Restoring for generations to come, the nurseries provide a living link between local communities and the restoration of native plant habitat throughout the Golden Gate National Parks.
From our perspective, the nurseries are a place where generations of adults and youth can learn and grow while creating habitat needed for local plants and animals to thrive.
Our Volunteer Programs
Our Education Programs
We offer a variety of education programs, including standards-aligned field trips and service learning opportunities.
- Seeds to Flowers (Grades K-2)
- Petal Pushers (Grades 2-3)
- Green Thumbs Up! (Grades 4-5) - on pause
- Nurseries Service-Learning (PreK-college)
Who We Are:
We are growers who have cultivated over 300 unique species of plants native to the Golden Gate National Parks in our four nurseries to preserve and restore park natural areas. We grow for Parks Conservancy projects and those of our partners, the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust.
We are community stewards who strive to connect local people with each other and with the natural areas that surround us.
We are youth educators who provide hands-on educational programs demonstrating the real-life applications of science learned in the classroom.
We are plant ecologists who maintain the health of local ecosystems by carefully collecting native seeds and plant materials from the park and providing expertise to restoration planners.
We are professionals who share the knowledge and expertise we have gained through publications, classes, and workshops.
Begun in the 1980's by a handful of inspired National Park Service staff and volunteers, the park nurseries continue to grow and evolve. Thanks to a small, dedicated staff and countless helping hands from the community, our network of plant propagation facilities have produced over 2.8 million plants since 1997.
Along the way, we have deepened our knowledge of local plants, offered weekly volunteer programs--including some volunteers who still coming decades later, and provided hands-on experiences for thousands of young people.
In addition to our current locations, our program also included the Redwood Creek Nursery in Muir Woods and the Tennessee Valley Nursery. Though those two specific sites are now closed, many of the volunteers are still coming to our other nurseries. Futhermore, the plants grown for restoration and the relationships built serve as an enduring legacy that enriches our parks.
As we continue to grow, we invite you to join us at an upcoming volunteer program!
More about the nurseries
Why do we grow our plants instead of buying them? We answered that very question in this article from 2012!
Want to read even more about our program? Check out this articles from our archive.
- Native Plants and Ecology
- "Native Plants" a glossary of some of the common species grown for restoration in the parks
- "Call It A Comeback: Nursery Staff, Techs Return Endangered Plants to The Presidio" (2018)
- "Mountain Lake's Underwater Vegetation: Adventures with Stinky Plants" (2013)
- "The Importance of So Much Little White Fluff" (2012) about two species of wind-dispersed seeds
- "How A Seed Gets on The Move" (2012)
- Nursery Process
- "Our (Not-So) Secret Receipt for Making National Park-Quality Soil" (2018) about how we make our potting soil right here in the parks
- "Growing Season: Nurseries Spring into Action" (2013)
- "It's Transplant-a-palooza Season for the Nurseries!" (2013) about our busy summer season of transplanting young plant
- Internships and Youth Programs
- "Oh, How We Have Grown" (2014) by Betty Young, reflecting on her 17 years as Nurseries Director
- "Freshly Picked, Tasty Tea Recipes" (2013)