Tigers, Transit and Trees, Oh My! BART's Living Roof Project

Morning Forum


Person walks by a mural of a butterfly.

Image courtesy of Nature in the City.

Market Street and Montgomery Street, parallel to the Salesforce Transit Center and Park — serve as two of San Francisco’s most significant transit arteries. Every day, cars, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians travel these streets, likely unaware of a neighbor that’s been present since the 1970s: the Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. To the butterfly, the city landscape resembles its natural habitat: a tree-lined "river" of vehicles, nearby parks, rooftop gardens and plazas make up an urban canyon. But a lack of nectar sources and larval food—as well as pending tree removal—call for a revamped place for our winged friends to call home. This year, Nature in the City, in partnership with BART, is launching two living roof pilots atop the new Montgomery and Powell Street BART stations, where 1,800 sq ft of elevated habitat will bring each station to life with insects, birds, and our beloved Swallowtails. Join us in BART's 50th anniversary year to learn about the potential opportunities and challenges for this exciting project.

  • Kirstin Weeks / BioStudio LLC
  • Steve Line / VIA, a Perkins Eastman Studio
  • Cameron Bauer / BART
  • Kay Cheng / Lyft
  • Amber Hasselbring / Nature in the City

copresented by Nature in the City.



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