and to learn about the bold steps being taken to save both species from the brink of extinction. RSVP required: RSVP within in the trip info on the website calendar: Rain or Shine. Meet at the Mori Point Entrance Gate, at the intersection of Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, Pacifica, CA, 94044. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competitive event to help endangered species recover.

Sunday, December 19, 2010, 9:30am-12:30pm: Bring the 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year to a close with a short bike ride to observe some of the imperiled plants and animals clinging to survival in San Francisco’s wild northwestern corner. We’ll start off with some tough ones, searching for Humpback Whale, Steller Sea Lion, Southern Sea Otters, and Marbled Murrelet at Lands End. We’ll then ride through the Presidio to discover the San Francisco Lessingia and the strange story of the Gowen Cypress. Our last stop will be at the Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area, where we’ll check in on the Western Snowy Plover. RSVP Required: RSVP within the trip info: Bring food and water. Meet at the Bazaar Cafe, 5927 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competitive event to help endangered species recover.


4.  Garber Park Stewards - One Year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, December 18, 10-12

Meet at the Evergreen Lane Entrance at 10AM, enjoy some coffee and snacks, and then be ready to walk the Loop Trail. We will share our achievements of the past year as well as our goals for next year.  For those who can’t resist a little hands-on restoration we have identified several places where you are welcome to join Bob and others in Cape ivy, French broom, and Himalayan blackberry removal.    

December 18 is a special day.  It was one year ago that the Garber Park Stewards held their first work day in Garber Park.  On that day we tackled the Cape ivy that blanketed the slope at the Evergreen Lane entrance.  That slope is now ready for restoration planting, which we hope to begin in February. 

Throughout the year we have held twice monthly workdays,  partnered with Claremont Canyon Conservancy and the City of Oakland for Earth Day, Creek to Bay Day and a July Stewardship Week.  With your help we have removed over 100 cubic yards of dead wood debris, and made significant progress in turning back the tide of invasives such as Cape ivy,  French broom, and Himalayan blackberries that blanket the hillsides in Garber Park.  We are always energized at the end of the work day when we can see our progress, and are particularly inspired to continue our work when we see new natives such as buckeyes, ferns, and bee plants emerging in the oak woodland understory. 

What’s ahead for Garber Park?  Plant our restoration site; continue seek and destroy missions to clear the fire prone invasives such as French broom, Cape ivy, and Himalayan blackberry; trail improvements; participating in Earth Day and Creek to Bay Day, as well as work with the City Of Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District towards a project in Garber Park.

Whether you are one of the many who walk your dog through the park, search for mushrooms, or just enjoy the quiet tranquility of this hidden gem in our hills, we invite your participation and welcome your help.  Please join us on December 18.

Directions: From Alvarado Rd, take Slater Lane, then turn right on Evergreen Ln. The entrance is at the end of the street.  This is in easy walking distance from Alvarado Road.  Directions to Garber Park can also be found at

Wear: long sleeves and pants and sturdy shoes

Questions? Contact Shelagh Brodersen at 510-540-1918 or by email:


5.  White-crowned sparrow habitat in Golden Gate Park - this Saturday, the 18th

White-Crowned Sparrow Habitat in Golden Gate Park - Help increase habitat for the Nutall's White Crowned Sparrow and other songbirds in Golden Gate Park!  3rd SATURDAYS, 9am - 12 pm.
Using Waste, Swedish City Cuts Its Fossil Fuel Use
New York Times
December 10, 2010

KRISTIANSTAD, Sweden - When this city vowed a decade ago to wean itself from fossil fuels, it was a lofty aspiration, like zero deaths from traffic accidents or the elimination of childhood obesity.

But Kristianstad has already crossed a crucial threshold: the city and surrounding county, with a population of 80,000, essentially use no oil, natural gas or coal to heat homes and businesses, even during the long frigid winters. It is a complete reversal from 20 years ago, when all of their heat came from fossil fuels....(excerpt)


7.  December 15, 2010 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency announced this morning that Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), a community-based environmental education organization in Bayview Hunters Point, is a recipient of a 2010 US EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award.  This award, given annually to landmark projects that connect environmental sustainability and social equity, recognizes LEJ’s EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, the first environmental justice education facility in the Bay Area and San Francisco's first 100% “off-grid” building, modeling solar power and alternative wastewater technologies. 


8.  From The Watershed Project

Saving and Sinking the Rain
Demo Projects Promise a Healthier Future for Bay Area Watersheds

Imagine looking down at the Bay Area from a bird's eye view. How have our homes, offices, parking lots, and other built structures shaped the ecology of the land? The ever-growing swaths of impervious surfaces are effectively altering the environment in unexpected ways.

Read more

What's in Your Watershed?
The Western Snowy Plover

Every winter, California plays host to a species of shorebird with a name reminiscent of the season - the Western snowy plover. While these charismatic birds may not come with a wreath around their necks or shiny red noses, their distinctive black facial markings distinguish them from the other snowball-like sandpipers on the beach.

Read More

“If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy it will in the end not produce food, either.”  Joseph Wood Krutch

9.  Limits

...When millions of people might be worried about whether water will flow from their taps, things like the stewardship of soil surfaces, or the health of mountain beaver populations, will seem like irrelevant issues.  That is why I believe one of the prime tasks of conservationists going forward will be to explain the complex interactions between seemingly unrelated things.  In a densely populated, hotter world many of our old understandings about how things work will need revision.  For example, we will need to accurately understand how our choices about energy sources and energy efficiency affect our daily lives.  We will need to know where our food comes from and why that matters.  And we will need to blend the best of what modern science can teach us with the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people, who have experienced mega-drought in the past and come through the knothole alive, with deep respect for the limits imposed by the land and climate.

My thinking about the gap between the stories we tell ourselves and the external reality was enriched when I read David Owen's profile of Saul Griffith in the New Yorker this spring.  Griffith is one of the most prolific inventors in the world and also an environmental activist who long dedicated his prodigious creativity to breakthroughs in energy technology.  After making advances in things like solar roadways and airborne wind turbines, Griffith calculated that the energy embedded in the materials, construction, and operation of any of these renewable technologies exceeded what they could reasonably generate during their lifetimes.  He understood the sobering fact that we cannot build a sustainable future, which is to say a future at all, on technological ingenuity alone.  We will have to change our behavior to allow seven or eight billion people to live agreeably on this finite planet.  As national science advisor John Holdren said, "We basically have three choices:  Mitigation, adaptation, and suffering.  We're going to do some of each.  The question is what the mix is going to be.  The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be."

Excerpt from letter by executive director Bill Hedden of Grand Canyon Trust


"Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends."

"Evolution is only a theory like, um, gravity."



Alan Weisman's book, The World Without Us, grew out of two questions, he said.  One was, "How can I write a best-seller about the environment?"  The answer to that was the second question: "How would the rest of nature behave without the constant pressure we put on it?" 

12.  A component of the San Francisco Port's waterfront park improvement projects is the incorporation of public art into the projects.  In particular,  public art has been identified as an opportunity within the Blue Greenway improvement projects. The Port will be coordinating this effort with the Arts Commission and may draw from a pre-qualified pool of artist for some of its projects. If you have an interest in being on the Art's Commission pre-qualified pool, please view the link below; the pre-qualified pool will be for the 2011/12 years, the details of which are in the below link..

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact: Zoë Taleporos,
Public Art Program Associate at (415) 252-3215 or by email at

13.  Two environmental heroes of the Bay Area are KPFA transmitter-site volunteers, Robert MacConnell and Bob Nelson.  Their contributions are too many for me to cite here, and needs an article by itself.  For the moment, suffice it to say that for many years, among other things, they have been warring on the invasive plants infesting the site--a fact that alone deserves the word 'heroic'--encouraging the return or enhancement of the native plants, which in turn greatly improves the habitat value for our native animals.  

I paste here a paragraph from one of their reports to friends and volunteers.

While uprooting and cutting French broom on the southern slopes I began to notice the LARGE quantity of California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) populating those rocky cliffs!  This brings to mind Kay Loughman's recent Berkeley Times article.  She includes the image of a Rufous-crowned Sparrow and notes that they can be seen by the observant bird watcher on steep, rocky slopes in the Claremont Canyon...  I'll be keeping a sharp eye peeled for these special critters, because it seems that the habitat on the southern slopes of the transmitter site is just what they like!  Kay noted in a separate e-mail message to me that the Rufous-crowned Sparrows like the same California sagebrush shrubs that cover the transmitter site's southern slopes... 


14.  Another contribution from the gift that keeps on giving--globalization

Bugs, beetles and borers put U.S. forests at risk – Washington Post
     Global transportation systems have carried invasive bugs worldwide, and they’re spreading across the United States.


In the wild, a big threat to rangers: Humans – New York Times
     As more and more people live in proximity to wildlands, urban violence becomes a fact of life for wildlife officers.


15.  SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND: Old and Wise: Why Do Smarter People Live Longer?
Bees help to explain the link between intelligence and long life

Scientific American GUEST BLOG: How to stop a hurricane (good luck, by the way)
Despite a tech mogul’s proclivity to bet on a solution, we know very little about how to stop a hurricane, although there are many quirky options on the table

(Good luck, indeed.  I haven't read this blog item, but I would advise the blogger, before setting out to stop a hurricane, to read up on chaos theory, and how that hurricane in South Carolina was started by a butterfly in Japan.  And how many Cray supercomputers does he have?  JS)

Behind eddies and vortices lies the phenomenon of turbulence – one of the last great scientific problems of the modern age.  The great quantum theorist Werner Heisenberg said:  “I will have two questions for God on my death bed:  why relativity, and why turbulence?  I really think he may have an answer to the first question.”  Quoted in Guardian Weekly May 07

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.    Werner Heisenberg (1958)


16.  FIRST NATIONS FILMS   distributes and creates award-winning television Aboriginal documentary films and videos for, by and about First Nations people. Our exclusive native programs are shared with schools, universities, libraries, organizations and other groups and institutions throughout the world.  Buy online at the website.     


Congratulations to Ushree Sen Gupta of Kolkata, India, winner of the 18+ age group for his poem "Apparent".


Frogs. Apparently ugly,
Man. Apparently beautiful,
Frog. Sacrifice lives on biology trays,
Man. Learns science. Discovers.
Ugly Frog, Beautiful Man.
Science tree spreads out..
Root absorbs so many lives..
Laughs the ugly frog.

Congratulations to 10 year old Alisha Patel of Santa Cruz California, winner of the Under 13 age group, for her poem "A World Without Frogs".

A World Without Frogs

The mosquitoes have invaded,
the frogs have faded,
frogs are disappearing,
How I am fearing.
The frogs are gone,
There's no more croak or song.
Because of global warming,
The flies are swarming,
We need to change the thermometer,
It goes up and down like a barometer.
Frogs live in ponds they make lots of noise,
They bring me loads and loads of joys.
We love the frogs and now you should too,
So save them and don't put them in the zoo!


18.  Feedback

Elise Bodtke (re 8.   Michael Krasny's Spiritual Envy:  An Agnostic's Quest/can faith slow climate change?):
> Interesting.  I've never heard Krasny say that he thinks that faith can influence climate change and I do listen to his programs and interviews about his book.  I guess it just hadn't come up in what I heard.  Haven't read the book.
Elise:  That was the TOC, in which I elided several things together.  But the item itself does not imply a connection between that nutty idea and Krasny.
> I accept that you didn't intend to link the two just because they were on the same line.  But people differ.  If I wrote the same thing I'd be  implying a connection, particularly when both subjects are about the same thing:  religion.
Ooooooh.  Another difficulty to look out for.  I'm sorry if I gave anyone the idea that Michael Krasny would harbor such childish notions--and apologies to him if I gave that impression.

Ironically, I do spend a lot of time mulling over how items will be understood by readers.  I still think the item itself doesn't imply a connection, but I can see that the TOC might.  So thanks for bringing it to my attention.

> What is your opinion of Julian Assange & Wikileaks latest document dump?
Piecing together what information has been given us, I favor the conventional view that there isn't much new here, and, given that leaks can't be stopped, we just have to get used to them as being part of the scene.  Wiki isn't the only one, and others can replace Wiki even if Assange is convicted--which would be a silly thing for us to press; it will only make us look amateurish.  Am I missing anything?  
> Probably not. A couple of (possibly soon to be ex-) friends have declared "High Treason" and "Off with his head". A very good friend, ex-State Department diplomat and UN elections rep feels that he's not just a conduit of information that someone else stole, but someone who actively sought out information that would embarrass the US.
If your friends are serious in their opinions, it's possible you may be better off without them.  But I judge too harshly.  They are probably young-ish and haven't been around long enough to know that this kind of stuff has been going on for thousands of years; only the technology changes.  As long as no one is hurt (I assume they weren't; haven't heard of such), I see this as positive.  Transparency uber alles.  (I may be speaking too soon, as there will be fallout that may change my opinion.)

Contents of wikileaks is third-level stuff, not within light-years of treason.  To boot, as you state, it was filtered through responsible media like NYT and The Guardian.  When in doubt, opt for transparency.  People and governments recover from embarrassment.  Secrecy may lead to a situation that becomes terminal.

“Transparency, sunlight, fresh air, is the best disinfectant. “        Louis Brandeis, 1914


19.  Castor and Pollux

These two stars, that signify the constellation Gemini the Twins, are directly overhead in early evening this time of year.  They are well-known to anyone with even a casual interest in the sky.  Which of the Twins gets the most attention from backyard observers?  The dimmer one, Castor.  That’s because Castor is a spectacular double star (but, from this distance, appearing as a single star), or so it was thought until a third, dim star was found orbiting these two.  But wait, there’s more.  Each of these three components also has another star orbiting it—making six stars total, but appearing to the naked eye as a single star—so Castor seems to be the more distinctive of the twins.

But move over, Castor.  In 2006 researchers presented strong evidence that Pollux harbors an exoplanet—the first such clear identification of a world orbiting one of the sky’s brightest luminaries.  The planet is orbiting Pollux at about the distance of Mars from our Sun.  While Castor is white, Pollux has an orange tint, one indication that it is in the early stages of swelling up into a red giant, which is what most stars eventually do as they depart the astronomical Main Sequence.  The Sun will start to become a red giant in about five billion years, swelling up and engulfing the Earth and Mars, vaporizing us.

Adapted and augmented from a column in Sky & Telescope by Fred Schaaf, March 2007


20.  Don't even think of parking illegally in England ---


21.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

How high can the highest-flying bird fly?

• The Andean condor: 5,500 metres. Any advance?

Philip Stigger, Burnaby, BC, Canada

• Not much higher than 3,000 metres above sea level, after which it needs to carry an oxygen cylinder because of decreasing oxygen tension at that altitude, as any military flyer will tell you.

Ted Nye, Dunedin, New Zealand

• As high as a kite.

Leon Gillam, Vaucluse, NSW, Australia

• The highest-flying bird ever recorded was a Ruppell's griffon, a vulture with a wingspan of about three metres. On 29 November 1975, a Ruppell's griffon was sucked into a jet engine 11,500 metres above Ivory Coast – almost 2.5km higher than the summit of Mount Everest. The plane was damaged, though it landed safely, according to the Audubon Society. No word on the bird...

James Carroll, Geneva, Switzerland

• Ask Cher.

Steve Thomas, Yarralumla, ACT, Australia

A horse's head in your bed

Which entertainers or singers owe their success to having the right connections?

The rock band Jefferson Switchboard.

Robert Blanchett, Melbourne, Australia

• Manhattan Transfer.

Ian Carter, Mount Eden, New Zealand

• The Electric Light Orchestra.

Paul Brown, Sydney, Australia

• As the Godfather graphically revealed, Frank Sinatra would not have made it in Las Vegas without his Cosa Nostra connections.

John Graham, Hoogstraten, Belgium
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