Tigers on Market Street

Event Details

Sunday, September 08, 2013
11:00 AM

Tigers on Market Street

DATE: September 8, 2013
: 11:00 am-2:00 pm
LOCATION: Embarcadero in front of the Ferry Building
REGISTRATION: Please register with Eventbrite
TRANSIT: Served by BART (Embarcadero station) and all MUNI lines. On-street bike parking available.

Market Street may seem like an unlikely habitat for butterflies but the corridor of London Plane trees, canyon of tall buildings, and sources for water from urban fountains have created an unplanned riparian area that has become the home of Western Tiger Swallowtails. First noted by lepidopterist Harriet Reinhard in 1987, this phenomenon is an incredible story of wildlife adaptation within the heart of the city.

While the ecological footprint of cities is widely studied, we often overlook the efficacy of the collective ecosystem of our open spaces, shorelines, parks, and street plantings. What can we do to perpetuate and enhance nature’s presence in the city? How can we redesign Market Street to include habitat for the Swallowtail and other wildlife? How can better understanding this phenomenon help us to design our cities differently?

For the last two years, Amber Hasselbring and Liam O’brien have studied the Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Market Street. Hasselbring is a San Francisco-based artist, naturalist and the Director of Nature in the City while Liam O’brien is an illustrator, lepidopterist and conservationist. Together, they are working to find ways in which to support and expand Market Street as a habitat to this extraordinary butterfly. We invite you to join us on a walking tour with Amber and Liam exploring Market Street through the perspective of the swallowtail, helping to document this natural phenomenon and expand it. Please bring your camera.

Photo: Market Street River, collage, courtesy of Liam O’Brien