To celebrate Arbor Day in November 1886, Adolph Sutro arranged for the planting of thousands of trees on what was then called Mount Parnassus. The trees, mostly Bluegum Eucalyptus, became what is now known as Sutro Forest.
In truth, what is called Sutro Forest today is only a small portion of the vast forestland Sutro created in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century. Pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees covered Mt. Davidson (then called "Blue Mountain), today's Forest Hill and St. Francis Wood neighborhoods, and even reached as far south as Westwood Park fronting Ocean Avenue.
Read much more about Sutro Forest in Richard Brandi's article "Farms, Fire and Forest".
Situated above the present-day University of California at San Francisco, the forest is dense and overgrown, providing a pleasant green backdrop to the Inner Sunset district.
UCSF has begun a campaign to thin and rehabilitate the Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve, citing fire hazards, poor health, "invasive plant species" and a decline of wildlife.
Images: 1) Sutro Forest, 2000 (WNP photo). 2) Sutro Forest and Inner Sunset District, 1900. FN-24498 (Courtesy of California Historical Society). 3) Looking north across Ocean Road in Lakeview (today's Ingleside). A.S. Baldwin, Estate of Adolph Sutro, Deceased, March-April-May 1910. (Courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.)
Contribute your own stories about western neighborhoods places!
Page updated 30 January 2004