Beautify Our Parks Day at Lake Merced, San Francisco - March 20, 2010

About the Event...

On March 20th, ABC volunteers got together at Lake Merced in San Francisco to assist in beautifying the park. Activities included mulching and weeding next to the lake. The weather was perfect and we had a great turnout of both attorneys and friends of attorneys. Thank you SO much to all of you that were willing to get up early on Saturday morning and help out. Our parks have been severely neglected recently due to budget cuts that have reduced staffing as well as overall maintenance funds, so your assistance was greatly needed and much appreciated. Thanks also goes out to the SF Parks and Recreation staff that provided instructions and support.

Below are some pictures of the event:

Information about Lake Merced

Below are some fun facts about Lake Merced from Wikipedia:

Lake Merced is a freshwater lake in the southwest corner of San Francisco, California. It is surrounded by three golf courses (the private Olympic Club and San Francisco Golf Club, and the public Harding Park Golf Club), as well as residential areas, Lowell High School, San Francisco State University, Fort Funston and the Pacific Ocean. The SFPD shooting range, as well as a skeet shooting club and the city's National Guard armory are also in the area.










Once owned by Francisco De Haro, first Alcalde of Yerba Buena, as part of the Galindo ranch, the Spring Valley Water Company bought the water rights for the Lake in 1868, and the surrounding watershed in successive years. By purchasing all local supply, the company created a monopoly on San Francisco's water. It was not until 1908, when the city approved construction of O'Shaughnessy Dam creating the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, that the city gained municipal control. Prior to the construction of the dam, Lake Merced was to serve as the city's main reservoir, with plans to expand the lake into land that is now the San Francisco State University campus. Around this time, Spring Valley sold off some of its land on Lake Merced, making way for the golf courses that exist today. In 1940, Metropolitan Life bought the last of Spring Valley's land to build the Parkmerced apartment complex.

The lake is fed by an underground spring, and at one time it did have an outlet to the ocean. The salt level was always fluctuating, and therefore some species of fish which inhabit the lake are salt and freshwater adapted. There is active recreational fishing at the lake.

The lake's water level had been shrinking for decades, endangering the historic role of Lake Merced to support a healthy ecosystem. Due to better management of the aquifer and occasional additions of water, lake level has been rising since 1990. (For References see:

For those who are interested, below is a link to an SF Gate article highlighting just how bad it has gotten for public parks in California: