Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Receives Major Grant to Support New Tunnel Top Parkland and Expanded Youth Campus at the Presidio

September 27, 2013


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A gift of $25 million from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: A gift of $25 million from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will lead the way for park enhancements at the very heart of the Presidio. This milestone gift marks the largest cash gift ever contributed to a national park. This honor comes in anticipation of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28, when people celebrate by volunteering in their parks and public lands, and the anniversary of the date when the Presidio became a national park site on October 1, 1994.

The Tunnel Top Parkland results from the construction of the Presidio Parkway (Doyle Drive replacement), which provides 10 new acres of parklands on the tunnel over the roadway, connecting the historic Main Post of the Presidio with Crissy Field. The vision for this site is a 21st-century park destination full of visitor activities, scenic beauty, and connections to the diverse environments and programmatic offerings of the Presidio.  

The grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation also supports the expansion of indoor and outdoor facilities for youth programs at the Crissy Field Center. Located at the foot of the Tunnel Top Parkland, the Crissy Field Center is a nationally recognized program hub for youth engagement in environmental learning and community betterment.  

“We are honored to help put the capstone on a quarter century of Presidio park making,’ said Lauren B. Dachs, President and Executive Director of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. “We believe that the new Tunnel Top Parkland and the expanded Crissy Field Youth Campus share extraordinary potential as bold new models for how our national parks welcome diverse new audiences and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders.” 

“We are deeply grateful to the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for its visionary generosity in making this leadership gift,” added Greg Moore, President & CEO of the Parks Conservancy. “This grant will help realize the enormous potential of the new Tunnel Top Parkland and an expanded Crissy Field Youth Campus, both situated in and representative of the key values of the Presidio.”

The vision for the new Tunnel Top Parkland also responds to the rising demand and tremendous promise for an expanded youth campus at Crissy Field to become the regional hub for environmental literacy, youth leadership and service. Widely regarded as a national model for environmental education and multicultural youth development, the Parks Conservancy’s youth programs at Crissy Field, in partnership with the National Park Service and Presidio Trust, effectively utilize national parks as outdoor classrooms and successfully link the parks, schools and community-based youth organizations. The proposed expansion of the Crissy Field Youth Campus will provide larger and improved facilities for programs, add capacity for educator trainings, and create a dynamic hub for community partners to take advantage of expanded collaboration—while inviting a greater number of urban youth into their local national park.

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