2023 Report to the Community

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portrait: Chris Lehnertz, President & CEO portrait: Staci Slaughter, Chair, Board of Trustees

What a wonderful 50th year for the national parks in our backyard, all thanks to you! When we cut the butterfly ribbon to officially open Presidio Tunnel Tops in July, it was a magical day among a cascade of special moments that prove what we can accomplish together for people and parks.

Since that Opening Day, we’ve seen thousands of young people climb on the Outpost, peer through the Field Station, and grow at the Crissy Field Center. We’ve seen community groups utilize the park for festivals, fun, and reflection. And we’ve seen so many photos being taken of families, friends, pets, and views. Thanks to careful planning and unwavering support, Presidio Tunnel Tops is truly a place that welcomes everybody, and in turn, a bright spot of our region in 2022.

We want to capitalize on that momentum and make sure we’re creating the same positive impact for people at park sites throughout the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), from Rancho Corral de Tierra to Marin. Our People and Parks Forever Fund is off to a roaring start, as you’ve recognized the need for a new chapter. Together we’ll address social inequities, tear down barriers to access, and make our parks into positive catalysts for change. Thank you for helping us create a brighter future for people in our region through the power of parks.

Chris Lehnertz
President & CEO

Staci Slaughter
Chair, Board of Trustees

It’s OK to be yourself here. One thing that really touched me is kids who have trouble communicating, or maybe they have trouble expressing their needs, have this place here where they can really enjoy themselves, to climb and play.”

—Ben Lam, Adventure Guide, on welcoming people to Presidio Tunnel Tops and the GGNRA. Your support has made the Adventure Guide program possible, so thank you! Learn more at parksconservancy.org/ags

Ben Lam

Park Postcards

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) includes 82,000 acres of iconic national park sites in the Bay Area's backyard. Thanks to the support of Parks Conservancy members and donors, we're connecting people to parks and stewarding these sites for generations to come.

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2022 Impact More people, more connections

It was the year of rebound in the GGNRA— in 2022 our youth programs were full, we reopened three park stores and moved them all to seven days per week, and we welcomed 15.6 million visitors to the parks. That was even more than 2018 and 2019!

It was a big year for Crissy Field, as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of its transformation by flying kites with the community on a blue-sky day in May. In October, we joined “Mother of the GGNRA” Amy Meyer, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and many others to celebrate 50 years of this beloved national park unit.

In 2022 we connected thousands of people to parks and advanced initiatives around climate resiliency and social justice. Here’s a sampling of all you helped accomplish in 2022:

Access to parks and community engagement

  • Presidio Activator Council: This dedicated group of leaders, activists, and artists represented Bay Area communities—many of whom have not historically felt welcomed in national parks. They helped us deliver on the promise of Presidio Tunnel Tops as a park built by the community, for the commun
  • Presidio Tunnel Tops Opening Season: The Activators helped plan special events like Access to Adventure Day, an Environmental Justice Summit, and a Pchum Ben Celebration that helped make the park welcoming from the start.
  • Summer Stride: We returned to in-person trips with the San Francisco Public Library in 2022. Participants learned about the Buffalo Soldiers, saw a StoryWalk with illustrator Shawn Harris at Crissy Field, and listened to Ranger Fatima’s stories around the campfire.

Youth leadership and career pathways

  • Back home: Youth programs returned to the restored Crissy Field Center along Mason St., and returned with a full slate of programming. In 2022 we supported 41,473 people through programs, resources, and engagement.
  • Adventure Guides: In 2022 we unveiled our newest workforce development program, hiring young people (many of them graduates of our youth leadership programs) to guide visitors at Presidio Tunnel Tops. The program was a success with the public and the Adventure Guides, who formed a tight-knit community.

Community science and stewardship

  • Tamalpais Bee Lab: 103 community science volunteers contributed to One Tam’s inventory of the mountain’s wild bees, for a total of 374 hours of processing specimens and learning about these important pollinators.
  • Golden Gate Raptor Observatory: In 2022, volunteers and GGRO staff recorded 16,845 raptor sightings and banded a total of 601 raptors. We’re coming up on GGRO’s 40th year, and our long-term data sets allow us to detect changes in raptor migration phenology (timing) in the Pacific Flyway, population numbers, and much more.
Photo by Krista Fanucchi

Designing for climate resilience

  • Forest health: Our One Tam program is leading the development of a regional strategy to increase forest health and resilience. We are gathering data to inform science- based decisions on forest management in Marin County.
  • Bothin Marsh: We continue to engage the public around community-favored designs for the Evolving Shorelines project, developing nature-based approaches to adapt marsh habitat and the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multi-use Pathway (Bay Trail) to a changing climate.

People and Parks Sharaya Souza

“Land isn’t land,” says Sharaya Souza (Taos Pueblo, Ute, and Kiowa). “Land, to me, is our mother, it’s our earth. We are part of it and have a responsibility to steward it, to protect it no matter where we are, no matter where we’re from.”

Working together in the parks, we build community bonds by connecting to the land and to each other. Sharaya was a Presidio Activator and is the Executive Director of the American Indian Cultural District (AICD), an organization dedicated to honoring and building resiliency in past, present, and future generations of American Indians, creating vital community connections throughout the city.

In partnership with the Parks Conservancy, AICD hosts gardening days with their elders and community members at Black Point historic gardens. Together, we’re growing coastal strawberry, angelica, and mugwort in our Presidio Nursery.

“I want people to celebrate our Native communities, for our community to have a voice, and to come together to lift it up,“ she says. ”I hope to bring more visibility to our people so our future generations don’t have to say ‘we’re still here.’ We’ve always been here.”

Read more from Sharaya at parksconservancy.org/sharaya

The City of San Francisco is the traditional territory of the Yelamu, a local tribe of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco peninsula. The Yelamu understood the interconnectedness of all things and maintained harmony with nature for millennia. Beginning in the 18th century, Spanish, Mexican and American colonization displaced and eradicated Native peoples across California, including the Yelamu; however, a few Ramaytush Ohlone families did survive. We honor the original peoples of this land and work to uncover the truths of the past that shape our present and future.

People and Parks Forever Fund

The newly established People and Parks Forever Fund will deliver the multi-faceted benefits of the GGNRA to our entire Bay Area community. We acknowledge parks have often not been welcoming to or inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Our goal is for everyone to feel valued and have a sense of belonging in the parks. The People and Parks Forever Fund supports park programs centered on pathways for youth, engagement in community science and stewardship, designing for climate resilience, and increased access to the parks for all. These efforts are grounded in racial and social justice principles and co-designed with communities. For more info, contact Natalia Gaiser at (415) 561-3519 or ngaiser@parksconservancy.org.

Find Your Park

Stretching across more than 82,000 acres and three counties, the Golden Gate national parks include the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, and Fort Point National Historic Site. Together, they were among the most-visited national park units in the country in 2022.

  • The Presidio

    Established by the Spanish in 1776, this post continues to evolve as a national park with new trails, overlooks, bikeways, and a recently opened visitor center.
    The Presidio

  • Muir Woods

    Saved by William Kent and Elizabeth Thacher Kent and named for John Muir, this National Monument is beloved by all for its tall redwoods and serenity.
    Muir Woods

  • Crissy Field

    Home to an environmental education center, a vast meadow, and a marsh teeming with bird life, the transformed Crissy Field is one of the most spectacular parks in America.
    Crissy Field

  • Olema Valley

    Picturesque Victorian farmhouses and idyllic trails grace this valley adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore.
    Olema Valley

  • Olema Valley

    Picturesque Victorian farmhouses and idyllic trails grace this valley adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore.
    Olema Valley

  • Cliff House

    The third incarnation of this legendary San Francisco landmark features a world-class restaurant with breathtaking ocean vistas.
    Cliff House

  • Point Bonita

    The Point Bonita Lighthouse — moved to its current spot in 1877 — stands sentinel at the edge of the continent.
    Point Bonita

  • Fort Baker

    Former Army buildings have taken on new life as a LEED Gold-certified national park lodge featuring restored landscapes.
    Fort Baker

  • Fort Point

    Tucked under the Golden Gate Bridge, this Civil War-era fortress is admired for its magnificent masonry — best appreciated on a candlelight tour.
    Fort Point

  • Fort Mason

    A key port of embarkation during World War II, this site now hosts the nonprofit Fort Mason Center, a popular hostel, Golden Gate National Recreation Area headquarters, and Parks Conservancy offices.
    Fort Mason

  • Sutro Heights

    The former lands of San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro showcase a charming garden and the nearby ruins of his gargantuan Sutro Baths.
    Sutro Heights

  • Ocean Beach

    A 3.5-mile stretch of white beach with few tourists and no highrises. Great for strolling and flying kites, but the water is frigid and the currents hazardous for all but the most experienced surfers.
    Ocean Beach

  • Alcatraz

    The Rock, famous for its notorious federal prison, is also known for its seabird colonies and restored gardens once tended by residents.

  • Marin Headlands

    These majestic hills are dotted with historic batteries and old military installations — and lofty perches from which to spy migrating raptors.
    Marin Headlands

  • Stinson Beach

    One of northern California’s most popular beaches, this vast stretch of white sand is a delight for swimmers, surfers, and picnickers.
    Stinson Beach

  • Fort Funston

    Visitors enjoy beach walks and the spectacle of hang gliders taking to the sky over windsculpted dunes.
    Fort Funston

  • Lands End

    This park has been revitalized in recent years with enhanced trails, gorgeous overlooks, native plants, and an acclaimed visitor center.
    Lands End

  • Kirby Cove

    No beach in the world has a view like this. From its sandy shore just west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, look east to a stunning panorama of the city.
    Kirby Cove

  • Sweeney Ridge

    Ridges and ravines mark this hiking area 25 min. south of S.F. Wildlife, including hawks, deer, and wildflowers, abound on the slopes which drop to the Bay on one side and Thornton Beach on the other.
    Sweeney Ridge

  • Tennessee Valley

    Offering more of a stroll than a hike, the two-mile trail that meanders through the meadows of this serene valley leads you to bluffs overlooking the Pacific.
    Tennessee Valley

Find more parks at parksconservancy.org

Celebrating our extraordinary volunteers

Stewarding our parklands wouldn't be possible without our dedicated community of volunteers. In 2022, 5,778 volunteers served 72,280 hours throughout the GGNRA. As we continue to rebuild our programming, we're grateful for all the volunteers who care for the parks’ natural and cultural resources and connect visitors to these treasured places. Our volunteer programs are a collaborative effort of the NPS, the Presidio Trust, and the Parks Conservancy.


22% 12% 66%
  • Park Interpretation & Visitor Services
  • Youth & Community Programs
  • Park Enhancements & Stewardship

Total support, 2022* $58,699,297

Total support to the parks 1982-2022 $745 million

Financial statements of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy are audited on an annual basis.

Copies of the complete audited financial statements are available at parksconservancy.org.

* Support to the parks includes all program service expenses, excluding cost of goods sold and donated services.

A snowy egret at Bothin Marsh.

Your support for the Parks Conservancy helps connect people to parks and engage our community in science to build climate resiliency. Thank you! 

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