Ina Coolbrith Park in Russian Hill

Ina Coolbrith Park is a on a clay soil east facing hillside with beautiful views of Coit Tower, the San Francisco bay and the Oakland Bay bridge.

Design: SF Recreation and Parks Department

When started: Natives were planted approximately 2000

Neighborhood: Russian Hill neighborhood with North Beach transit access and sunny weather

Notable features: There is one San Francisco’s Coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia. This oak is a powerhouse at feeding and housing wildlife. It is good at holding its hill, as well as anchoring its ecosystem. Coast live oak is the keystone plant in San Francisco’s local oak woodland plant community.

Favorite plants – Coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia; California Buckeye (Aesculus californica); Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa); Ceanothus; Barberries; Manzanitas; Coyote Bush
(Baccharis pilularis); native salvias (may be mellifera and leucophylla); Bee Plant (Scrophularia californica); Yarrow (Achillea millefolium); Heuchera; Frangula californica; California Fuchsia
(Epilobium canum); Artemisias; Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum; Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Wildlife: Anna Hummingbirds, Dark Eyed Juncos; Scrub Jays; Cedar Waxwings; Wilson’s Warblers; Robins; kinglets; sapsuckers; hawks; bumblebees; lady beetles; Echo Azure, Anise Swallowtail, Umber Skipper, Red Admiral, West Coast Lady and Painted Lady butterflies.

Author’s note: Thank you to everyone on iNaturalist for taking pictures of wildlife and plants!

Favorite thing: Coast live oak and the variety of native plants have a year around bloom that support year around food and habitat for resident native wildlife species, as well as migrating
native species. Plus, the views are spectacular.

Biggest challenge: Convincing SFRPD and all SF city agencies to plant 100% native plants in all our parks to provide the local food web to feed our local and migrating wildlife

Advice for beginners? Best way to grow an oak is from an acorn. Acorns grow a long tap root their first year and pot bound roots don’t do as well.

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Susan Karasoff