March 2020
Several volunteers, both adults and children, lean over to dig in the side of a hillside
Volunteers replant natives after clearing out invasive plants. Photo: San Bruno Mountain Watch
Partner Profile: San Bruno Mountain Watch

San Bruno Mountain Watch (SBMW) is a community-based non-profit organization that connects people to San Bruno Mountain. Nestled in the northern boundary of San Mateo County just south of San Francisco, San Bruno is one of the largest open spaces in a dense urban setting in the entire U.S. Volunteers are critical contributors to its ecological restoration projects, native plant nursery, and more. Visitors can roam 2,500+ acres of public land on the mountain, a biodiversity hotspot that supports more than a dozen rare and endangered plants and animals.

San Bruno Mountain Watch provides various opportunities for people of all ages to help tend its unique landscapes. For example, Daly City elementary school students remove ice plant ( Carpobrotus edulis) from the remnant sand dunes on the western edge of the mountain, thereby protecting the only population of the endangered San Francisco lessingia ( Lessingia germanorum) outside of San Francisco’s Presidio. 

Volunteers also help control fennel ( Foeniculum vulgare), Italian thistle ( Carduus pycnocephalus), pinchushion plant ( Scabiosa atropurpurea), various broom species, and other invasive plants on the mountain’s grasslands. By replacing these plants with native flora grown in the organization's Mission Blue Nursery, SBMW volunteers help protect the endangered mission blue and callippe silverspot butterflies. Plants from the nursery also supply sustainable urban landscaping efforts. 

SBMW works to support the management activities carried out by the San Mateo County Parks Department and contracted restoration crews.
Get involved on the mountain or learn more at the San Bruno Mountain Conference, livestreaming on April 19.
Celebrating 50 Years of Saving San Bruno Mountain
poster with large 50 and historical photo of protest on San Bruno mountain
This year, San Bruno Mountain Watch celebrates a landmark anniversary: 50 years of people-powered movements to save San Bruno Mountain.

Fifty years ago, the mountain was privately owned and the target of drastic proposals that would have caused tremendous harm to its environmental and cultural resources, and decreased the amount of space available for public parks. 

One scheme in the Sixties aimed to remove 200 million+ cubic yards of rock and soil from 600 acres of the eastern ridge of San Bruno Mountain for use as bayfill. This would have transformed 10,000 acres of the San Francisco Bay into 27 miles of real estate along the San Mateo County shore. 

Another plan in the Seventies would have transformed much of the mountain into a mix of high rise apartment buildings, commercial areas, offices, civic centers, homes, and schools set among parks and an18-hole golf course.

These proposals sparked a lively and enduring movement that successfully fought for a different vision of the mountain — a wholesome and expansive public park.
Calendar of Training Sessions. Click on a date to register:
These are the planned training sessions for 2020. We are keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 crisis, and will reschedule these sessions as needed.

Skyline Wilderness Park
2201 Imola Ave, Napa

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, Foothill Annex
22500 Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino

Curry Canyon Ranch Field Station
Mount Diablo Protected Land, Clayton, 94517
Volunteers stand next to a large pile of weed and brush
Photo: San Bruno Mountain Watch
Join Cal-IPC to support wildland volunteers across the state!
Cal-IPC is proud to bring you free wildland volunteer training sessions, resources, and connections to the weed warrior community.

Help us keep up the good work by joining as a member. Your member support makes it all possible!
Four volunteers in workboots cheer around a pile of garbage bags and a full wheelbarrow
Photo: Cal-IPC
Find more Wildland Volunteer Network resources online
Looking for more ways to connect? Find resources on the Wildland Volunteer Network section of Cal-IPC's website:

  • Online map of Bay Area Volunteer projects
  • Organizations to volunteer with, sorted by county
  • Archive of email newsletters with partner profiles
four people in bright raincoats hold weeding tools and smile
Photo: Cal-IPC
The Wildland Volunteer Network helps strengthen volunteer connections in the Bay Area and beyond. Learn more about WVN.