Park Aid Station Garden Tour

Park Emergency Aid Station
811 Stanyan Street

Built in 1902, the Park Emergency Aid Station served as a Department of Public Health emergency hospital from 1902 until 1978. It continued as an ambulance station until 1991, then as a construction office for Golden Gate Park Bond infrastructure projects. It is now a designated landmark and serves as Recreation and Park Department offices for the Natural Resources Division.

Curbed San Francisco says, “The building was constructed by park employees and was the first publicly funded service of its kind in the country – at that time it was pretty revolutionary to have city medical services out in the neighborhoods where people lived and offer ambulance services, instead of having to schlep down to City Hall.”

While the employees in the building no longer heal people, they’re quite dedicated to healing the wild. The Natural Resources Division manages more than 1,100 acres in 32 parks or portions of parks, including most of the undeveloped portions of Twin Peaks, Lake Merced, and Glen Canyon Park. With over 500 local indigenous plants to choose from, the crew of gardeners had no problem assembling a lovely, biodiverse garden. Perhaps someday, the garden will be featured in a Hollywood movie, just like the Park Aid Station has been in the past.

Featured plants
Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana), sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus), blue blossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus), coffeeberry (Frangula californica), coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), wild cucumber (Marah fabacea), coast buckwheat (Eriogonum latifolium), bee plant (Scrophularia californica), Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus).