Look at any urban landscape in the Bay Area and the imprint of horticulture can be readily seen: plants bred to grow well in urban conditions, to require little maintenance, and to fulfill a design aesthetic. While these plants are a triumph of the success of plant propagation, they often have little connection to local ecosystems, and they do not necessarily yield the best support for native biodiversity. Combining the tools and expertise of ecology and horticulture into a new discipline of ecological horticulture (eco-horticulture) has the potential to provide functional, aesthetically pleasing urban landscapes that also benefit native biodiversity.
The Presidio of San Francisco—the nation’s largest urban national park—is located in an area of exceptional ecological diversity. The Presidio Trust, the federal agency that manages most of the park and is charged with its preservation and stewardship, is a leader in cutting edge urban conservation and restoration. Through its work in urban wildlife reintroduction, urban ecological restoration, and conservation of rare species, the Presidio is creating national models for how to reconcile biodiversity conservation with community priorities in a highly public and dense urban setting. This project will help the Presidio to extend these conservation efforts to landscaping around residential and commercially rented buildings by providing the guidance needed to design for ecologically supportive urban landscaped areas that draw from and are inspired by the unique habitats that once thrived in the region.
Programs and Focus Areas:
Resilient Landscapes Program