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the wild and serene places of San Francisco's
John McLaren Park

McLaren Park News

McLaren Park, like all natural areas, never sleeps. Something is always going on: an event, maintenance, the arrival of new species, photo exhibits showcasing the park's natural beauty. check out these happenings, watch the videos and slideshows and marvel at the jewel that exists among us.

RPD Drains the Upper Reservoir
Neighbors Rush to Save the Pond's Wildlife

Slideshow: Click on picture
to enlarge, click again to shrink.
  • A young turtle caught in the mud.
  • Fish retreat to the center of the pond trying to stay alive.
  • Buckets of water are used to collect the fish.
  • Fish retreat to the center of the pond trying to stay alive.
  • Many fish are trapped with no place to go.
  • Inevitably, the fish drown in the air and mud.
  • Melanie rescues a large carp.
  • Some of the trash - tennis balls, frisbees, more - pulled from the bottom of the pond.

On Tuesday, November 19, RPD began draining the upper reservoir. No one in the McLaren community was notified in advance about this, but thanks to the efforts of Save McLaren Park's park watchers and others, information went out to the community shortly after the draining began.

Coyotes Settle in McLaren Park

  The many coyote sitings in McLaren Park over the past two years tells us that our new neighbors are here to stay. This can be a wonderful win-win situation for both coyotes and local residents – if we make the effort to understand our new neighbors and learn how to behave around them.

City coyotes are generally not a threat to humans. Timid by nature, they have adapted to the urban environment and are able to find plenty of food.
(Click image for info on coexisting with coyotes. For a more detailed brochure, click here.)

If you see a coyote:
  • Do not approach it. Back away calmly.
  • Do not offer it food.
  • Important: control your dog! Coyotes and dogs do not mix and your dog will lose a fight. Smaller dogs can even be killed. Keep your dog on leash in areas where coyotes have been sighted.
  • If a coyote approaches you, make yourself large, shout, if necessary throw something (not food!) at or behind the coyote, and move away slowly towards a more human-populated area.

These rules-of-thumb change during breeding time. Two coyotes seen together are likely a breeding pair and can be more agressive, particularly when the pups arive.

Many organizations have formed to help humans, dogs and coyotes get along. CoyoteCoexistence.com offers info and more on coyotes living around humans. Click on the image at left to watch their acclaimed video, Coyotes As Neighbors.



Through the Lens: Photographing McLaren Park

Over Spring and Summer of 2013 Save McLaren Park, working with the Harvey Milk Photo Center, conducted guided photo walks around the many different areas of our park. The walks were a wonderful success – more than 50 people participated at different times all around the park and hundreds of photographs were taken.

We posted these photos on a Flickr group for all to see (find them here). Now, thanks to HMPC's expertise in printing and exhibiting photography, selections of these photos will be printed and exhibited for all to see.

A preview of the McLaren Park exhibit will be at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park. Opening day is Thursday, Dec 5, co-inciding with the lighting of the park Christmas tree. Ten photos from the collection will be on exhibit in the lodge.

On January 11, 40 or more pictures from the McLaren Park photowalks will be on exhibit in the Harvy Milk Photo Center galleries.

For information on both programs, click on the image to the right to download a flyer.

"Only in San Francisco:" A Delightful Flashback to McLaren Park's History

Artist's Soapbox Derby, 1975
In some hazy, half-forgotten previous life did you happen to see a giant ladybug scooting around Shelley Loup? if so, you may have been around for the 1975 "Incredible San Francisco Artists Soapbox Derby".

If you've never heard of the event or know you were there but can't remember a thing – it was the 70s – good news! A movie has surfaced! Filmed by Amanda Pope and posted on Vimeo by Mike Haeg, this is the the perfect video to watch for a bit of McLaren Park nostalgia. Click on the video link to the left and enjoy.

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