Come See the “Presidio Habitats” Art Exhibition Plus the New Presidio Park Trail

Have you seen Presidio Habitats,” the Site-Based Art Exhibition Celebrating Presidio Nature and Wildlife? Well, then get up there, it’s ending May 15, 2011.

Bring your walking shoes and then make the Triskelion (srsly, that’s what they call it) pavilion at Fort Winfield Scott your starting point.

Forty-foot shipping containers never looked so good:

Click to expand

Here it is from the outside:

And here’s the starting gate of Presidio Habitats:

Something to do with bunnnies and turtles, take a look:

O.K. then. Here’s Patience by Jensen Architects. or part of it anyway:

The mise-en-scene:

Western Screech Owl Habitats by Ai Weiwei:

A 600mm shot shows that these porcelain palaces are move-in ready:

Winged Wisdom by Phillippe Becker Design / Brody Hartman:

A closer view:

Sculpture Habitat for the Gray Fox by CEBRA

Owl Dome by Taalman Koch Architecture:

That’s just a taste. The whole point is that you’re supposed to get out there and go see everything for yourself. The more the merrier.

As these people realized on Saturday, walking along the new/improved Park Trail. (Learn more about the changes to this trail after the jump.)

The entire place is one giant art gallery but without the white wine.

And, oh yes, here’s one concept that didn’t make it. I guess you’d need to suppose that a bird made a nest and laid eggs in a golf cart and then somebody hoisted it into the air. Anyway, here’s the Photoshopped proposal: 

(This installation might serve to hack off the golfers of the Presidio, I don’t know…)

There you have it. Here are some upcoming events for PH and you can find the deets of the Park Trail after the jump.

Exhibition Pavilion and Self-Guided Tours
The starting point for the Presidio Habitatsexperience is an indoor exhibition space created from repurposed shipping containers. Here visitors can view all 25 proposals submitted for the exhibition, scale models, and other artist material, as well as video about the Presidio’s plants and wildlife. An Exhibition Mapwill lead you on a self-guided journey encompassing all installation sites. The Exhibition Pavilion hours through October 31, 2010: 11 am – 5 pm, Wednesday-Sunday. It is located at the corner of Storey Avenue and Ralston Avenue in the Fort Scott District.

Log Cabin Series
The Presidio Trust presents a year-long series of talks, multimedia presentations, and performances at the historic Log Cabin. Inspired by the Presidio, its wildlife, and Habitats art, the Log Cabin Series will host events on the second Thursday of each month. The Exhibition Pavilion will be open until 7 pm on these evenings.

Animal Estates and Edible Estates: An Evening with Fritz Haeg
Thursday, June 10, 7–8:30 pm
Author, designer, and artist Fritz Haeg created Snag Tower, a vertical dwelling for native species and currently an installation of Presidio Habitats. Learn about his project Animal Estates, proposing the re-introduction of native animals into cities, and his book Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn.

Triskelion: The Story of the Presidio Habitats Exhibition Pavilion
Thursday, July 8, 7–8 pm

San Francisco Architects Zoe Prillinger and Luke Ogrydziak, known for their progressive, modern designs that include new media technologies, discuss their creation of the Presidio HabitatsExhibit Pavilion from repurposed shipping containers arranged at 120 degree angles around a central atrium.

The Birds and the Bees: A Presidio Experience
Thursday, August 12, 7–8 pm

About 200 bird species and 57 bee species buzz and fly through the Presidio. Gain a new perspective on the different shapes and sizes of wildlife homes within the Presidio from Presidio Trust natural resource experts.

The Art of Patience: Meet Architect Mark Jensen
Thursday, September 9, 7–8 pm
Architect Mark Jensen will discuss his Habitats installation Patience, featuring dramatically austere yellow chairs that afford visitors a unique perspective on the Presidio’s Great Blue Herons.

Family Program: Create with Nature
Saturday, June 12, 10 am to 2 pm
Saturday, August 7, 10 am to 2 pm

Kids and grown-ups alike will get creative with natural materials in an outdoor Presidio setting. The ingredients for the day include wood, leaves, stone, pine cones, bark, branches, water, and imagination. Bring a picnic lunch or snack. Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion.

Guided Adventures
Presidio staff, friends, and FOR-SITE Foundation representatives will lead visitors on guided walks. Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion. RSVP is required to (415) 561-5418 or

Presidio Butterflies 101 Walk
RSVP to (415) 561-5418 or
Sunday, July 18, 10 am to Noon
Sunday, August 29, 10 am to Noon

Presidio Habitats Curatorial Walk
RSVP to (415) 561-5418 or
Saturday, July 24, 10 am to Noon
Saturday, August 7, 10 am to Noon

“PARK TRAIL” One of Twelve Trails being overhauled through Trails Forever initiative
Presidio of San Francisco (July 23, 2010) — “This is one of the most photographed, key historic stands in the Presidio forest,” says Amy Deck, project manager for trails for the Presidio Trust. She is standing on a small footbridge, half-way down the Presidio’s newest stretch of trail—a recently opened segment of the Park Trail that meanders through the historic forest, wrapping itself in and out of the Monterey Cypress for just over a half-mile.
The new trail picks up where the old trail ended, at the edge of the Presidio Golf Course. Today, visitors can walk from the 14th Avenue Gate north, through the center of the park, past the Bay Area Ridge Trail, all the way to the Presidio Promenade, another major trail completed a year ago. This newest stretch of trail allows hikers to reach virtually any corner of the Presidio—east to the Main Post or west to the Golden Gate Bridge. 
“It really is a central piece we were missing,” says Deck. “We have several east-west connections with the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Presidio Promenade, and the popular shoreline trails at Crissy Field and the coastal bluffs.  But we didn’t really have a central connection.” 
The majority of the new segment of trail winds its way through the forest, descending 180 feet into the trees through a series of switchbacks.  The switchbacks’ gentle slopes make the incline barely noticeable. They are also one of the most distinctive features making the trail wheelchair accessible, a feat the Trust accomplished without sacrificing the outdoor experience. Technical design of the switchbacks was the Trust’s biggest challenge in creating the trail. The degree of incline required to make the switchbacks accessible made for turns that were too tight to allow for bicycle access.  Next month, construction will begin for new bike lanes along Park Boulevard, helping to complete the trail improvements in this area of the park. 
A wood bridge across a seasonal stream provides a nice place to pause and take in views of the National Cemetery.  Along the way, visitors discover two of the works in the outdoor art exhibition Presidio Habitats—“Winged Wisdom,” three aphorisms describing the American Robin, the straw and hay letters of which provide both ideal nesting materials for robins and an unexpected meditation for human passersby; and “Sculpture Habitat for the Gray Fox,” a wood pyramid constructed from trees removed as part of the Trust’s reforestation program.
“You can see the bay, Crissy Field, the National Cemetery, go through the historic forest and experience lots of different parts of the park,” says Deck.
Beyond the layout and accessibility requirements, the Trust also had to take into account the environmental impact, which meant using highly specialized equipment to ensure a softer touch on the forest and surroundings.  As part of the trail work, efforts were made to bring back the hillside’s natural contours, address persistent erosion that had plagued the area, and restore the area’s natural hydrology. Instead of cascading down the hillside, water now dissipates into the ground and returns to the watershed.
On Saturday, July 24th, a free guided walk of Presidio Habitats will explore the art installations including the two located along the new Park Trail.  The walk is free, RSVP required.  Or explore the exhibition on your with a cell phone tour and self-guided maps provided at the indoor exhibition pavilion.  For more information: see
Presidio trails and overlooks are being transformed through the Trails Forever initiative, a partnership between the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, National Park Service and Presidio Trust.  The recently completed Park Trail and other Presidio trail improvements are being made possible thanks to a lead gift and challenge grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.   In total, twelve major trail corridors will be overhauled as part of comprehensive, trail improvement program.  Projects include pedestrian and bike paths as well as scenic overlooks which highlight some of the park’s iconic vistas.  Once complete, the trail network will provide a variety of opportunities to explore the park – from rugged hiking trails, to in-road bike lanes – providing a welcoming experience for visitors of all abilities and interests.  
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.

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