SCA Find Your Park Volunteers Conclude the Centennial Year with Service on the Bay Area Ridge Trail
In honor of Veterans Day, SCA brought together hundreds of volunteers in the Bay Area for a Find Your Park Day of Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, planting 1400 native plants along a critical section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Milagra Ridge, a haven of green overlooking the urban development of Pacifica, California, has a long connection with military service. The ridge served as a military defense during World War II and as a Nike Missile Site in the 1950s, but was returned to open space in the 1980s. Since then, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has worked to restore the site as a connector in the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and as a haven for endangered species such as the Mission Blue Butterﬂy and California Red-Legged Frog that call the ridge home.
On November 19th, despite wind and rain, 275 volunteers gathered on the ridge to take part in a massive planting that will help to ensure that the site continues to thrive as an ecosystem corridor. Participants donned ponchos and headed up the slopes to plant native shrubs and grasses that will beautify the trail, keep back erosion, and provide habitat for native species.
More than 200 of the day’s volunteers were visiting Milagra Ridge for the first time. “This just isn’t something you get to do every day,” said volunteer Otelima Abraham, who lives in San Francisco and had never visited Pacifica. “I don’t mind traveling a long way when I get to do something important with good people.”
Also among the day’s participants were SCA Alumni Council members who had traveled from the East Coast to take part in the event. “I grew up in the East Bay,” said Council member Daniel Dryburgh, who now lives, works, and volunteers with SCA in New York City. “So it’s pretty great to come full-circle and have this opportunity to see SCA volunteers in action on the other side of the country.”
Sue Gardner, Director of the Park Stewardship Program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, was impressed at the high turnout of volunteers on such a rainy day. She spoke of the importance of coming together as a community to serve.
This event was the conclusion of SCA’s 2016 Find Your Park Day of Service events celebrating the NPS Centennial — during which Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy have been critical partners. “We are so grateful to the Conservancy for their continued partnership,” said Kara Conner, SCA Bay Area Events Manager. “We look forward to working with the Conservancy and their amazing staff team on many more projects in the future.”
Special thanks to American Express, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, and all our community partners who joined us in service:
AGS Honor Society, Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honor Society, CCSF, City College of San Francisco: Bio 100A, Dockers Khakis, El Camino High School, Gay For Good, Oceana High School, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department Youth Stewardship Program, San Leandro High School DECA, SCA San Mateo School Year Team, Town of Colma: Teen Activity Group, West Monroe Partners, Westmoor’s Red Cross Club
See more pics from the planting at Milagra Ridge.
Stay tuned at www.thesca.org/events for updates on SCA’s next ConSERVE Bay Area event to honor MLK Day on January 14th.