Park Stories

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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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A person holds a snake with a bright teal underside, red and black stripes, and red head
Article
The endangered San Francisco garter snake is considered the most beautiful snake in North America. Found only in San Mateo County, the snake depends on habitat within our parks.
Large purple plants adorn the foreground of a sweeping view of military barracks on a large grassy field
Article
One of our work sites, Wolfback Ridge, has a stunning view of the bay and of Fort Baker. Our Summer Youth Intern, Can “John” Gökce, was curious about the history of Fort Baker and how it eventually became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
A purple and white flower grows from the soil
Article
We pull them, we bag them, but how much do we know about the introduced species that live in our park sites? Fascinating facts and more about why we need to pull these species from our parks.
Park volunteers watch a small black bird walk along a pathway
Article
Every week we work to restore native plant habitat, but our work goes beyond just the plant communities in our parks. It’s been fascinating to see the influence our work can have on wildlife and the ecosystem around us.
Close up of red moth, the buckwheat root borer, crawling in the grass.
Article
When an unsuspecting Presidio Trust intern uploaded an observation of a vibrant red moth to online naturalist community iNaturalist in 2017, she had no idea it was the first known observation of the species in the Presidio in over a century. The last record that it was ever here was...
Woman takes photo of Future IDs display in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz.
Park E-Ventures Article
When you visit Alcatraz’s concrete cellhouse, it’s impossible to escape the bleakness of incarceration and the lasting effects of life behind bars. Presented in partnership with the Art in the Parks program of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Headlands Center for the Arts, the Future...
A group of NPS rangers rally together during the Junior Ranger Jamboree in 2016.
Gateways Article
As iconic as the National Park Service (NPS) arrowhead emblem, the subtly steepled hat worn by NPS rangers is a symbol of America’s national parklands.
Trail Crew volunteers help install fence posts at Baker Beach.
Article
May was a month of changes at the trail shop, and new experiences for volunteers.
Coho salmon release
Article
The numbers are in, and things are looking good!
Small blue butterfly with two rows of white-rimmed black dots on the underside of its wings, drinking from a flower
Article
A look at the painstaking work that goes into preserving habitat for the federally endangered Mission blue butterfly.
Clarkia rubicunda, also known as Farewell to Spring.
Article
While this is an exciting change that many look forward to, it is nature's way of telling us that the season of spring is coming to a close.
From left, San Mateo Park Stewardship intern Laurasia Holzman Smith, Community Programs Manager Georgia Vasey, and intern Samuel Peña.
Article
I’ve been grateful to mentor and supervise two unique interns each year who bring such a diverse array of skills, knowledge, and passions. What I’ve learned is invaluable.