Park Stories

Highlighting the people, engaging programs and beautiful places that make the Golden Gate National Parks special. Can't get enough? Sign up for our monthly E-ventures newsletter, and become a member today to receive our gorgeous Gateways newsletter quarterly. More about our publications here

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Pruning plants at the Presidio Native Plant Nursery.
Gateways Article
Building a more expansive and intentional language is an ongoing process. These five steps can help you get started.
Ranger Benny Batom at Alcatraz
Article
For nearly 30 years, Ranger Benny Batom has uncovered Alcatraz Island’s lesser-known history to bring untold stories to visiting students. He works to facilitate dialogue addressing contemporary issues around incarceration and justice. We sat down with Ranger Benny to ask him about his history and this moment.
Lands End
Article
Even though we have not been physically present to enjoy these comings and goings, I hope you know that all the attention and energy you have put into these lands, continues to show and brighten up the lives of many, especially during these trying times.
Alcatraz Island
Article
This year we’ve missed seeing volunteers, program participants, students, and the rest of our park community in person—but we’ve been so inspired by what we’ve been able to do together at a distance. Going into the fall, some sites that were closed throughout the summer are now open and providing...
Adult Red-tailed Hawk
Article
After a 2018 season of smoke and haze, GGRO Director Allen Fish explored impacts of air pollution on birds in his 2019 article for Pacific Raptor 40. As first responders battle wildfires across the state each year, we again wonder what effect these extreme climate phenomenon will have on raptor health and movement.
Color-banded raptor.
Article
Red-tailed Hawks! This season was full of them. The 2018 field season ended with 342 Redtails banded-almost 100 Redtails above our 10-year average.
Visitors enjoy Alcatraz Island.
Article
In this article, we’ll get you set up with some tips to explore Alcatraz like a seasoned park ranger. Visit for those views, for the lush gardens, and the history that ties into present-day social justice movements. Here are some of our insider tips.
Western Pond Turtle Release
Article
The western pond turtle hasn’t been observed in the Rodeo Valley Watershed since 1998. This year, the fourth year of a five-year reintroduction plan, biologists reintroduced 20 turtles to Rodeo Valley and 14 to Redwood Creek Watershed.
Portion of Hawk Hill closed for 2020 Hawkwatch Program
Article
This year, significant changes to the Hawkwatch program protocols have been implemented to allow a limited number of GGRO Hawkwatchers to safely collect migration data from Hawk Hill.
Youth wellness collage
Gateways Article
During the summer months, the Crissy Field Center would normally be teeming with young people. While we’ve missed connecting and engaging in person, we’re meeting virtually and practicing wellness.
The main entrance to Muir Woods National Monument.
Article
“We share the history of racism in national parklands as tools and reminders for change,” said Chris Lehnertz, President & CEO of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. “We are on the strong side of advocating for a more just world.”
Side-by-side photos two peregrine falcons, male on left and female on right.
Article
For the first time in recorded history, peregrine falcons have nested on Alcatraz Island! After months of observating the pair, park biologists have spotted two fledglings.