Shaping San Francisco hosts Public Talks on a variety of topics on Wednesday nights, about 18 times a year. One recurrent theme has been Ecology and urban nature. Here are the Talks we held at CounterPULSE at 1310 Mission Street in 2008 and 2009.
Recorded a month before the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Tom Athanasiou of Eco-Equity, Jon Christensen professor at Stanford University, Dan Gluesenkamp Director of Habitat Restoration at Audubon Canyon Ranch, and Laura Castellini of GGNRA and Nature in the City take on some of the key conversation topics of COP15.What is going to be accomplished by "cap-and-trade?" How is global warming being co-opted by corporate power? How are the effects of climate change already appearing in the planet's and the Bay Area's ecosystems? What is the relationship between climate change and ecological restoration?
The City and Lennar Corporation are promulgating a redevelopment plan, but what about ecology, wildlife and the human community? A report by ArcEcology illustrating new and exciting alternatives for the Bayview-Hunter's Point Redevelopment is covered. How is Candlestick Point State Recreation Area affected? Isn't Bayview-Hunter's Point entitled to its own reclaimed “Crissy Field”? How can (re)development benefit the current residents and be driven by their needs and wants? Saul Bloom of ARCEcology answers these questions and more. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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Amidst a general enthusiasm and push for a “new Green economy” Jason Mark (Building the Green Economy and Alemany Farm), Mary Rick (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), and Chris Carlsson (Nowtopia and co-director of Shaping San Francisco) take a look at both the kinds of work that get labeled green, and how the logic of capitalism impedes a deeper ecological transformation.
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K. Ruby of the Institute of Urban Homesteading, Novella Carpenter of Ghost Town Farm, Laura Allen of Greywater Guerrillas, and Kevin Bayuk from the SF Permaculture Guild give a how-to on redesigning and getting off the grid. These permaculture practitioners present step-by-step recommendations for the next six months, for 1 year and 3-5 year transitions to self-sufficiency for urban dwellers. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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Doug Kern, of the Urban Watershed Project and Presidio Restoration Advisory Board focuses on the former military bases at the Presidio and Hunter’s Point as examples of unremediated superfund sites in the City. He addresses the known toxins in the City’s ground and what the City and its residents are doing to ameliorate these timebombs. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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Learn about the “Colony Collapse Disorder” afflicting commercial beekeepers and the threat to agribusiness, in juxtaposition to the dozens of native bees flourishing in California’s urban environments, which reinforce local biodiversity and provide another important link to growing our own food in cities. Local beekeepers K. Ruby and Philip Gerrie share their expertise and experiences. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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Dan Murphy of the Golden Gate Audubon Society and David Behar of the SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) contemplate the future of Lake Merced, the largest coastal lagoon between Point Reyes and Pescadero, and an incomparable natural resource for San Francisco. The SFPUC, as owner of the land and water, has undertaken a community watershed planning process in order to articulate a bold vision for the future of the lake and its environs. In addition to restoring native plant communities and wildlife habitat, the SFPUC wants to activate the lake for more and exciting natural resources-compatible recreation. The process is not without controversy, since the Pacific Rod and Gun Club leases a substantial portion of lakefront property and has done so for many decades. Nature enthusiasts generally prefer increased access to that site, not only for ecological restoration, but also for more diverse lake-dependent uses by the public. Learn about a proposed preserve for the protection of wildlife and threatened and endangered species. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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Nature in this City is buried under roads, emerging when we rip up concrete street by street. Planting for wildlife habitat, stormwater management, and water resource conservation is a critical part of creating a new urban ecological experience. Tom Radulovich of Livable City, Amber Hasselbring of Mission Greenway, and Jane Martin of Plant SF discuss the various ways they are reimagining and redesigning San Francisco. Co-presented by Nature in the City
Alan Hopkins of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, Patrick Rump of Literacy for Environmental Justice, and Claude Everhart with Friends of Candlestick introduce you to San Francisco's California State Park at Candlestick, an urban shoreline park built on landfill and trash, a product of a deliberate community-driven process that chose open space and natural qualities over the usual city-style parks and recreation facilities. It is used by bird watchers, picnickers, and fisherman, home to many returning species of birds and wildlife, and is being ecologically transformed for the benefit of the Bayview community and local critters. Co-presented by Nature in the City
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February 27, 2008</span>
San Francisco's Imperiled and Surviving Birds
The Spanish explorers reported a deafening din from the millions of birds that would ascend into the air from the bayside, saying, “The birds filled the skies.” Most historic wetlands and riparian areas have been destroyed or severely altered, but San Francisco remains a birdwatcher’s bonanza. 250 species can be seen in the City throughout the year! In the Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow and Crissy Marsh we see what is severely imperiled, and what is possible for the future of ecological restoration of wildlife habitat. With Josiah Clark, Matt Zlatunich, and Arthur Feinstein. Co-presented by Nature in the City.
January 30, 2008</span>
Endangered Species Big Year
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area sustains more federally threatened and endangered species than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks combined. The San Francisco Bay Area is considered the 6th most important biological diversity hotspot in the United States by the Nature Conservancy. UNESCO has even granted the GGNRA “Biosphere Reserve” status, the same status granted to the Central Amazon rainforests. Learn from Brent Plater and Peter Brastow about the amazing biodiversity in your own backyard as highlighted in the coming Endangered Species Big Year! Co-presented by Nature in the City.
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