BEAUTIFUL VISTAS CAN BE FOUND FROM ATOP OF SIGN HILL
A wonderful spring day brought out nearly two dozen hikers on Sign Hill on Saturday April 10th in response to the Spring Time hike coordinated by South San Francisco residents Loretta Brooks and Chuck Heimstadt, along with award winning butterfly illustrator, Liam O'Brien.
LIAM O'BRIAN IDENTIFIES THE HOST PLANTS THAT SUSTAIN OUR BUTTERFLY POPULATION ON SIGN HILL, ALONG WITH OTHER BUTTERLIES, BEES, BIRDS...
Liam led the hike pointing out the native host plants that attract and sustain the local butterfly population including the endangered Mission Blue. Special attention has given to this endangered species, the Mission Blue, and it is now SSF's official butterfly, thanks to Councilmember Karyl Matsumoto's dedication to our open spaces and the City's branding of our connection to our local wildlife. (Matsumoto's credits also include SSF Bay Trail, establishing the Improving Public Places program, among many other open space programs)
Swallowtails and Monarchs were also spotted dancing all along the ridgeline on this windless day to the excitement of the hikers. O'Brian explained that the butterflies mating dance is unique as they come close to each other, and intertwine in a spiral upward and they part ways when they realize they are both the same sex. The group was treated to clear skies and open vistas through out this 2 hour event.
SIGN HILL IS HOME TO THE FEDERALLY LISTED MISSION BLUE BUTTERFLY WHICH THE CITY OF SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO ADOPTED FOR ITS OFFICIAL BUTTERFLY - PHOTO BY LORETTA BROOKS
Both the spring time blooms and the butterflies, along with hummingbirds, bees, and other wildlife reaffirmed the aliveness of our Sign Hill. We encourage neighbors to get out regularly and hike the trails, enjoy the view, and get away from it all while only a few minutes from your doorstep.
We continue to support the efforts of responsible access to our local public lands in the San Francisco Peninsula which includes advocating for the Sign Hill parcels that are currently under private ownership, to be preserved perpetuity. If you are interested in joining our efforts please contact us at info@FriendsofSignHill.com
From Friends of Sign Hill On an incredible guided Sign Hill butterfly hike today, with stewards Chuck and Loretta, we witnessed many types of butterflies including the federally listed Mission Blue. They were seen on both SSF property and private property directly adjacent. To protect these creatures habitat the private lands must be conserved and all areas maintained in some kind of institutionalized form: a regular funded program. Join San Bruno MountainWatch and Friends of Sign Hill in letting SSF officials know this is a valued community goal!
Loretta and Chuck are stewards of the north entrance to Sign Hill Park through the City's Improving Public Places program which is sponsored by the SSF Parks and Recreation Department. They have done great work eradicating invasive plants and replanting native plants that attract the local butterflies. If you would like to volunteer to help Loretta and Chuck please contact them by email
SIGN HILL IPP STEWARD LORETTA BROOKS GIVES INFORMATION TO THE HIKING GROUP AT THE TRAIL HEAD ON RIDGEVIEW DRIVE SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (ABOVE ELKS LODGE)
In addition, Loretta and Chuck are the directors of the SSF Weed Warriors Program and are dedicated to the preservation of Sign Hill and and it’s big brother San Bruno Mountain. Join them on the 3rd Fridays and Saturdays 10am – noon. More information contact them directly and to learn more about their work on the San Bruno Mountain Watch website
Liam O’Brien was working in ACT’s production of Angels in America in the late 1990s when a tiger swallowtail flew into his yard. He surveyed every inch of San Francisco County to see what in fact remained of breeding butterfly species. Painting and illustration have replaced his passion for acting, and his interpretive nature signs can be seen throughout the city on many SF Recreation & Park trails. The book, The Butterflies of the Presidio, written by Matthew Zlatunich and illustrated by Liam O’Brien, was published by the Presidio Trust in the fall of 2012, and now is producing the information signs for the newly restored Mountain Lake. He is the recipient of Bay Nature’s 2014 Environmental Education award.
POPPIES ARE IN FULL BLOOM AS THE LUPINES & OTHER WILD FLOWERS BEGIN TO JOIN THEM -
PROVIDING A FEAST FOR OUR BEES!
SOME OF THE HIKERS AT THE TRAIL HEAD PARKING LOT LEARN SOME BASICS OF SIGN HILL
SHARING INSIGHTS, THE HIKERS COMPARE NOTES ON BUTTERLIES NEXT TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE POST
THE TRAIL IS PRETTY TAME ALLOWING WITH SIDE TRAILS REACHING DEEPER AREAS ON THE HILL
HIKERS LISTEN TO LIAM'S PRESENTATION AS THEY WATCH THE BUTTERFLIES DANCING ALL ABOUT
PHOTO LORETTA BROOKS
SIGN HILL IS THE LITTLE SISTER TO BIG BROTHER SAN BRUNO MOUNTAIN AS THEY ARE SEPARATED BY A SMALL VALLEY AS ADVOCATES HAVE WORKED FOR DECADES TO PRESERVE SBM FROM FURTHER DEVELOPMENT. THE SAME ACTION IS NOW DIRECTED TO SIGN HILL AS MANY ACRES ARE HELD PRIVATELY
SIGN HILL OFFERS A GREAT VIEW OF SAN FRANCISCO BAY BEYOND THE SSF BIOTECH INDUSTRIES IN THE DISTANCE AS HIKERS SEEK THE MISSION BLUE HABITAT UP CLOSE
WE WATCH AS OUR CITY CONTINUES TO BUILD OUT AND UP AS WE ADVOCATE TO KEEP ALL OF SIGN HILL PRESERVED AS OPEN SPACE
LOOKING AT BIG BROTHER SAN BRUNO MOUNTAIN FROM LITTLE SISTER SIGN HILL
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENT AL SEUBERT IS CREDITED WITH PLANTING UPWARDS OF 5,000 TREE SEEDLINGS AND WATERED THEM BY HAND BACK IN THE 1960'S. THERE ARE NOW GROVES AND TRAILS NAMED IN HIS HONOR. MORE ON SEUBERT & SIGN HILL TRAILS ON THE CITY WEBSITE
HIKING SIGN HILL IS A GREAT WAY FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY THE DAY, CLOSE TO HOME AND FOR FREE
TRAILS ON SIGN HILL ARE USED BY MANY YET NEVER OVER CROWDED
THANKS TO SSF PARKS & REC RESTING BENCHES CAN BE FOUND ON TOP OF THE RIDGELINE ALLOWING HIKERS TO TAKE A BREATHER AND ENJOY THE VIEW & REFRESHMENTS (CARRY IN - CARRY OUT!)
THE TRAILS ARE WAITING FOR YOU - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 'COME HIKE ME!' SHE SAYS
If you are inspired to join our efforts to save Sign Hill from development on the remaining parcels that are privately held please contact us at info@FriendsofSignHill.orgYou can also contact the SSF City Council by email and let them know you support preserving all of Sign Hill!
(note parcels numbers in GREEN are currently held by private parties with potential to develop)