How can we help make the world a healthier, happier place? Here at the Institute at the Golden Gate, we believe the answer is “One piece at a time.” Since we’re a small team, we know we can’t change everything all at once. But, we believe passionately that we can make a difference if we stay focused and play to our strengths.
In late 2012, the Institute finished work on an Action Plan that sets out our future goals and direction for the next five years. As we developed our plan, we realized the Institute’s main strength lies in our access to the skills and 30-year track record of innovation and leadership shown by our parent organization, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and by our partner, the National Park Service.
Together, these organizations have helped transform the Bay Area, whether it’s turning Crissy Field from a former military site into a beloved park site, or transforming Alcatraz into a tourist hotspot that not only promotes local history, but also generates revenue and creates jobs for our community.
In the coming years, the Institute’s mission will be to harness the power of parks and protected areas to advance environmental stewardship and human well-being. Drawing on the expertise of our local partners, we will seek to change policy and practice at the state, national, and global levels.
But we won’t just be focusing our efforts on changing things outside the Bay Area. In 2013, the Institute will also be stepping up our local engagement, pilot-testing new ideas here that, if successful, will help not just the Bay Area community, but can be replicated in other parts of the U.S. or even globally.
In 2013, we are focusing our efforts on four main programs: health, food, climate-change education, and urban areas. Each of them will have elements designed to connect the Bay Area to the wider world. Keep an eye out for future issues of Park E-ventures, when we’ll tell you more about our plans and activities on each of these four topics.