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Welcome El Polin, the Newest Ancient Spring in the Presidio

We're big fans of the Presidio and Crissy Field here at Curbed SF. Welcome to In the Presidio, a weekly series covering what's going on at what may be the country's most far-ranging and complex examples of adaptive re-use. Plus its got a birthday coming up.

El Polin habitat restoration at the Presidio [Photo Credit: Campbell Grading]

It's not always obvious, but after a few centuries as a military post the Presidio has lost much of its original landscape. The coastal meadows are gone— planted under with a eucalyptus forest and those iconic cypresses— along with the wetlands on the bay shoreline which disappeared under an airstrip. The streams that fed the wetlands were channeled and diverted into culverts to accommodate the Army's needs, and a long-term goal of the Presidio Trust is daylighting those streams, restoring the habitats around them, and giving us a look into their human history.

The Trust has focused on the El Polin spring in the Tennessee Hollow watershed (not the "Valley" in Marin, thanks, and just north of the Julius Kahn Playground) which will soon flow again under the new Presidio Parkway into restored wetlands at Crissy Field. El Polin is located along an Ohlone path from a bayfront settlement to one in Yerba Buena, what would eventually become a road between the Spanish Presidio and the Mission Dolores, and Presidio archaeologists have been working for years on c.1810 civilian settlement around the spring itself. This June, the Trust will introduce San Franciscans to the spring with a month of events centered around El Polin, its ecology and history, and in the last week of the month, a 236th anniversary celebration of the Presidio's founding by Spanish soldiers in 1776.
· El Polin Spring Events [Presidio Trust]
· Birds Gotta Fly, Waters Gotta Flow [Curbed SF]
· Get Down And Dirty With The Archaeologists [Curbed SF]
· In The Presidio [Curbed SF Archives]

Crissy Field

1199 East Beach, San Francisco, CA 94129 Visit Website

The Presidio Trust

34 Graham Street, San Francisco, CA 94129