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Address : University of California berkeley, United States
Celebration date : 15 Monday September 2008
Author name : Berry, William

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  • Article title : Rehabilitation of Tennessee Hollow watershed: preservation of a heritage
    Article type : Tectonic & Seismotectonic
    Location : International Geological Congress,oslo 2008

    Fulltext :

    The Tennessee Hollow watershed in the Presidio of San Francisco has a unique cultural history. El Polin springs is the primary source of water for the major stream in the watershed. Native Americans inhabited land around the spring long before outsiders came to the area. Mexican soldiers occupied the site in the late 1700s. Soldiers from Spain replaced them. The Spanish soldiers brought their families with them and developed a small settlement. Remnants of stone buildings constructed by the Spanish as well as numerous relics of Spanish family life in the area are being unearthed slowly. The US Army replaced the Spanish army and used the Tennessee Hollow watershed essentially as a waste depository, covering over the record of Spanish settlement. San Francisco citizens inhabited part of the watershed for temporary housing following the 1906 earthquake. Not only did the US Army create landfills along parts of the streams in the watershed, but also they filled in marshlands and wetlands and culverted portions of the stream channel. The National Park Service took over management of the Presidio in 1994 and set a goal of rehabilitating many of the areas degraded by the Army. A collaboration among community members, students from the University of California and from a local high school, professionals from a small NGO, and National Park Service staff examined the watershed and planned its rehabilitation.. As part of the planning process, students conducted benthic macroinvertebrate surveys and water quality analyses along many sections of the main stream in the watershed. Air quality analyses of portions of the watershed were carried out as well. Riparian vegetation surveys, primarily by students in coursework exercises, revealed an almost virtual takeover of native vegetation by non-natives. Groups of high school and university students studied the geological features of the watershed and suggested renewal of the alluvial fans and adjacent wetlands as well as daylighting much of the main stream that lay in culverts. Results of student studies coupled with those of professionals were discussed with park officials. Following from these discussions, a decision was made to make restoration of the Tennessee Hollow watershed a primary objective. One result of this decision has been excavation of a former army landfill to expose a significant portion ,of the creek and to rehabilitate its banks with appropriate riparian vegetation. To date, this project is seen as one step toward rehabilitation of the watershed using environmental science projects that incorporate education of local students as elements in the effort.

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