Neighbors Make Ridge Lane ‘Highway for Butterflies’

On Earth Day, community members worked to beautify Ridge Lane by adding more native plants. JORDI MOLINA/INGLESIDE-EXCELSIOR LIGHT

By Jordi Molina, Special to the Ingleside-Excelsior Light

In celebration of Earth Day, neighbors and volunteers gathered at Ridge Lane to spruce up the special pathway by adding more native plants attractive to wildlife.

After a 10 a.m. breakfast and an explanation for what they were planting and why, everybody took to their work. San Francisco Parks Alliance sponsored the event.

“Ridge Lane is a perfect place for hill-topping and it is an ideal place for butterflies to flourish,” said Nahal Sohbati, an Academy of Art student who has been designing the modernized Ridge Lane.

California poppy and Coast Buckwheat along with other seeds and full-grown plants were strategically placed in certain spots along the pathway. Participants put a lot of care into planting the seeds and being mindful of the existing plants.

Ridge Lane initially was an badly maintained pathway. Neighbors banded together creating Ridge Lane Neighbors and worked with former District 11 Supervisor John Avalos to improve it and make it safe. To date, only one of the lane’s four blocks have been revitalized.

Scott Kaufmann, who helped raise funds for Ridge Lane said, “We are all just neighbors but the community really made this project happen.”

Community members noted that they had come a long way from what the pathway used to look like.

“I remember sitting here when it was all grass and having a beautiful vision for it,” said Warren Longmire, who worked in changing the pathway from the beginning.

Toward the end of the event, freshman District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai stopped by. He spoke with San Francisco County Transportation Authority Director Tilly Chang about funding the remainder of Ridge Lane since it serves as a connection to Balboa Park Station to the neighborhood.

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