"All good things are wild and free." --Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 9, 2012


Herb Garden of the Visitacion Valley Greenway

Have you ever heard of the Visitacion Valley Greenway? Many people haven’t heard of it, or visited Vis Valley, but don’t worry, the Greenway is like a secret gem within a pretty cool neighborhood. Over a decade ago some neighbors rallied together and created six gardens in empty lots owned by the city, set in a checkerboard pattern of city blocks. We’ll walk the route through them for pleasure, exercise, and the chance to hang out with some like-minded individuals who probably also happen to have kids.

Sunday July 15th, from 10-12. I’ll be at Hans Schiller Plaza by 9:45 am, on Leland Avenue (b/t Rutland and Alpha).  We start walking at 10:15. (If you need coffee and a bathroom before, Eat Drink and Play CafĂ© is a few blocks down the street) 

The Greenway starts flat and is full of blooming flowers this time of year. (Talk about lovely!) Hummingbirds are frequent, as are crows and scrub jays. At the Herb Garden, there’s a staircase, but you can still manage with a stroller (I have on numerous occasions, and am happy to help anyone carry things). The rest is gently uphill, and toddlers will set the pace. 

We’ll wander through Hans Schiller Plaza, Community Garden, Herb Garden, Children’s Play Garden (with a break for swings, sliding, and snacking), the Agriculture Garden, and the Native Plant Garden.

My hope is to picnic in the Children’s Play Garden on the way back down, but break anytime, and do try to make it to the Native Plant Garden for the view (and the biggest amount of lupine I’ve ever seen). It’s usually pretty sunny in this neighborhood, but don’t be discouraged if its overcast—the fog makes incredible patterns coming over San Bruno Mountain and down Geneva Avenue, which we can see.

Fran Martin and Jim Growden of the Greenway will be joining us to talk with anyone about design, landscaping, and more. Possibly someone from Nature in the City will also come along.

Optional: Anyone who wants a gung-ho five-star workout-style hike should go two blocks over from the Native Plant Garden to McLaren Park (there’s a trail starting at the intersection of Wilde and Ervine Streets that’ll give you four or five more miles, at least, of new sights in a great setting).

Plenty of free parking since it’s Sunday, and lots of public transportation within a block or two (Cal Train, T Third Street, 8AX/8BX Bayshore Express, 9 San Bruno, 56 Rutland)
Vis Valley Greenway

Hill Babies Group Hikes in 2012
1.     May—McLaren Park’s southern slope
2.     June—Bayview Hill
3.     July—Visitacion Valley Greenway
4.     August—Rock City on Mount Diablo
5.     September—?

Possible Future Hikes
Glen Canyon, Mt. Davidson, Lands End, Heron’s Head, Grandview Park (on the Green Hairstreak Butterfly corridor), Sign Hill in SSF, Russian Ridge, Rock City on Mt. Diablo! Basically SF and close by. Everyone is welcome.

Looking out from the Native Plant Garden