A breathtaking and serene place, Laguna Honda Reservoir is absolutely an amazing spot to appreciate your surroundings. Even though it may seem to taunt you on a hot day because it is not open to the public for swimming, it is still a beautiful spot and a great addition to the city.
Laguna Honda Reservoir is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
36-Teresita, 43-Masonic or 44-O'Shaughnessy -- Laguna Honda Blvd. and Clarendon Ave.
Laguna Honda Forest stretched along the west side of Laguna Honda Boulevard, from the Noriega right of way to Plaza for more than fifty years. In conjunction with the open space of Laguna Honda Reservoir and the community garden on the east side of the Boulevard, Laguna Honda Boulevard was a forested corridor from the Inner Sunset to Forest Hill Station until five acres of trees in the northern portion of the Forest were removed.
The northern portion of the Forest occupied a hillside that rises from Laguna Honda Boulevard to Eighth Avenue, a hundred or more feet above. This land is under Department of Public Works jurisdiction for slope protection and will never be available for development. This portion of the Forest provided natural beauty as well as sound insulation from the traffic on Laguna Honda Boulevard to the neighborhood above, Eighth Avenue between Noriega and Ortega Streets. Rough trails afforded informal dog-walking areas. Children had constructed rope swings and natural play areas.
The Loma Prieta earthquake caused severe damage to many homes on the east side of Eighth Avenue between Ortega and Moraga streets. Several structures had to be demolished. It was determined that these homes were undermined when the sandy soil that forms the hillside underwent compaction during the earthquake.
To protect the remaining homes on Eighth Avenue and allow reconstruction of the demolished structures, the Department of Public Works undertook the Eighth Avenue Slope Stabilization Project with FEMA funding. The Project involved the construction of a concrete retaining wall on the rear portion of the privately owned land on Eighth Avenue between Moraga and Ortega Streets. The wall now runs continuously along the top of the hillside over this two-block distance.
Access for the heavy equipment and material to construct the wall required removing the northern five acres of Laguna Honda Forest between the Noriega and Ortega right of ways, along with many large trees at the rear of the privately-held property on Seventh Avenue between the Noriega and Moraga right of ways. After the project was completed, however, there was no funding to replace the trees.
Various alternative measures were employed for erosion control below the new retaining wall. It is fair to say that these measures were only stopgap. Currently the area formerly occupied by this portion of the Forest has the appearance of a vacant lot, and the exposed retaining wall has been subject to highly visible graffiti. Replacing the Forest would afford slope protection, cover or prevent graffiti, restore the sound insulation and green space that previously existed, and improve the appearance of Laguna Honda Boulevard.
Friends of the Forest LogoEngineers involved with the Eighth Avenue Slope Stabilization Project do not identify any technical reason this portion of the Forest has not been replaced, only the lack of funding. The need for erosion control is emphasized and replanting this portion of the Forest is encouraged as part of slope stabilization.
The current vegetation at the site suggests that the sandy soil of the hillside has an existing water source. It is believed that trees planted in the fall could be self-sustaining at the conclusion of the rainy season. At the least, the need for outside water sources would be less than what would otherwise be expected. Residents in the affected neighborhoods have taken it upon themselves to randomly plant trees behind their property and report that they have survived when planted in December.
-Friends of Laguna Honda Forest
Friends of Laguna Honda Forest
Dennis Hyde, President
Hugh Villalta, Vice President