Our first hike of the year took us on 4½-mile trek through Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights. Students researched these parks in advance and learned that Buena Vista Park (founded in 1897) is the oldest park in San Francisco and stands on Mesozoic chert. In addition to geologic history, we discovered a curious piece of local history. In the 1930’s, as land became more valuable in San Francisco, cemeteries were moved out of the city to Colma (with the exception of the small burial ground at Mission Dolores). WPA workers used unclaimed broken headstones from Lone Mountain Cemetery (Laurel Heights) to line the storm gutters along the many paths in the park. Students examined many of these headstones as we climbed the parks various trails.
After exploring Buena Vista Park, we walked through city streets to ascend Corona Heights. Our student researchers discovered that this was the site of a brick quarry that operated in the 1890’s. The Gray brothers were not the most honest of businessmen and many lawsuits were filed against their business for producing substandard bricks. Like Buena Vista Park, the exposed rock is chert and an exposed “slickenside” is a geologic curiosity.
Geology or criminal history was not on the minds of the St. Finn Barr students as they explored these two San Francisco hilltops.
· Jason Agbunag’s favorite part of the day was “enjoying the Buena Vista roundabout and climbing the Corona Heights peaks for our picnic lunch”.
· Anna Oliveira commented that the hike was “very peaceful; nature was quiet, the wind was blowing. My favorite part of the hike was standing on the rocks (on Corona Heights) and looking at the views of San Francisco.”
Our next Outdoor Club hike will be on Saturday, November 22, at Lands End.