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Paul Kephart Rana Creek

Meet Paul Kephart, renowned landscape designer for Francisco Park

Francisco Park Conservancy is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with renowned landscape designer, biologist, and expert in land use planning, Paul Kephart (RANA Cohabitat), on the design of Francisco Park. A 30-year veteran in the field, Paul is the creator of the Living Roof at the California Academy of Sciences and the concept design for Salesforce Transit Center Park, among numerous other iconic projects. We are overjoyed that Paul and RANA will lend their rich expertise and creativity to transforming the former Russian Hill reservoir into a beautiful and biodiverse space to be enjoyed and celebrated for centuries to come.

We had a chance to sit down with Paul and dive into his vision and inspiration for Francisco Park.

What inspired you to get involved with Francisco Park?
I am inspired by the vision, dedication, and hard work of the community, the Francisco Park Conservancy, and the architects and designers who envisioned this new park for San Francisco. It is an honor to contribute to the park design and also to build a vibrant place for people to enjoy healthy soils, breathe fresh air, and experience a diversity of native plants, and local wildlife.

What is your vision for the Francisco Park landscape design?
I would like to see this park become a place of health and healing. A place to reconnect with nature and a safe place to walk, listen, play, meet people, and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a nice place for birds and butterflies. It can be a place to return to, to remember great experiences of San Francisco, and views of the Bay. It can be a place where friends and family gather, and a place for kids to learn about parks and plants.

Are there specific plants or areas that you are most excited about?
I am excited about the diversity of plants selected that are acclimated to this region. Plants that fit together well. The park has so much to offer. There are great views, playgrounds, gardens, and the elevated walkway that allows one to experience the hills of a Russian Hill neighborhood.

What will a successful Francisco Park look like for you?
It will look like a place where kids are playing, people can garden, joggers are jogging, older folks sunning, and there is a hum: a most delightful feeling in the air. It’s a feeling unique to Francisco Park, a feeling the park is loved and cared for now and long into the future.

We are grateful we had a chance to sit down with Paul, and we hope you enjoy hearing more about his vision. We are thrilled to watch Francisco Park come to life over the next couple of months. Look out for Paul and the RANA Cohabitat team out on the site in a few weeks!

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Pictured: Francisco Park Conservancy Board Member Helen Hilton Raiser and RANA Cohabitat Designer Weston Henry inspect plants currently growing at RANA Nursery that will soon be planted at Francisco Park.

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