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The neighborhood of Upper Noe Valley, Fairmont Heights Park, and Laidley St have several outdoor treasures including Harry Street, Upper Noe Rec Center & Playground, Fairmont Plaza, and Walter Haas Playground. Billy Goat Hill is our only natural area park aimed at preserving native SF plants and animals. Join us in giving Billy Goat Hill Park the attention it deserves! Sign up for notices and updates by joining our Google Group, Friends of Billy Goat Hill.
Also visit FairmontPark Blog for information on neighborhood and SFNAP activities on Fairmont Heights.

May 18, 2015

Walter Haas - Beacon St Trail Update


Approximately 30-40 neighbors stopped by the open air meeting on Beacon St this afternoon hosted by Lisa Wayne, Open Space Manager for Rec & Park. Neighbors had the opportunity to walk the proposed trail and provide feedback.

There was universal support for the trail but also strong support for reducing the number of box steps, sticking more closely to the path of the current social trail and strongly consider the entry points for the trail in relation to the adjacent parks to ensure easy connectivity. A summary report of all feedback received should be available in the next few days and I will post when available.

The Walter Haas - Billy Goat Hill Connector Trail proposal will be heard at the Full Rec and Park Commission this Thursday, May 21st between 10am-2pm. Submit your comments to Lisa Wayne by Wednesday morning to ensure the commissioners read them in advance of their approval.

Thanks everyone for engaging in this review process and providing your input!

May 13, 2015

Community Open Air Meeting on Trail Design - Monday May 18th at 4:30pm Beacon St



Neighbors,
You may have heard that the design for the Walter Haas - Beacon St Trail was approved at the Capital Committee of the Rec & Park Commission on May 6th.

Following voiced and written complaints to Lisa Wayne that the community was not notified with sufficient advanced notice and there are significant trail design elements that differ from the December 10th consensus criteria, Lisa Wayne has offered an 'Open Air' Meeting next Monday evening:

Dear Interested Stakeholders and Neighbors,
Thank you for all your participation in developing the concept plan for the Walter Haas Connector Trail. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department would like to invite you to attend an open air Open House on Monday May 18th 4:30 to 7pm to review the proposed concept plan. The meeting will be held on site and participants are welcome to come by whenever is convenient during this time. At the open house, you will be able to see proposed path of the trail directly staked out on the site, understand the elements of the proposed plan in context, and provide any final input you have before the plan goes to the full Recreation and Parks Department Commission.
Staff will be stationed on Beacon Street across from Billy Goat Hill from 4:30 to 7:00. If you are not able to attend, please feel free to send any comments on the plan to me. Thanks and hope to see you there. Lisa
Lisa Wayne
Open Space Manager

To our knowledge, there has been little to no discussion with the neighbors and stakeholders beyond the neighbors adjacent to the trail. Based only on the Rec & Park presentation materials, there appears to surprising design elements that do not meet the consensus agreement. Examples where the proposal does not meet the consensus criteria:

1) Earthen trail winding to follow topography with entry stairs at top and bottom
2) Lessen impact to site
3) Lessen potential for erosion
4) Follow land like the current trail
5) Use no more steps than necessary
6) Minimize tree removal

If you are interested in learning more and voicing your input on the trail design, please join this meeting and/or send a note to Lisa Wayne or the Rec & Park Commission.

May 9, 2015

Walter Haas Connection Trail - Beacon St Trail Update

BH Friends:
As you may be aware, on May 6th, 2015 the Rec and Park Commission Capital Committee approved the plans for the Walter Haas Connector Trail (aka The Beacon St Trail). Not many Friends of BH were aware that the trail plan was completed and was being presented at this meeting and therefore not many BH Friends or neighbors were in attendance.

We are trying to get a separate community meeting set up for more neighbors to see the plans and comment before it is approved as final by the full Commission.
I've  attached the documents presented at the May 6th meeting. The video of the meeting is not yet posted to the SFGovTV.Org site but should be viewable in the next few days.

For a Map of the approved trail:
http://sfrecpark.org/wp-content/uploads/Item-2-Walter-Haas-Connector-trail-Open-Space-Fund-and-Conceptual-design-Conceptual-Plan-050615.pdf

For a description of the approved trail project:
http://sfrecpark.org/wp-content/uploads/Item-2-Walter-Haas-Connector-trail-Open-Space-Fund-and-Conceptual-design-staff-report-050615.pdf

Apr 30, 2015

Billy Goat Hill Cleanup and Planting - This Saturday!

Our friends from Rec and Park will be joining us on the hill this Saturday, May 2nd, from 10AM til Noon. We will be cleaning up and pulling weeds for a few hours.  Great fun for the whole family. The Rec and Park folks will bring tools and gloves. 
Mo and I will be out of town but we wish everyone Happy trash hunting and weed pulling!

Feb 11, 2015

SFRPD Notes on 12/10/14 Community Meeting

Attached is a link to the official SFRPD notes from the community meeting on the Upper Trail planned to link Walter Haas Park to Billy Goat Hill> This meeting was held on December 10th at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Lisa Wayne, Open Space Manager for SFRPD, added in an email accompanying these meeting notes. "As discussed at the meeting and explained in the attached notes, SFRPD will be pursuing the Trail Connection Alternative. Staff plans to meet with neighbors in the next few weeks to discuss buffers and other issues. It is anticipated that a Concept Plan for the Trail will be presented to the Recreation and Park Commission this spring. I will email details regarding that Commission meeting once it has been calendared."
http://sfrecpark.org/event/connecting-walter-haas-park-and-billy-goat-hill-community-meeting-1/

The Noe Valley Voice February 2015 edition has a front page article about the trail as well for those interested.

1/31/15 Planting Day

It was a beautiful morning for planting. We focused once again on the lower park entrance planting 50 or so native plants. The pair of oak trees planted in this location in 2010 are getting big - the larger one was buzzing with birds - finches and hummingbirds. A redtail hawk circled above us and was chased away by a flock of crows. A small group of volunteer neighbors showed up to help plant including Chris Faust, Tao, Gloria and Dave, David and Josh. Thanks Volunteers!
This location has been planted three times now, each time less than 10% of the plants seem to survive. This area is hot and dry in the summer and dogs like to poop right here at the entrance. If we want this area to have native plants & flowers, we might need a little fence area similar to the entrance at the top of the hill. Anyway, here are some pictures of the day - thanks to neighbor Jane!





Jan 28, 2015

Billy Goat Hill Cleanup and Planting - This Saturday!

Our friends from Rec and Park will be joining us on the hill this Saturday, January 31st, from 10AM til Noon. We will be cleaning up and planting additional native plants. Great fun for the whole family. The Rec and Park folks will bring tools and gloves. See you on the hill.

Dec 15, 2014

Beacon Street Hill Trail Meeting

This Thursday, December 18th at 10am, the Rec and Park Commission will hear New Business/Agenda Setting on the "Beacon Street Hill Trail". Currently, this land is considered part of Walter Haas Park.
If Friends of Billy Goat Hill want to request the Commission to consider moving this land into the BGH natural area, this meeting might be a good time to start this conversation with the commission.
As is, Friends of Walter Haas will be responsible for coordinating volunteer and community efforts for this trail. The concern is the trail area may not be a priority given the dog park and playground demands.
I don't believe the trail land area has any significant native plants currently but it is a connective greenbelt and could be developed with native ferns, bushes and flowers suited to the more wooded environment.
The commission meeting is held in room 416 (fourth floor) of city hall. All public speakers are welcome to speak for up to two minutes.

Dec 11, 2014

Community Meeting supports a Trail Connection

Last evening, SFRPD sponsored a community meeting at the Noe Rec Center to discuss options for an upper BGH trail leading from Beacon Street to Walter Haas. There is currently a social trail connecting the parks.
Commissioner Gloria Bonilla was in attendance as was a representative from Supervisor Scott Wiener's office. Lisa Wayne, manager for SFRPD Natural Areas opened the nearly three hour meeting introducing Steve Cancian as the meeting facilitator. Steve's experience includes the recent successful coordination of community consensus for the Dolores Park renovation. Neighborhood representation totaled over 30 people with heavy representation from neighbors closely impacted. Robin Lee from Friends of Walter Haas Park & Playground was in attendance as was Chris Faust from Friends of Upper Noe Rec Center.
Of the 4 options available: 1) No Connection, 2) Trail Connection, 3) Steps Connection, 4) Full Park Development on the site, Steve stated that SFRPD supports eliminating option 1 and option 4. A full park development on this site is not respectful of the history of this land or the neighborhood relationship to the land. Option 1 - No Connection  - is not consistent to the mission of SFRPD to connect our open spaces and make them more accessible. Community members supported discussion of the pros and cons of option 1, 2 and 3. After must discussion, a consensus vote supported option 2 - a Trail Connection - with double the support of the other two options discussed. To summarize the support, a trail connection provides a more natural connection between the parks that is safer and easier for hikers, bikers and dogs to enjoy.
Community concerns remain including minimizing impact of a trail on the natural beauty, establishing effective buffers that protect adjacent neighbors from illegal or rowdy behavior, establishing a safe crosswalk across beacon street and maintenance improvement for gardeners and the trash cleanup. It will be critically important for neighbors interested in these concerns to testify at the Rec & Park Commissions Capital Subcommittee when this trail plan is reviewed. We will need to get a capital commitment for increased operational dollars to support improved maintenance of this expanded usable park space.
We'll be posting links to the official meeting minutes when they are released and when SFRPD announces next steps for input on concept and design. Separate efforts will be required to address the sidewalk and crosswalk concerns. Please provide your feedback on this summary and your thoughts on how to gather trail design input in advance of our next meeting.

Apr 24, 2013

Cleanup and Planting April 27th

Come help your neighbors and the friendly folks from the Rec and Park Department clean up and plant new native vegetation on Billy Goat Hill this Saturday, April 27th from 9 AM - Noon. Lisa will provide coffee and donuts. What could be better?

Cleanup and Planting April 27th

Come help your neighbors and the friendly folks from the Rec and Park Department clean up and plant new native vegetation on Billy Goat Hill this Saturday, April 27th from 9 AM - Noon. Lisa will provide coffee and donuts. What could be better?

Feb 24, 2012

Picture of Billy Goat Hill 1927, 1930, 1940

You can see evidence of Billy Goat Hill's former life as a quarry.

Same View 1930

This 1940 view shows the Gray Brothers Quarry at Left (Picture courtesy of the Greg Gaar Collection)

Picture of Billy Goat Hill 1927, 1930, 1940

You can see evidence of Billy Goat Hill's former life as a quarry.

Same View 1930

This 1940 view shows the Gray Brothers Quarry at Left (Picture courtesy of the Greg Gaar Collection)

Dec 18, 2011

Billy Goat Hill Clean-Up: January 14, 2012 1pm - 3pm

There is nothing like planting native plants on Billy Goat Hill in January! If you haven't experienced this, you haven't gotten to know the 'real' San Francisco! On January 14th 2012, for the second year in a row, Friends of Billy Goat Hill along with the team from the SF Rec & Parks Natural Areas Program will be planting native plants and seeding native grasses on BGH.

Last year in January we were up to our ankles in fabulous, muddy SF soil -  planting over 200 native plants. If you walked the new trail sometime this year, I'm sure you enjoyed the smells of the California Sagebrush and the pretty blossoms of Sticky Monkey Bush and Douglas Iris.

On Tuesday January 10th, the crew from the Natural Areas will start preparing for the planting. Volunteers are welcome. On Saturday January 14th from 1pm-3pm (rain or shine) we will do most of the planting and spreading the grass seed. Planting in the mud is hard work so the more volunteers the better!

Put on your boots (I wear an old pair of waterproof ski pants over my jeans to keep the legs dry) and meet us on the hill - top or the bottom - we'll be working on both areas.

DON'T FORGET THE KIDS! Kids enjoy playing in the mud almost as much as adults!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all the Friends of Billy Goat Hill

Billy Goat Hill Clean-Up: January 14, 2012 1pm - 3pm

There is nothing like planting native plants on Billy Goat Hill in January! If you haven't experienced this, you haven't gotten to know the 'real' San Francisco! On January 14th 2012, for the second year in a row, Friends of Billy Goat Hill along with the team from the SF Rec & Parks Natural Areas Program will be planting native plants and seeding native grasses on BGH.

Last year in January we were up to our ankles in fabulous, muddy SF soil -  planting over 200 native plants. If you walked the new trail sometime this year, I'm sure you enjoyed the smells of the California Sagebrush and the pretty blossoms of Sticky Monkey Bush and Douglas Iris.

On Tuesday January 10th, the crew from the Natural Areas will start preparing for the planting. Volunteers are welcome. On Saturday January 14th from 1pm-3pm (rain or shine) we will do most of the planting and spreading the grass seed. Planting in the mud is hard work so the more volunteers the better!

Put on your boots (I wear an old pair of waterproof ski pants over my jeans to keep the legs dry) and meet us on the hill - top or the bottom - we'll be working on both areas.

DON'T FORGET THE KIDS! Kids enjoy playing in the mud almost as much as adults!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all the Friends of Billy Goat Hill

Aug 5, 2011

Billy Goat Hill Clean-Up Today Saturday Aug 6th

Last minute notice but if you are not busy Saturday morning, come on by Billy Goat Hill and help clean-up trash and weed and water the flower beds. 9am - Noon August 6th