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Get Your Birds & Bilingual Ethnobotany On at El Polin

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.

El Polin Spring in the Tennessee Hollow watershed has been getting a lot of attention from the Presidio Trust over the past few years, and with good reason. Currently approached through some fairly grim Mid-Century military housing, use of the spring as a water source dates back to the Ohlone, who had a seasonal camp where Crissy Field is today, and it's located along an ancient path headed across town (or coastal meadow, in those days) to another Ohlone site near what would become Mission Dolores. Within a few decades of the Spanish military's establishment of the Presidio in 1776, civilians moved into area around the spring, including the family of Juana Briones, now a local feminist heroine and who would become one of the first Spanish residents of Yerba Buena.
We had a look at the Trust's archaeologists working around the Briones settlement at El Polin last year. After years of work, the site has been opened to the public, plus ducks and hummingbirds have moved into apparently supportive and affordable housing. A boardwalk and bilingual signage has been put in place and in a first for the Trust, there will be a bilingual tour of the site this Saturday— all part of the Trust's look at the heritage and impacts of the Ohlone, Spanish, Mexican, military and Anglo people who've lived there. In the larger picture, Tennessee Hollow presents what is probably the only opportunity to restore a millennia-old watershed at the edge of a major urban area.
· Tenessee Hollow Watershed [Presidio Trust]
· Bilingual Walking Tour [Presidio Trust]
· El Polin Celebration Events [Presidio Trust]
· Juana Briones [Briones House]
· Get Down and Dirty With the Archaeologists [Curbed SF]

The Presidio Trust

34 Graham Street, San Francisco, CA 94129