What's the Word?

An NPS Employee Newsletter - April

April has been a Busy Month-- a message from Acting Superintendent Aaron Roth

Dear Team,

April has been an active month for the National Park Service as well as us locally as a couple of important new efforts have been launched that have significant potential for Golden Gate to engage the community in new ways. Earlier this month the NPS launched the Centennial Find Your Park campaign, which is off to a fantastic start. If you haven’t yet visited findyourpark.com and watched some of the videos, you should. Locally, our centennial team is forming and our core program concepts and funding are in place. Stay tuned on how you can get involved in inviting the public to Find their [Bay Area] Park, get Every Kid in a Park and being part of our team to share our story of the great work we do every day!

Earlier this month NPS Director Jarvis and Deputy Director O’Dell were at Fort Mason to meet with several regional directors and urban park and program leaders to formally kick-off the National Park Service’s Urban Agenda. The Urban Agenda is a recognition that national parks in urban areas, like Golden Gate, are playing and will continue to play a pivotal role in making NPS relevant to all Americans and improving our collaboration competency as an agency. Deputy Director O’Dell invited us to “step into our power!” as urban parks and we intend to do just that! If you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look at: http://www.nps.gov/orgs/1412/upload/UrbanAgenda_web.pdf

And of course, we have a Chris Lehnertz, our new superintendent, starting at the end of the month. We have scheduled all employee meetings for May 5 and 6th which will be opportunities for everyone to meet Chris and learn more about her. We are also assembling a comprehensive orientation plan that will have Chris out and about all over our parks and community meeting people and learning about our programs, partners and places.

Attending some of these events this past week and having the opportunity to speak with many of our colleagues around the NPS is a reminder of just how wonderful our team is at Golden Gate and the amazing resources we enjoy on a daily basis. I feel lucky and fortunate to be a part of it, have a wonderful rest of spring, and be safe!



Find Your Park - Golden Gate National Recreation Area

And We Have Liftoff! The Centennial Find Your Park Campaign is Launched

Did you notice anything different this month? Did you see any of the banners placed throughout the park? Did you see the new virtual tour kiosk at the Bridge Pavilion? How about any of the fun videos that were released?

On April 2 the official Find Your Park awareness campaign was launched nationwide- but Golden Gate was one of only three parks that was highlighted.

Be a Part of #FindYourPark

Find Your Park movement was launched by the National Park Service and you're invited to be a part of it! In fact, YOU are the most essential part of it!

We're inviting people everywhere (those who already know and love parks and those who may not currently feel connected to them) to discover their own personal connections to parks and see that a park can be so much more than just a place. It can be a feeling, a unique connection to our shared history, the opportunity to see something from multiple perspectives, or a sense of pride felt while volunteering. People may also find that a National Park Service program helped preserve a special place in their community.

And, we're also encouraging people to share their park story! It could inspire someone else to discover their park. In fact, you can share your park story today at FindYourPark.com (EncuentraTuParque.com) and enter The Centennial Project contest, if you'd like. This awesome website features an interactive gallery of inspirational stories from people like you, National Park Service employees, and celebrities. Also on FindYourPark.com is a searchable list of ideas for ways to find your park, including in-park and digital activities.

In addition to the website, we invite you to share your park stories on social media using the hashtags #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque.

Can’t wait to hear your story!

And, we also happen to think that parks make for great conversation anytime – around the dinner table, on your morning commute, during a group workout, or a family reunion. So get up, get out there, and share your park story with people everywhere!

Centennial Teams are Forming At Golden Gate!

The Centennial Budget, split between the NPS and Conservancy, has been approved. With that needed funding the Centennial can get underway making solid plans and get going.

Four core teams are being formed are named below with the team leaders. If you are interested in joining a team you should speak with your supervisor and contact the team leader for the area you are most interested in to indicate your interest.

1. Find Your Park- Kay Wang/ Kate Bickert


Mobile Ap

Social media campaigns (with Communications team)

Website conversion to mobile format


Train the Trainer- Outdoor Afro, Latino Outdoors,

Community Shuttle to park – enhance transportation

Quarterly Big Events like Nat. Trails Day Centennial

Weekly program will be marketed as Centennial event


Monthly alternating in all three counties like Sunday Streets, Pop up parks,

Pride and Chinese New Year parades

Library Summer Reading Program

Community Driven- Centennial Coordinator/ Alex Picavet

Arts in Parks

Tributes- put on by partners and communities

2. Every Kid in the Park- Lynn Fonfa, Christy Rocca

Presidio Youth Collaborative

Existing 4th Grade programming

Develop 4 new programs for 4th graders

JR Ranger Day

School programs with underserved communities

3. Share Your Story- Stef Martin, Todd Blatt (Conservancy HR)

Internal effort to reinvigorating our staff, partners and volunteers.

4. Communications and Marketing- Alex Picavet and David Shaw

Social media and web outreach

Create common messages and branding

Advertising, media and blogs

Key Dates in the Park that we could rebrand or we have been asked to be aware of:

National Park Week and Earth Day (April)

John Muir Birthday- April 25

Founder Day- Aug 25

Public Lands Day- Sept 26

Coastal Clean Up – Sept 19

GGNRA birthday – Oct 27

National Trails Day Jun 6

Hands On Tam—last week in June

MLK Day- Jan 2016

Gay Pride- last Sunday in June

Chinese NY Parade- Feb 20, 2016

Fleet Week and Indigenous People’s Day= First Weekend in Oct

Rose Bowl Parade Jan 1, 2016

Superbowl- Feb 7, 2016

This is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be lots of opportunity to get involved, even if it is not right now. Stay tuned for more information each month in this newsletter. Contact Alex if you have any questions.

We Players Invites GGNRA Staff for a FREE Preview During Dress Rehearsals

Friday, April 24th, 5pm

680 Point Lobos Avenue

San Francisco, CA

Join us at Invited Dress Previews this week (4/22- 4/24) and help us put on the finishing touches. Or, if you can't make it this week, choose any other FRIDAY performance (5/1 - 6/5) and email reservations@weplayers.org to book your complimentary tickets.

We Players is an immersive performing arts company focused on connecting people with place through site-integrated theatre. Our current partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreational Area (with whom We Players has been creating works since 2008) has paved the way for this year’s production of Ondine at Sutro, where we turn the spectacular local landscape into a magical realm of participatory theater.

We Players brings this enchanting love story between a sea spirit and knight errant to life on the cliffs of Land’s End, where the windswept Monterey Cypress trees tower above and the vast Pacific stretches sparkling to the horizon. Audiences should be prepared to walk; as with all We Players productions, this show is on the move! Audiences follow the action of the play as it unfolds throughout the environment.

In the News

Employee Resources - Launch of InsideGOGA

We hope you noticed the February announcement about the launch of InsideGOGA on our park's SharePoint site - but have you checked it out yet?

To get to InsideGOGA, click on the link above, or you can also navigate to it from the GOGA SharePoint homepage - it's one of the headings running horizontally across the top.

InsideGOGA is dedicated to employee resources and information, and is one way we're addressing employee recommendations to share information more effectively. InsideGOGA will be a regularly updated place for GOGA employees to find key information like an SOP library, updates on park happenings, and more.

The first three pages that were part of the initial launch of InsideGOGA are Employee Survey-related material, a Suggestion and Feedback box, and Employee Newsletters - where you can find past editions of What's the Word! You can find these pages as headings on the left side of the InsideGOGA homepage.

We're also excited to announce that we've recently added a new feature - an online library of GOGA SOPs. It encompasses the standing set of approved SOPs - some of which may be quite old, as it turns out! But there's no longer a need to go searching for a dusty binder that may or may not have the latest versions. As SOPs get updated, we'll update them on InsideGOGA.

Additional pages and content will be added to the site over the coming months. If you have questions on InsideGOGA or suggestions for content, contact Stef Martin, Management Assistant in the Administration & Finance Division (stefanie_martin@nps.gov; 415-561-4766).

SOP Library Launched on InsideGOGA

InsideGOGA, a Golden Gate SharePoint page that houses employee information, recently added an online library which summarizes our park's SOPs. (http://share.inside.nps.gov/sites/PWR/GOGA/insidegoga/SitePages/SOP%20Library.aspx)

Leadership Team and Project Review/5x Meeting Notes are Open to All Employees

Want to learn more about management's priorities and/or project work? Leadership Team meets Monday, 1:30pm and Project Review/5x meets every other Wednesday at 10am. Please contact Kimiko De Pedro (kimiko_depedro@nps.gov​) or Liz Gill (elizabeth_gill@partner.nps.gov), respectively, if you would like to attend. RSVPs may need to be managed due to limited seating in the Golden Gate Room.


Brown is the new Green- the Drought is Taking a Toll

On our mind this spring is the drought. Although we are having some wonderful weather for our park visitors, the drought is taking a toll on our landscapes, our forests and our operations. We are assembling an action plan around water use reduction which will be our guide leading the way in conservation. Here are some of the key points for that:

Park management is calling for a group effort to do our part and reduce water use. The park is developing plans for cutting water use by 25% throughout the park. Specific efforts include:

· The Maintenance Division is exploring further reductions and elimination of irrigation in areas at Crissy Field, Fort Mason, Fort Baker and Stinson Beach

· Grounds crews are upgrading irrigation systems in anticipation of recycled water availability and letting the grass grow taller to encourage root growth to become more drought resistant

· The Maintenance Division is installing more low-flow fixtures and water-efficient appliances

· Showers and foot washing stations will be turned off at Stinson Beach, Rodeo Beach, Fort Point, East Beach, Baker Beach, China Beach and Sloat Boulevard

· On Alcatraz, all of the toilets are flushed with grey water/sea water to reduce potable water demand

· Business Management staff are working with park partners and concessioners to apply for water efficiency rebates and develop conservation plans

· Environmental & Safety Programs and the Budget Office are monitoring water use on a monthly basis in park buildings

· All park staff will stop hosing down vehicles, using potable water to wash vehicles only when absolutely necessary, and using the commercial grade heavy equipment wash station at Fort Cronkhite

· Park staff and park partners are working to use recycled water as a safe alternative to potable water for approved uses

· The park is increasing communication to employees and Park Partners about conservation efforts they can make at home, as well as educating the public about their parks and the environment

Please check on local water providers for detailed drought information:

· Marin Municipal Water District http://www.marinwater.org/

· San Francisco Public Utilities Commission http://www.sfwater.org/

· Stinson Beach County Water District: http://stinson-beach-cwd.dst.ca.us/

· Montara Water and Sanitary District http://mwsd.montara.org/

Steve Ortega on detail for 4 months!

Steve Ortega, our lead environmental protection specialist, began a 120-day detail with similar responsibilities at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York on 3/30. It’s a great opportunity for him to gain a new perspective on park planning, Golden Gate, and be a huge asset to our sister NRA. He will be busy and missed—and we expect him back in July!

In Steve’s absence, Larry Miranda and Samantha Pollak have agreed to take back-to-back temporary promotions as NEPA team lead (Larry, April through May; Samantha, June through July). We are confident that their professionalism and experience will assure strong continuity with Project Review and other significant workloads in the division. To support our new leads, we will also be shifting some responsibilities among other division staff.

If you have questions or suggestions about this transition, please contact Brian Aviles, acting Chief of Planning.

News from San Mateo!

The San Mateo team is growing! With new NPS and Conservancy staff dedicated to managing our San Mateo lands, the need for office space closer to work sites is increasing. Since we do not currently have any office space in San Mateo County, several staff will temporarily be moving into the Maintenance building at Fort Funston. We anticipate being set up in the next few months - come on by to check out the new space or just to say hi.

National Trails Day

Haven't been to Rancho yet? Want to see what all the buzz is about? Join the Trail Crew for National Trails Day on the coastside!

Great opportunities to explore comning up on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6

San Mateo: Rancho Corral de Tierra

10am - 1:30pm. Contact Jaimie Baxter (jbaxter@parksconservancy.org) for more info.

Marin: Coastal Trail at Bolinas Ridge


Meeting at intersection of Bolinas-Fairfax Rd and Ridgecrest Blvd

San Francisco: East Fort Miley Trail at Lands End


Meeting at Fort Miley Trails Shop

OHV Grant

GGNRA and the Parks Conservancy are applying for $1.3M in grant funding from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicular Recreation Division to help restore areas that were damaged by illegal motorcyle and vehicle use. The requested funds would be used to install additional barrier fences and signage, recontour damaged hillsides, and collect and analyze much-needed data at Rancho Corral de Tierra and Lower Milagra Ridge. Cross your fingers!

News from Marin!

Big image

County: Marin Getting Closer to Muir Woods Road Rehabilitation

Key route on Mount Tam’s slopes is in need of repairs; grant funding sought.

By RENEE SCHIAVONE (Patch Staff) April 16, 2015

The following is a news release from the County of Marin:

Engineers with the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) are working with federal agencies to make long-needed improvements to Muir Woods Road near Mount Tamalpais.

The County recently was notified by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division that Marin has been short-listed for a $4.4 million grant for the project.

The proposed rehabilitation project includes a 2.4-mile project area of the road connecting the entrance of Muir Woods National Monument with State Highway 1. The topography and proximity of Redwood Creek has caused undercutting and compromised the road in several locations, some of which require one-way stop control for vehicles to traverse the failed sections. The project would fix several old slide sites adjacent to Redwood Creek plus storm damage to the road from December 2014.

The National Park Service, which oversees the national monument, sent a letter to federal authorities with strong support for the improvements. Muir Woods has approximately 1 million visitors each year and Muir Woods Road also serves as a primary access road to the monument. It’s also a critical public transportation route for the Muir Woods Shuttle. In addition, the enhancements to this roadway will also improve access to neighboring State Parks lands.

If the project scoping goes well, DPW staff plans to bring a notice of grant award to the Marin County Board of Supervisors this fall.

Learn more about roads under DPW’s jurisdiction on the County website.

Marin Highlights from Mia Monroe- the new Marin-lands Coordinator

Look up! Crawl in! Learn more! Visitors approaching Muir Woods have new and fun ways to engage with redwoods. Michael Faw and the interpretive staff (with a BIG help from the Trails Crew!) have installed a medallion on the plaza surface to subtly catch attention then guide one to the 3-D tactile model or over to an old log lying there safely for a child to crawl inside. The Visitor Center has a new look, too and offers exhibits on what we learned through the BioBlitz. Just inside the woods, the famous cross cut has undergone a facelift and new labels show off the tree's story in large type as well as braille.

It is spring! Kirby Cove campground is open for the season, the Muir Woods shuttle is off to a good run. National Park Week kicked off with a weekend of fee free days on April 18-19 at Muir Woods and a happy 160 years birthday to Point Bonita.

The Redwood Creek Nursery is being decommissioned after 25 years of supporting stewardship and restoration from Muir Woods to Muir Beach. Other nurseries and programs will continue to offer this service.

Details, details...Marcus Combs is at the helm at Muir Woods for four months, Andrew Felton is deep into his supervisory detail at the Marin Headlands.

9 Photo Composition Tips by Steve McCurry

9 Photo Composition Tips (feat. Steve McCurry)

It’s Spring- Time to Prevent Lyme Disease

At this time of year in the Bay Area tick populations will be at their highest rates. With the warmer weather and the start of hiking season, it’s also the time of year when people are most likely to come in contact with ticks infested with Lyme disease.

Protect Yourself from Tick Bites

One of the more important measures you can undertake to protect yourself from ticks is to know where to expect ticks. Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not fall from trees. The Western Black-legged tick (The tick in California that spreads Lyme disease.) lives in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in tick infested areas. Ticks are easier to spot against light-colored clothing. Tuck your shirt in to your pants and tuck pant legs into boots or socks.

When possible, walk in middle of trails, avoid contact with vegetation.

Inspect your clothing and exposed skin for ticks when outdoors in likely tick habitats. Ticks may attach anywhere on the body, but on fully clothed persons they often attach to the scalp, behind an ear, or to an arm or leg. Pay particular attention to these areas when examining yourself or others.

The Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health recommend that you consider the use of repellants when working outdoors. Products containing permethrin are effective but should only be applied to clothing. Products containing the active ingredient DEET may be applied to the skin and clothing. If government funds are being used to purchase repellants, NPS policy mandates that you obtain the approval of the park Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator before making any purchase.

For additional information on tick-borne diseases come to the brown bag talk on: Tuesday May 12, 2015 from 12:00 PM- 12:30 PM at Bldg 201 First Floor Conference room with Bruce Badzik.

Snapshot of Visitor and Resource Protection and US Park Police Activities

· The focus of the operation was to curb illegal activities associated with the large groups who frequent the area leaving large amounts of trash and causing law enforcement issues. Rangers proactively patrolled the area, making dozens of contacts, along with issuing a number of citations, and completing one arrest.

· On April 8th, Rangers participated in Public Safety Day 2015 in conjunction with the Bay Area Discovery Museum. The event brought together public safety agencies from across Marin County to interact and educate children. Overall, 15 law enforcement and emergency services agencies participated and over 600 children and their parents came to the event.

· On April 11th, Rangers responded to an injured bicyclist who had fallen from his bike while traveling approximately 25 miles per hour near the Dillingham parking lot in the Marin Headlands. Rangers provided medical care to the patient until Southern Marin Fire arrived on scene. Southern Marin transported the patient to Marin General Hospital.

· On April 10th, Rangers participated in Operation “Water’s Edge” in the Fort Baker Area. The focus of the operation was to curb illegal Dungeness crab poaching out of San Francisco Bay. Rangers patrolled all the areas of Fort Baker known to be used by fisherman to ensure no Dungeness were being illegally taken.

The Elevator at Fort Mason Building 201 Broke Down Recently With a Few Riders Onboard on 4/23

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.