Beginning Date: Late 1990s
Completion Date: Ongoing

At 270 acres, Tennessee Hollow is the largest watershed in the Presidio. It is home to three creek tributaries and is one of the primary freshwater sources for the restored Crissy Marsh. Since the late 1990s, the Presidio Trust, National Park Service, and Parks Conservancy have been working toward restoring the entire watershed from springs to bay, to restore a vibrant, contiguous, and diverse mosaic of native plant communities and wildlife habitat. This multi-year project is significant not only for its restoration potential, but also for the extraordinary opportunities for watershed-based education, public engagement, and community stewardship afforded by its location within a national park site at the edge of a major urban center. Tennessee Hollow offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience an entire watershed in an afternoon hike.

This ambitious restoration effort necessitates a phased approach—as creeks are daylighted, habitat is restored, trails are built, community engagement programs are expanded, and seedlings are planted by volunteers. Work began in the headwaters of the watershed near Inspiration Point in the late 1990s, followed by the restoration of Crissy Marsh (2001), Thompson Reach (2005/2006), El Polín Spring (2011), and YMCA Reach (2013/2014). In 2015 and 2016, major restoration projects will be completed at MacArthur Meadow and Quartermaster Reach.

Key Contributors

Significant private philanthropic funding, public sources, and volunteer support have been and will continue to be critical to the realization of the ambitious vision for the Tennessee Hollow Watershed.

The restoration effort has been supported by generous donations from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew R. Barger, the Kingfisher Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Weeden Foundation, Lynn and Peter Wendell, Julie and Will Parish, John Atwater and Diana Nelson, John and Laura Gamble, the RBC Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board.

For information about contributing to this restoration effort, please contact Kathryn Morelli, Vice President for Development for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, at (415) 561-3050 or

Related Partners

Presidio Trust