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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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.
Uniformed firefighters gesture to each other as a prescribed fire burns on the grassy landscape.
Gateways Article
As autumn nears, park managers are shifting priorities towards wildfire resilience and protecting communities along the wildland-urban interface: the high-risk zone where human development meets flammable vegetation.
Alcatraz Garden Volunteers
Park E-Ventures Article
While the Alcatraz Garden volunteers have not been able to interact with the beautiful land they care for since March 13, that hasn’t stopped them from staying connected with one another.
Colorful wildflowers in front of a disused federal penitentiary building on Alcatraz Island.
Article
For two months this year following the shelter-in-place order, the five gardens at Alcatraz grew wild and untended until Shelagh Fritz, the Senior Program Manager on the island, was able to return. The history of the Alcatraz Gardens is one of careful planning, wild growth, and dedicated work.
Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida)
Article
The Quartermaster Reach project will create seven acres of extraordinary habitat for birds, plants, and other native species. But these culverts will do more than just let the waters flow beneath a busy roadway.
Aerial photo of Fort Mason, the San Francisco Bay, and the city.
Article
Discover the history of how the military shaped San Francisco's LGBTQ community.