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On a recent birding trip to Point Reyes, we ran across dozens of song sparrows—small, brown and white birds with a penchant for singing on the tops of bushes and fences. My friend, a decently experienced bird watcher, had trouble identifying them. When told they were song sparrows she said,... more >>
By Kaitlin de Blanc, National Park Service Education Intern at the Crissy Field Center
Have you ever sent a postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge to someone? In Crissy Field Center school programs this year, we had participants send their postcards to us! Check out some of the kids’ postcards, depicting... more >>
If you’re like me, you have a variety of teas at home that promise you sleepy dreams, good digestion, immune boosters, and more. The sheer number of teas can sometimes be overwhelming—and quite costly. Rather than going to your local grocery store, have you ever considered going out to your... more >>
John Muir has been described as "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity," "the wilderness prophet," and "the citizen of the universe." He once jokingly referred to himself as a "poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc.!"
But, for many of us who are aware of his triumphs in conservation,... more >>
This past winter the Parks Conservancy and National Park Service embarked on an exciting new adventure with our friends at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) – a program called “Academic Internships.” This new internship model connects local college students with work experience opportunities... more >>
The Institute at the Golden Gate is proud to announce the upcoming release of our new report, Climate in the Parks: Innovative Climate Education in Parks. As part of our work to help parks serve as platforms for climate change education,... more >>
In the early days of the National Park Service, women were involved in a very limited capacity—as seasonal employees, temporary fill-ins, naturalists, or assistants to their ranger husbands. As a result, their “uniforms”—if they had any—were improvised. Some adapted the... more >>
With spring freshly arrived, you’re probably busy planning your garden for the season. Well, in a sense, the park nurseries are doing the same thing—only we’re not planning for gardens, we’re planning for dozens of park restoration and stewardship sites. With help from our dedicated volunteers, the staff of the... more >>
I want to tell you about one of the last great places to see the Bay Area landscape as it might have looked a few months prior to European discovery in the fall of 1769: shortgrass prairies and coastal scrub, native habitats with very little disturbance.
Ironically, the ridge now known... more >>
“Leaves of three, let it be. If it’s hairy, it’s a berry. If it’s shiny, watch your hiney.” That famous rhyme can help you pick out poison oak—for part of the year. But, because Toxicodendron diversilobum is deciduous, what about the other seasons?
To identify poison oak all year-round, just remember... more >>