About a year ago we shared the news that a wild specimen of the plant known as Franciscan manzanita had been discovered on a center freeway divider in the Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, the botanist community basically freaked out and painstakingly excavated and moved the specimen to an undisclosed location on a bluff nearby. In moving the plant, it needed to be trimmed, and the cuttings were taken to the UC Santa Cruz arboretum and several other botanical gardens. Yesterday, the UCSC arboretum hosted a ceremonial planting.
From one plant now comes hundreds of progeny which have been distributed through the Bay Area and which will ultimately help the National Parks Service rebuild a long-lost habitat known as the Maritime Chaparral. As the Mercury News reports, "A reversal of fate at a time of so many tough environmental challenges, the future of the Franciscan manzanita now seems secure."