Final Narrative and Summary
1884 Illinois Street
San Francisco, Ca, 94124-1236
Tel & Fax: 415-821-9300
May 30, 2003
Special Programs Coordinator
Wildlife Habitat Council
8737 Colesville Rd. Suite 800
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Ref: Muwekma Ohlone Sanctuary Habitat Restoration and Environmental Education
Five Star Grant Number: 2001-40
The Muwekma Ohlone Sanctuary has been a unique project due to the unfortunate secondary effluent outfall pipe collapse that occurred in November of 2001, during the SF Muni Duct Banks Drilling Project, associated with the Third Street Light Rail Project (budget= $900 million)
As a result of the construction accident, the Park had to forfeit a local grant, MOCD (Mayor’s Office of Community Development) for the amount of $75,000, and nearly had to forfeit the 5 Star Challenge Grant, were it not for an unusual and generous grant extension implemented by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
As a result of this extension, the Park was able to implement both environmental education activities and habitat restoration, albeit, and to note that this implementation was complicated by the existing, and to date yet unfinished pipe repairs.
The day of the pipe collapse, SF Muni promised to be responsible for the restoration of the damaged habitat and the garden infrastructure. After a series of meetings that included the constituents, community, educational and youth groups all associated with the Park, the consensus was that Muni simply match the existing grants in progress, that would not be able to be implemented due to impending repairs by either matching funds, in kind services or in kind funds. That amount equaled the sum of the 5 Star and the MOCD grants, or $10,000 plus $65,000 = $75,000 total.
Muni claimed that they could not afford these habitat restoration costs of $75,000.
Therefore, the Park hired an environmental lawyer, Patrick Goggin on a pro bono basis to seek resolution. After many, many months of legal discourse and litigation, approximately 2 weeks ago, the law firm for the drilling contractors, (Proven Management) who have been deemed the responsible party for the pipe collapse, have made a final offer of $20,000 for all costs associated with the pipe collapse, including attorney fees, habitat and infrastructure restoration, grant funding losses, and 10 years of volunteer community work.
Despite these setbacks, the Park has implemented numerous stewardship days and more recently been working with local youth journalism groups whose focus is on environmental education and environmental racism.
Albeit that the past grant year(s) has been difficult, chaotic and complex, our local community and environmental education groups are determined to restore the Muwekma Ohlone Sanctuary, a unique riparian zone on Islais Creek in San Francisco, to the pristine conditions it once was, when the first people, the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe who once lived, fished and hunted here 200 years ago before the Europeans occupied these regions of the Americas, which interestingly, the Indians, call the “Old World!”
1. SF Conservation Day March 29, 2003
2. Wildlife photo documentation-created January 21, 2003
3. Duct Banks Update:
4. Herring Fishing at Islais Creek- 2002
5. Brazilian Capoera at Islais Creek-July 28, 2002 (not directly related)
6.Bike Rodeo at Islais Creek- July 27, 2002 (not directly related)
6. Youth in Action- May 4, 2002
7. Jet Grouting (Ducts Banks Drilling Project)- April 7, 2002
8. Youth in Action-March 2, 2002
9. Update Duct Banks- January 2002
10. Original Duct Bank Collapse- November 2001
11. Herring Fishing at Islais Creek- November 2001
12. Start of Duct Bank Drilling- November 2001
13. San Francicso League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG) November 2001
14. ER Taylor School- November 2001
15. Jeriamia O’Brien Naval Ship at Islais-October 2001
16. Ridge Trail Education Group- October 2001
17. Bugs and butterflies- August 2001
18. Flowers close up photos- July 2001
19. SF Conservation Corps Cleanup Day- July 9, 2001
20. Summer at Islais Creek- July 2001
21. SFCC Cleanup Day July 9, 2001
22. Sierra Club visit- July, 2001
23.California Academy of Sciences Visit- October 2001
23. A little magic- FUN
24. Miscellaneous Maps- all years
25. History of Islais Creek- all years
26. Documentation of grants for the Park- all years
During the past few years, the Muwekma Ohlone Sanctuary on Islais Creek has become one of the most popular destinations for the many environmental education groups that have participated in the habitat restoration and environmental education stewardship days. The youth that have worked at the Park have a unique affinity for the aspects of the inter tidal zones area, abundant with all the horrific critters like side stepping crabs, nightmarish pile worms, and a cornucopia of other invertebrates, and during these stewardship days , the youth have consistently demonstrated a maniacal infatuation with turning rocks, teasing each other, sharing their discoveries and tend to ask many questions, many of which I do not have the biological expertise to address.
For the upland areas, it has been the standard work, such as weed eradication, planting seedling, and trash abatement, including the same for the Tulare Pocket Park, as small space adjacent to the Park, owned by the Port of San Francisco.
Usually, during stewardship days, I present a history of the Ohlone tribes and descriptions of the Pipe Collapse. Very interesting is that the youth are very attentive during these discourses, which I attribute to the fact that many of the youth live in low income neighborhoods, most often devoid of any natural habitat, and most often they are subject to environmental diseases= (South East District of San Francisco = Bay View, etc…)
I have been told by the various organizations whom collaborate in stewardship days at the Park, that this is one of most popular destinations for their youth.
In light of the fact that District 10, or the Southeast sector of San Francisco is the last frontier of development in this city ( under an explosion of growth), and in light that all the heavy industry, power plants, sewage treatment, the Naval shipyard, 50 years of accumulated heavy industrial toxic waste sites, and the down wind air pollution of SF all are concentrated in this region, as well as this is historically the most educationally, environmentally, and vocationally abused sector of SF, with the highest rate of breast cancer rate in women over 40 in the US, as well as seriously high rates of childhood leukemia and asthma, and old age cancers, it is now critical that environmental education and habitat restoration and enhancement also be implemented on an explosive and exponentially expanding basis.
Within the next few weeks, we will be working with local and national media, at both mainstream and independent levels to address the issues of habitat restoration at the Park, and other community issues.
Despite all the bureaucratic and environmental setbacks associated with the Pipe Collapse and other neighborhoods in this sector, this community will continue to pursue all means to restore the habitat and continue environmental education projects and grants.
Our endeavors have been and will continue to be challenging beyond our means, and in inane competition with the more affluent neighborhoods of San Francisco, yet, it is our hope that soon humanity will recognize the critical importance of living in balance with the Great Mother.
David Erickson and Constituents