Glen Canyon Park is a hidden gem of San Francisco quietly nested just off the 280 freeway, a couple blocks from Glen Park BART station. On Saturday, September 15, 2012, a few hardy volunteers from the SF Green Business Program and the local Friends of Glen Canyon Park trekked their way into the vast forested space tucked away in this urban city. One side of the trail is flanked by massive, tall trees; giants reaching into the sky. The other side flanked by solid bluffs of rock where some visitors take rock climbing excursions.
The volunteers made their way across the foot bridge to find themselves in an open grassy wetlands. The activity of the day was to cut back the encroaching willow so that this rare and vibrant habitat could be sustained.
With jagged saws, tree loppers, determination, and brute strength, the volunteers tromped straight into the wilderness off the beaten path. The willow tree is a very important tree in the wetland ecosystem but it is very resilient and has an adaptation of resprouting from cuttings that have contact with moist soil. Volunteers cut and sawed, cut and sawed, and then sawed some more.
By the end of the volunteer event, the open grassy area was maintained by the hardwork of all who participated. They were sweaty, tired, scratached, and sore but the volunteers discovered many things. Besides an old cat skull, the volunteers found a hidden oasis in the middle of the city. A place where if you walk far enough into the wilderness, the sounds of traffic and urban life fade away, the hurried pace slows, and there is nature all around to be appreciated.