What's the Word?

Golden Gate's Employee Newsletter - August

Back to School - a message from Superintendent Chris Lehnertz

The month of September sees most school-aged kids fully engaged back in their classrooms. Whether their summers were spent playing with friends, working a part-time job, or learning about our national parks – during the autumn the school year always beckons. The NPS has long played a role in educating America. This month, President Obama will introduce legislation for our Centennial. Among the key highlights of the bill is recognition of the importance of the interpretation and education responsibilities in our mission. At GGNRA we have established many programs to involve young people in our parks. In partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Presidio Trust, we host youth activities like the LINC Summer Program, the Park Stewardship Program, IYEL, Urban Trailblazers, the Summer Wellness Internship and the Academic Internship Program… to name just a few. We met a lot of great kids this summer who were a part of our programs, we sincerely thank them for their service to our wonderful park locations, and we wish them the very best in the 2015-2016 school year. Come back and see us again soon!

Centennial Updates

CHARITY MILES: The National Park Foundation is a featured charity on the Charity Miles app, supported in part by Humana, which allows users to raise money for the foundation as they bike, walk or run. How it works: After downloading the Charity Miles app from the app store and choosing the National Park Foundation as the charity to credit, users can log the miles they are active in their national parks or community, and collect credits for the National Park Foundation of up to 10 cents per mile they bike and up to 25 cents per mile that they walk or run.

CENTENNIAL LEGISLATION: On September 1st, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Obama Administration is proposing legislation to honor the National Park Service’s Centennial. The proposed National Park Service Centennial Act, which would require action by Congress in order to be enacted, would provide new resources to help revitalize our national parks, upgrade park facilities, and connect a new, diverse generation to the great outdoors.

Key provisions of the proposed legislation include:

• Provides up to $100 million for each of FY 16 – 18 to match philanthropic support for signature Centennial projects that provide a stronger foundation for visitor services.

• Provides $300 million for each of FY 16 – 18 to make necessary improvements to park infrastructure and help address the deferred maintenance backlog in a targeted manner.

• Establishes a Second Century Endowment, held by the National Park Foundation, to help the Foundation leverage private donations for NPS projects and programs, and a Second Century Fund, held by the National Park Service, which will be funded with a fee charged to those lodging and camping in national parks and by increasing the lifetime cost of the senior pass from $10 to an amount equal to the America the Beautiful Pass.

• Strengthens the National Park Service’s capacity to provide visitor services and protect the special places in its care by expanding eligibility for young people to participate in the Public Lands Corp, which will extend the timeline for direct-hire authority through that program, resulting in the ability to recruit and hire more young and diverse Americans.

• Allows for increased funding to support the National Park Service’s Volunteers in the Park program by removing the authorization ceiling. Last year, the program engaged at least 247,000 people who volunteered nearly 6.7 million hours of time.

• Allows the National Park Service to use additional contracting tools, which are more consistent with industry practices, to contract with commercial visitor service providers for lodging, food and beverage, and other visitor services.

• Provides clear authority for the education and interpretation work of the National Park Service and while using new methods of reaching people from different cultural backgrounds, abilities, and ages and by using innovative approaches to learning and communicating with visitors.

Joint NPS / Conservancy Park Stewardship Day

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 9:30am-2:30pm

591 Tennessee Valley Road

Mill Valley, CA

Park Stewardship Day, October 1

Together with the Conservancy, the park is hosting a staff volunteer day in Tennessee Valley on October 1, ~9:30-2:30pm. This is the first of a series of in-field Park Days that the park will be co-hosting in the coming year. Supervisor permission is required. RSVP here by Friday, September 25. Lunch will be provided!

San Mateo News Notes from Christine Fitzgerald

  • The Roving Ranger will be participating in the Pacific Coast Fog Fest in Pacifica on September 26 & 27! http://pacificcoastfogfest.com/ This annual event draws visitors and members of the community for a fun festival filled with music, food and beverages, arts, crafts and local vendors. We’re looking for help! If you are interested in working a 4-hour shift to engage with Pacifica residents, please contact Christine FitzGerald at cfitzgerald@nps.gov.
  • Centennial update – We’ve been out in the community spreading the word about the Centennial in San Mateo County, including presentations at REI and developing a “Packing the Parks” 4-day backpacking trip next summer through GGNRA.
  • Strategic Planning – join the San Mateo Team at 10:30am on 9/24 in the Golden Gate Room to discuss Rancho Corral de Tierra as one of the Stewardship Initiatives in the Strategic Plan.

Marin News Notes from Mia Monroe

Signs of fall: monarchs often seen in coastal areas such as Stinson, Muir Beach, Tennessee Valley and Fort Baker (watch at Fort Mason, too), ladybugs clustering up Bootjack (upstream of Muir Woods), hawks overhead and being watch by GGRO hawkwatchers (join them each weekend for a HawkTalk!), fall color thanks to maple, alder and poison oak!

September 12/13 was last weekend of Marin Headlands pilot shuttle which built use quietly and steadily...ditto for the Muir Woods 66F which ran weekdays through the summer and not only offered a car-free "ride" to Muir Woods but also helped with those stranded by UBER, others wishing to make a loop with a bus ride completely the trip. Good pilots and thanks, Darren Brown, for getting these tested!

Daphne Hatch reports that although many common murres are dying of starvation (no food, probably because of warmer oceans) overall the population is at a record high AND one place in GGNRA they've been nesting is on Bird Island, Marin Headlands...leave the dead birds for those scavengers who need marine detrituts, thx to NOAA volunteers who walk the beaches and track these phenom.

Another challenge on the beach, this time at Muir Beach is water contamination. Samples taken weekly April 1 - Oct 31 by NPS staff and analyzed by County Environmental Health Services. Check up on this yourself by calling 473-2335.

Ticks? yes! 'tis the time to take precautions, even if walking in shady redwood forests! stay on trail, do a tick-check upon return home, wear protective gear!

More marine news: The Marine Mammal Center celebrates 40 years at its NPS-Marin Headlands facility providing rescue, care and research on marine mammals...congrats and thank you!

Get involved! Learn more!
Coast Clean-up Sept 19 at a your favorite beach!
National Public Lands Day Sept 26 (fee free at Muir Woods)
CelebrateTam with a two day event centered in Mill Valley featuring activities on Saturday and informational tables Sunday morning with TamTalk Sunday afternoon PLUS a wine and cheese reception to open the Tom Killion show of art featuring Tam-scapes on Saturday eve...look for schedule and to sign up at CelebrateTam.org

Treevia: When did this person say this about which GGNRA treesure? "You look up at those redwoods and they go on forever, they've been there forever. It's impossible to not be inspired."

Three Simple Ways to Report Incidents or Needed Repairs in the Park

MAINTENANCE WORK ORDERS: Have you noticed a leak, broken door, missing gadget in your office or shared work space? If you noticed something that needs to be addressed by Maintenance you can submit work orders and requests to the Maintenance Work Order Desk, goga_maintenance_workorderdesk@nps.gov.

INTERNET AND COMPUTER HELP: If you need help with a computer or internet issue there are several ways to contact the IT Office. You can submit a work order to http://npshelpdesk.nps.gov, or send an email nps_goga_it@nps.gov or call 415-561-4717.

DISPATCH: If you ever see an unsafe condition or situation contact Dispatch as soon as possible so that they can notify the best authority to manage the situation until a repair can take place. The non-emergency number is 415-561-5505, or in the case of an emergency call 415-561-5501. Dispatch can contact the Leadership Team, law enforcement, the Public Affairs Officer in a timely manner to help protect people and the resources.

In the news

Ocean Beach Fire Program Update

We have been working to develop the next steps for the Ocean Beach Fire Program and are hosting a public meeting on Sept. 24 to provide details on the permit system and proposed seasonal restriction of beach fires. The objective of this meeting is to obtain productive input and feedback from the public to help inform the decision-making process for the future of fires on Ocean Beach. Throughout the years there have been ongoing issues on the beach in the area where fires are allowed, making it challenging for the park to manage effectively. For information about the proposal visit http://www.nps.gov/goga/learn/management/upload/09-24-15-Ocean-Beach-Public-Meeting-Outline.pdf

Public Meeting
Thursday, September 24
6:00 pm 8:30 pm
Presentation/Discussion at 6:30 pm

County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park
In the Auditorium
1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Reminder: Child Care Survey open until 9/18

The park is beginning to explore the demand, suitability of facilities, and feasibility of hosting child care on park lands. If you currently have or anticipate having child care needs in the near future, please take 5-10 minutes to complete the following survey.

The survey will be open until September 18. Once we have determined interest, we will decide which direction makes most sense. http://goo.gl/forms/0kxd6TZro9

Contact James Sword (james_sword@nps.gov) with questions.


Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 10am to Sunday, Oct. 4th, 5pm

Mt Tamalpais, Marin County, CA, United States


On Saturday, October 3, join us for a variety of walks, talks, volunteer, and health activities all across the mountain during the day. All activities are free, but space is limited and registration is required. http://www.onetam.org/celebrate-tam

On Sunday, come for a day of family-friendly fun and activities at the Mill Valley Community Center! Our Kid Zone is the perfect place for your toddler through middle schooler to test their jumbo Jenga skills at the Tower of Tam, work off some extra energy in our bouncy houses, get creative with face-painting, temporary tattoos, and a variety of arts and crafts for all ages. Some samples of activities include bird nest making, dot art, bag decoration, jewelry making and more!

You’ll also enjoy food trucks, live music by Jill and Steven Pierce (2/3 of the band Orange Sherbet), and the chance to interact in fun ways with the amazing organizations listed below that are working to care for Mt. Tam.

One Minute for Safety- Ten Rules to Preserve Ten Fingers

1. Beware of pinch points. Train yourself to recognize pinch pints and avoid placing your hands and fingers in such hazardous spots.

2. Expect the expected. When using wrenches and other hand tools, with which you expect resistance, anticipate that the tool might slip or the object to which pressure is being applied may suddenly give way.

3. Inspect tools. Check to see if they are in good condition and safe to use.

4. Do not work on moving equipment. If the equipment can be stopped, do so. Working on moving equipment presents a real threat to hands and fingers.

5. Replace machine guards following repairs that require removal of guards. The presence of machine guards is an important factor in keeping hands and fingers out of dangerous areas.

6. Be mindful of equipment that starts automatically. Never work on such equipment without first eliminating the possibility of automatic startup.

7. De-energize electrical equipment prior to working on it. Flash burns caused by electrical equipment shorting out is a threat to hands and fingers when work around such equipment is being performed.

8. Be mindful when closing doors. Keep hands and fingers clear. Also, watch for children’s fingers in the family car.

9. Avoid touching lines or equipment that is hot. Every hot line or hot piece of equipment is a potential source of painful injury to any hand or finger that comes in contact with it.

10. If the work being performed requires gloves, use them. Gloves offer protection from sharp objects, wood and metal splinters, acids, electrical burns, chemicals, and many other sources of injury.

*Information from http://www.safetytoolboxtalks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=2

Health and Wellness News

The long-time chair of the Health and Wellness committee (HAWC), Samantha Pollak, has moved on to pursue a graduate degree at SFSU. Although we’ll miss all of Samantha’s hard work and dedication to the HAWC, her departure provides an opportunity to re-envision the future of HAWC.

While we’re in the process of developing HAWC 2.0, please keep up the great work on taking care of yourself and your co-workers! Get plenty of rest; eat your greens; go for a walk; meditate; smile; do whatever you need to stay safe and healthy.

A few reminders:

· The gym facilities are for everyone to use, but please be respectful and clean up after yourself. Wipe down equipment. Bring your towels and toiletries with you to the shower but do not leave them in the bathroom (NOTE – the shower at 201 will be cleaned by October 1. If you wish to keep any of your things, please remove them by that time or they will be discarded).

· New bikes are available for use at work! Please contact Chuck Plummer with questions at Charles_plummer@nps.gov.

· Are you interested in participating on the HAWC? If so, please contact Christine FitzGerald at cfitzgerald@nps.gov.

Stay tuned for some new and exciting changes on the horizon and stay healthy.

Opportunity to Donate Annual Leave

The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program allows employees to donate a portion of their annual leave to other employees who are experiencing a personal emergency or hardship.

If you would like to donate leave to an employee in need please complete an OPM 630A form and fax to 360-569-6529, attention Lisa Lombard, Human Resources Specialist, NW SHRO Operations Lead. The form is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website. With the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader, the form can be completed on-line and printed locally. Use a web browser to go to http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/formindx.htm.

Donation of leave is a very personal matter. Your participation in the leave transfer program is entirely voluntary and will be treated confidentially.

Snapshot of Visitor and Resource Protection and US Park Police activities

  • On September 6th, Lifeguards conduced water safety patrol via an RWC for a GGNRA permitted open-water swim from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park. During the event, lifeguards made ten separate water rescues for fatigue and tide related issues.
  • On September 6th and 7th, Rangers responded to and mitigated many high visitation related issues. The Labor Day Weekend brought very hot weather and with it extremely high visitation. Rangers worked traffic closures at Muir Woods, Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, and the Headlands. Rangers and Beach Patrol also managed visitation related issues at Ocean Beach and Fort Funston.
  • On September 7th, Rangers observed an occupied homeless encampment within the wooded area of Sutro Park. Rangers called out the occupant and when identified, she returned with 24 active warrants. The subject also appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine. When giving Rangers her ID, she dropped a plastic bag filled with suspected methamphetamine remnants. The subject was arrested on the warrants and transported to San Francisco County Jail.
  • On September 12th, Lifeguards joined the SF Fire Department to participate in a multi-agency large-scale emergency event called Urban Shield. The goals of the training were to enhance skills and cooperation among water-based first responders in a mass causality incident. The scenario involved a situation in which two passenger ferries collided and a large scale passenger evacuation was needed. Lifeguards operated their RWC during the training and were deployed to pull patients from the water and transport them to a large rescue boat for triage.

Send Your Feedback About this Newsletter!

This newsletter is created by the Public Affairs Office to keep staff updated on the happenings around the parks. If you feel we missed something, want to suggest a story, or have a correction, please email us at alexandra_picavet@nps.gov.