What's the Word

Golden Gate's Employee Newsletter- January 2016

A Message from Chris Lehnertz – Service Days

Together with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, we put the service in National Park Service. Did you know that in the course of a year, there are over 25,000 people who volunteer at one of the park locations in GGNRA? People volunteer for many reasons – they may connect with a specific cause, they are part of an organization contributing through a service project, they want to meet others with similar interests, they are building a resume, or they simply want to ‘do good.’ No matter what the reasons, our parks have benefitted greatly from their efforts and we are forever grateful for amazing work and contributions they have made. As we consider how we celebrated the service life of Dr. Martin Luther King earlier this month, look for ways to pay the favor forward by finding your own way to make a difference by volunteering!

150 years of Buffalo Soldier History Remembered with Ranger Rik Penn

Saturday, Feb. 20th, 2-3:30pm

1305 18th Avenue

San Francisco, CA

Come to the Sunset Public Library on this, the 150th anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers, Ranger Rik Penn discusses a time of deep moral dilemma and soul searching in the history of these African-American soldiers as their segregated regiments had to enforce harsh government policies toward Native Americans. The period leading up to and following the Philippine-American War brackets a perplexing period in the Buffalo Soldier saga as Ranger Penn will demonstrate through the use of newspaper articles, personal letters, and other historical writings.

Projects and Planning Roundup: Marin

Muir Woods and the NPS reached an important milestone during the winter holidays with the approved FONSI and then Supt Lehnertz signing the MOU with County of Marin. Project Manager and Transportation Planner Darren Brown got work underway right after the new year to install the road shoulder protection measures along upper Muir Woods Road (and transforming Conlon into an interim parking lot) to make sure it was done before spotted owl nesting season. That piece of the work moved along ahead of schedule and similar work has now started in Frank Valley.

This work was the focus of a public meeting on January 6. A full house had a robust Q& A session, learned what to expect ahead, had a chance to talk with other project managers to learn about restoration, Coho Jumpstart, the Muir Woods shuttle, Go Slow-Say Hello campaign and trail work.

Darren Fong reports the next phase of Project Coho Jumpstart has gone well: three male salmon returned from their stay at the hatchery to move eagerly into Redwood Creek and one was even observed spawning with another returning female up in Muir Woods!

Hands-On Tam Service Day is February 6...this long-running big service day will have lots of opportunites to weed, clean, plant at sites in Muir Woods, at Muir Beach, on Tam and over at MMWD's Bald Hill..a OneTam event!

Projects and Planning Roundup: San Mateo

Rancho Planting Day (image attached)

Despite the El Nino weather, 35 NPS and Parks Conservancy staff members put over 900 plants in the ground at Rancho Corral de Tierra on 1/19/16. The revegetation efforts are coordinated with the Trail Crew work along the San Vicente Trail above the equestrian facilities. Thanks to all who came out to help!

Mori Point Trailhead Construction

With funding for accessible improvements throughout the park, the trailhead at Old Mori Trail is getting new accessible parking, standard parking, vault toilet, trash receptacle and wayfinding signage. Construction started with the removal of two large cypress trees on 1/27/16, and is expected to be complete by March.

Projects and Planning Round Up: San Francisco and Alcatraz

  • Phase 2 of Cliff Stabilization Below the Warden's House. Depicts the placement and sculpting of architectural shotcrete, prior to final staining to match Phase 1 work and native rock. Work is now complete.
  • The repairs to the failed historic retaining wall along the McDowell Avenue section of the Bay Trail in Fort Mason started. When there is temporary trail closures there will be signage to guide visitors to alternate paths through Fort Mason. Project staff will be on site to answer questions when that has to happen. The trail will remain open for a majority of the six-month construction period - a section of the Bay Trail will be narrowed by fences to allow for access to construction equipment along the wall. For short periods of time over the duration of the project, the trail will be closed. These repairs will improve public safety and cultural resource protection.

Upcoming Special Park Use Events Permitted in the Park

Here is a partial list of permitted events coming up. They are not a staffed event unless noted.

1/31 - 10K run at Lands End for 250

1/31 - Ocean Beach Ultimate Frisbee for 150

2/5 - Point Bonita wedding for 20 - staffed

2/5,6,7 - Kayaking event at East Beach (really St Francis Yacht Club) for 150

2/6 - Trail run in Marin for 650 - staffed

2/6 - Ocean Beach fire for 60

2/7 - Crissy Field 5K for 200

2/11 - Bay School event on Crissy Field for 430 - staffed

2/14 - Ocean Beach Ultimate Frisbee for 150

2/14 - Impacts from the Kaiser Permanente marathon and 5K in GG Park

Couples and Your Park Story Wanted

Our Centennial and Communications Intern Tiffany is working on a project; we started a video series to highlight people and their stories, projects, etc. across the park. https://sites.google.com/site/gogacentennialsite/reinvigorate-our-staff/photos-videos

With Valentine's Day around the corner, the next Centennial Snippet (100-second) video will feature NPS and Conservancy couples around the park. We want to highlight your partnerships!

The questions we'll ask include:

1. How long have you two been together?

2. Where and how did you meet?

3. A quick, funny or romantic memory that includes the park?

The video will be published in our Trail Mix Tuesday newsletter on February 16, so the last date to have an interview is February 10. If you are interested in participating, please get back to me with the following:

1. Potential date/times that work for you and your partner

2. Suggested location

Contact Tiffany M. Tolentino (in Budget)

Centennial News

Golden Gate Launches an internally-focused Centennial Website


The Centennial is here! Our new website is a hub for Centennial information, with a focus on what Golden Gate is doing to celebrate internally and externally. Key site features include a Calendar of Events; details on external programming (Find Your Park and Every Kid in a Park ); Contact information; and Centennial Snippets, 100-second videos highlighting stories and people from across the park. In addition the website, the park will be sending short, bi-weekly updates on Centennial highlights -- keep an eye out for Trail Mix Tuesdays.

BMD Breakfast Bingo -- first Centennial Open House!

The Business Management Division (BMD) will be hosting the first in a series of Centennial open houses. The open houses will be held in locations across the park and are an opportunity to get to know more about your colleagues' work. Swing by for 15-30 minutes and learn about the many facets of BMD. Snacks provided!!

Date/Time: February 4, 8-10am Location: Meet at the porch of 204 Fort Mason, Office of Special Park Uses (behind 201 Fort Mason, near the garden)


Saturday, Feb. 13th, 8:45am

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA, United States

San Francisco, CA

On February 13, 2016 the National Park Service will celebrate the first Indians of All Tribes Day to honor the 1969-1971 occupation of Alcatraz Island. Original occupiers and their families will be on the island to present programs for park visitors, and to reconnect with each other. Talks, walks, music, and dancing from 9:30am to 4:00pm will provide the public with a vital opportunity to connect with this rich period of island history through those who were directly involved.

This year also marks the Centennial of the National Park Service, founded in 1916 to preserve America’s history. In celebration of the Centennial it is more important than ever to educate the visiting public about the rich tapestry of stories from the occupation, from life on the island to the Indigenous Peoples Movement, to the subsequent social and political changes across the country.

In the News

GGNRA El Niño Planning

- Do not remove rocks from roadways in or near the park on your own.

- Contact Dispatch if you notice rockfall and leave the rock clearing to NPS or State employees who have the proper protective equipment, tools and expertise to handle the situation.

- The best solution may not be to remove the rock at all, but to close the road. Law Enforcement will make that determination.

- Before you head out on the road take a "tailgate" moment to review what decisions you will make if rocks do fall or if the road is blocked with rockfall.

- If you have any questions or concerns about rockfall, contact your division's Safety Committee representative.

The new Standard Operating Procedure for significant storm events is available on the sharepoint folder.

News from the Diversity and Inclusion Committee

On Saturday, January 16th, 2016, NPS and Parks Conservancy staff teamed up to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Service day in the Bayview District, one of our local neighborhoods in San Francisco. The event that was led by Habitat for Humanity and the Bayview YMCA, brought several organizations and neighborhood residents together to remember the legacy left behind by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and encouraged us all to give back to our surrounding communities. Amidst the rain, Presidio Interpretation and Outreach rangers marched in solidarity with members of the community that included many Bayview residents and was led by a local church. As the streets were filled with the sweet sound of inspirational hymns and Interfaith prayers, we were reminded of the importance of unity and respect for all. While some marched, others took part in a stewardship project in and around the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool and park, volunteering to help to beautify the natural landscape of the area.

NPS rangers were left inspired and motivated to continue the work being done both in and outside of our parks to welcome new and diverse audiences and bridge gaps that currently exist. We leave you with a quote from Dr. King himself.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King Jr.

Chinese New Year Parade

If you're interested in participating in Chinese New Year, there are still a few spots available. Please contact kay_wang@nps.gov for more information.

Wildlife in the Park

The National Parks Adventure IMAX Movie Showing in The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, CA Feb 12, 2016

There's a lot of buzz about the "National Parks Adventure" IMAX film premiering in just a few weeks at some venues, the nearest to GOGA is The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, Feb 12. Here's a little more information about the NPS's role:

  • "National Parks Adventure" IMAX film premieres in theaters across the country beginning in February. Typically educational institutions--like science museums and zoos--will show the film, and there are 11 venues within the MWR.
  • NPS did not sponsor the film. It was sponsored by BrandUSA. Because the NPS has an MOU with BrandUSA, some sharing of information about the film from the NPS can be appropriate. Parks have been given guidance to use factual statements about the film on social media and with the public. For example, they may say, "The new IMAX film showing at Henry Doorly Zoo is all about the national parks." They should not say, "Go see the new IMAX film..."
  • Some parks have partnered with the venue to do educational outreach to the public during screenings of the film. In that case, they have a lot more flexibility to promote their event. We have heard that the film does have a message and story arch that reinforces NPS values.

There's a new Trails Supervisor in Town

There's a new Trails Supervisor in Town and thought you should know. Please join me in congratulating Barnaby Fisher as our New Supervisor. Barnaby will now be supervising and overseeing the entire trails program at Golden Gate. Barnaby has been working in the trails program here for approx 14 years. However, his experience extends well beyond our park boundaries. Prior to Golden Gate, Barnaby worked for the Forest Service on an Wild Land Fire Engine and detailed as a Hot Shot, he also spent time in Haleakala and Kings Canyon building trails. But even before that, he was working with the California Conservation Corp (CCC) Backcountry Trails Program and even performing the duties of a work leader for the CCC/AmeriCorp.

Wet Weather can Cause Ants to go in the House

Of the 270 species of ants in California, fewer than a dozen are pests, and although ants can be bothersome pests indoors, it's important to remember that outdoors they sometimes also play a beneficial role in the environment.

The following are some simple steps you can take to reduce ant problems.

Make your house less attractive to ants.

  • Caulk cracks and crevices that provide entry into the house.
  • Store food attractive to ants in closed containers.
  • Clean up grease and spills.
  • Ant-proof kitchen garbage pails with sticky barriers such as petroleum jelly under the lip and place pet dishes in a moat of water.
  • Remove or manage sweet food sources next to your house such as aphid-infested bushes and ripened fruit on trees.
  • Keep plants, grass, and organic mulch at least a foot away from the foundation of buildings to reduce ant foraging and nesting.

When ants invade your house:

  • Sponge up invading ants with soapy water as soon as they enter.
  • Plug up ant entryways with caulk.
  • Take infested potted plants outdoors and submerge pots in a solution of insecticidal soap and water.
  • Clean up food sources by wiping up spills or placing food in tight-fitting containers.

Health & Wellness highlight...

Reminder - Call for Art Submissions (image attached)

Research has shown that coloring can be a successful form of art therapy, helping to focus the mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and can even improve sleep. The Health and Wellness Committee is preparing an adult coloring book, which will be available for all employees at the 2016 Health and Safety Week.

Are you an artist, or have a sketch you'd like to share? If so, please send your drawing to Lucy Scott at lucy_scott@nps.gov by January 15 to be included in the book! Submissions should be 8-1/2" x 11", black and white line drawings, either with a nature theme or mandala-type pattern. It can be as simple or intricate as you'd like. For more information on the benefits of adult coloring, see: http://www.medicaldaily.com/therapeutic-science-adult-coloring-books-how-childhood-pastime-helps-adults-relieve-356280

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