With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s a time to show warmth and appreciation for those who have made a positive and lasting impression on our lives. Here in the Golden Gate National Parks, one incredible community of folks stands out and absolutely shines—our PARK VOLUNTEERS. On behalf of the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and the Parks Conservancy, THANK YOU! Consider yourselves being virtually hugged from all of us that work in the parks, enjoy the parks, and value the parks. We know that your time is precious and we are honored and grateful that you choose to spend it with us caring for these spectacular national parkands.
Over the course of this past year, over 35,000 members of our community, near and far, volunteered in the parks, contributing nearly a half-million hours of service! Incredibly, the volunteers at Golden Gate contribute over 10% of the volunteer hours across the entire National Park Service. While these numbers are indeed impressive, it is each individual, each family, and each group that volunteer their time, that give these numbers meaning and significance.
As Dr. King so eloquently said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
You, our Park Volunteers, are exceptional and truly bring the heart and soul to this collective effort and to these parks. Whether it’s your first year of volunteering or your 25th year, whether you were able to offer a few hours or hundreds of hours—across the spectrum we are truly thankful to every one of you for every moment. Each of you has made a positive impact that contributes to the fundamental health and enduring preservation of these treasured parks.
As volunteers, you have supported nearly every aspect of managing these parks:
- Grew plants in our Nurseries
- Restored and monitored critical habitat and landscapes
- Greeted visitors and led walks, talks, and public programs
- Tracked and banded raptors
- Captured the park and community in photographs and video
- Showcased and restored historic sites
- Organized events and programs
- Reenacted historic events
- Monitored birds and other wildlife
- Educated, engaged, and inspired young people
- Maintained and rebuilt trails
- Volunteered as an intern
- Weeded, planted, and mulched
- Cleaned and cared for beaches and park grounds
- Assisted with administrative and office work
- And More…
You are an absolute inspiration. Thank you for everything you do to make these parks A PLACE FOR ALL and A PLACE OF BEAUTY and A PLACE FOREVER!
New to volunteering? We’d love to give you an introduction. Please contact us at (415) 561-3044 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.parksconservancy.org/volunteer.
Quotes from the Field – Staff and Volunteers:
“Amazing year! ... with the Forest Stewards, Garden Stewards, Trail Stewards, and Compost and Salvage Crew! Thank you Parks Conservancy! Thank you NPS! Thank you Presidio Trust! And most of all... THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!!!”
“Any day when we witness visitors' eyes, hearts, and minds opening up to the magnificence of the old-growth redwood forest of Muir Woods is a very special day, indeed!”
“Coastal Cleanup Day 2013 complete downpour but volunteers still showed their love for the park by volunteering for the annual cleanup.”
“I enjoyed "Shaking it Out" before our activity. It got everyone warmed up and helped us feel more comfortable together because we looked so silly!”
“I am blessed to work with some awesome volunteers. You guys are my heroes. You make the hard work we do so much fun!”
“It's been a dream to work with the horses and community of volunteers in Tennessee Valley. It's truly a slice of heaven out there. I thank all the people who had the foresight to preserve the land and everyone who is working to support the place today.”
“I've been a volunteer with GGRO for 20+ years, but just started with the nursery this year. Two very different programs (one for the truly obsessed, one that can work with the drop-in novices), but still so much in common. Both groups are full of fun, enthusiastic, intelligent people; both present great opportunities to learn and broaden your horizons; and both get you out to enjoy our great parks.”
“Volunteering in the parks is its own best reward.”
“Keep Biodiversity Thriving and Happy......!”
“Pt Bonita – Some of our volunteers have been volunteers there for 15 or more years. Last year, one of our volunteers was honored nationally as one of the top volunteers in the country, and was invited to join other volunteers at the White House to decorate the Christmas tree.”
“On Civil War Day at Fort Point (twice a year) the old fort comes alive with bunting, music, exhibits, re-enactors doing military drills, and the thrilling raising of the huge garrison flag while the Fort Point Brass Band plays the National Anthem.”
“So many great moments – mostly, the many awesome interns that have hosted us – their enthusiasm, hard work, and commitment is very inspiring to me and the students that I bring.”
“Working with the PPS makes my day!”