Conservation and Restoration of Mount Sutro

Habitat Restoration Sites

Sutro Stewards has historically maintained over 20 test habitat restoration sites on Mount Sutro. These original sites were mostly located along the various trails of Mount Sutro. Throughout the years we were able to see which sites performed the best and what native plants thrived in these areas. Taking this information, we have now created 2 key areas where we will focus our habitat restoration actives and connect native habitat.

The Summit Corridor: We aim to continually improve and increase native plant cover at the summit of Mount Sutro. We will work to connect the Summit plantings to the North Ridge Trail test restoration sites. Our goal is to have a robust native plant summit that will host a variety of local pollinators and birds.

The Clarendon and Nursery Corridor: We aim to connect restoration sites at the Clarendon Trailhead and along the Clarendon Trail to native plantings surrounding our native plant nursery. Our goal is to have continuous native habitat that will foster biodiversity and ecosystem functionality.

What is Habitat Restoration?

Invasive and Non-Native Species Removal

Invasive and non-native plants are both species that have not evolved to be in a given area, for us that is San Francisco! Usually these species were brought here for a specific use, like grazing or ornamental uses. But sometimes species can be brought unintentionally through human activity like trade or travel between natural areas. So what's the difference between the two? Non-native species are species that exist outside of their natural range but usually do not have a negative effect on the health of an ecosystem. Invasive species are also non-native but instead have a negative effect on the health of the ecosystem. These species usually outcompete native species for resources, like space, nutrients and sunlight and have no predators (or herbivores) that control the growth of these populations. Plus these species are usually brought from areas with similar climates so San Francisco's conditions are perfect for these species to thrive and reproduce. To control the spread of these species, Sutro Stewards performs invasive and non-native species removal by getting in the dirt and removing the plant and roots with hand tools and a little elbow grease. We focus our efforts on almost 30 different species! 

Native Plant Installation

After removing non-native and invasive species comes our favorite activity, planting native species! Native plants are species that have evolved in an area for thousands and thousands of years. These species have coevolved with a variety of birds, butterflies and insects to provide food, habitat or breeding areas and play a key role in a healthy, diverse ecosystem. Sutro Stewards grows over 100 different native species in our Sutro Native Plant Nursery to be installed in our restoration sites. Sutro Stewards will install native plants during our rainy season, usually November to March, because the rains will help the plants establish and grow big and strong. Once the plants are established, ideally, they will spread their seeds and cover more of Mount Sutro.

Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Conservation Plan

In 2020, Sutro Stewards started the process of developing our first conservation plan. The goal of the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Conservation Plan is outline a 30 year goal of what Sutro Stewards envisions for Mount Sutro and how we will get it done. From timed non-native species removal to dense native plant installation to increased monitoring we aim to make a wild and thriving Mount Sutro enjoyed by all San Franciscans.

Volunteer in Habitat Stewardship

Interested in volunteering in habitat stewardship? Come join us for species removal and planting activities!

Habitat Stewardship 

At Risk Populations

Wednesday | 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Meet at the Sutro Nursery Parking Lot

(476 Johnston Drive, San Francisco)

Habitat Stewardship 

Everyone Welcome

Thursdays | 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Meet at the Sutro Nursery Parking Lot

(476 Johnston Drive, San Francisco)

Habitat Stewardship 


Saturdays | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Meet at the UCSF Woods Lot

(100 Medical Center Way, San Francisco)

© 2018 Sutro Stewards

Sutro Stewards is a project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)3 California nonprofit public benefit corporation.