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Holly-daze: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Toyon berries

Did Christmas come early this year? Well, if you are out hiking in our parks this month it may seem like it.

Heteromeles arbutifolia—otherwise known as Christmas berry or toyon—is in full glory right now. With its brilliant display of bright red berries and leathery serrated leafs, it can often get... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

My Friend, the Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

It has been said vultures are cleansers of the environment, or that they are symbols of motherhood for their ability to make life from death. But I say that Turkey Vultures are, above all else, loyal. They are the truest friend, at least to other vultures, because being a Turkey... more >>


December 2012 | 2 Comments | Leave a comment

Don't Tip the Scales: Hike a Park Trail

Hikers

Do you feel heavy, like the whipping cream used to top off the pumpkin pie? Do you feel slow, like the lethargy created by a tryptophan overdose? Do you find that your sweatpants go with everything, like when you’ve grown tired of your wardrobe and nothing will do?

If you answered... more >>


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Critical Mast: The Boom and Bust of Acorns

Oak woodland

Oak trees stand huge in our landscapes. At Oakwood Valley I walk under the unofficially named “Grandmother Tree.” If you have walked in the valley you know what I’m talking about. Oak trees are the foundation of the ecosystem they are found in, providing food and shelter for many species.... more >>


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Where Do We Go From Here?

Fort Baker

As the Institute enters its fifth year, staff members are poised to emerge from the initial start-up phase—ready to build on early successes and launch into a broader range of programmed activities to affect change.

Recently, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Board of Trustees reviewed an “action plan” for the... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

Ready for a Record-Breaking Planting Season!

Volunteer at work

Volunteers have played a vital role in the entire cycle of nurturing our native plants—seed collecting, seed cleaning, seed sowing, composting, pot washing, transplanting and, now, outplanting across the parks at restoration sites.

Much of this activity has centered in our six park nurseries, located in Marin, San Francisco, and San... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

Parks Holiday Gift Guide

Come visit the Warming Hut at Crissy Field or the brand-new Lands End Lookout and find the perfect gift for every park lover on your gift list! From nature guides to hand-made, local crafts to vintage reproductions of park memorabilia—the park stores have something for everyone.

Members receive 15% off at... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

When Day Fades Away, Bats Come Out to Play

Little Brown Bat

Little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus, which in Greek means “mouse ear” and “light fleeing”) inhabit Canada, Mexico, and the United States. They prefer forested areas, but can easily adapt to tall shrub and urban environments. They are extremely temperature tolerant and can survive cold 40 degree nights and hot 120... more >>


November 2012 | Leave a comment

Top 10 Creepiest Critters in the Parks

Jerusalem Cricket

Life is not all river otters and coyote pups. Some organisms in these national parks simply give us the heebie-jeebies—justifiably or not. With Halloween a few days away, here’s our list of the scariest and grossest creatures. For the squeamish, turn away. For the stout-hearted, read on—if you dare.

Find something... more >>


November 2012 | 10 Comments | Leave a comment

Public Dashboard Tracks Center’s Energy Use

Crissy Field Center Wind Turbines

Project FROG, the designers of the Crissy Field Center and Beach Hut Café, created an online dashboard that provides information on not only the output of our wind turbines and solar panels, but also the building’s energy consumption. The site, http://frogdashboard.com/crissy, shows the kW production of our renewable energy... more >>


November 2012 | Leave a comment

 

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