What's the Word

Golden Gate's Employee Newsletter- April

A Message from Chris Lehnertz –

The 100th anniversary of the National Park Service’s founding this year has been a great catalyst to form new partnerships and opportunities for introducing the next generation to the parks. Between the new partnerships like the one with SF Libraries (highlights are below,) which is a fantastic way for kids and their families from the San Francisco to get to know the national parks in their backyard, to the strengthening of partnerships between our park divisions like the ones around the Division Open Houses and the Bring Your Kids to Work event, we are achieving our Centennial Goals more and more each day. Do you remember the goals we identified for the park?

  • Strengthen the understanding and experience of visitors to Golden Gate
  • Diversify the visitors, supporters and advocates for the parks.
  • Reinvigorate our staff and partners

I hope you have taken the opportunity to participate in fun Centennial events. There are still many opportunities, like the Junior Ranger Jamboree this weekend or the Family Picnic coming later this summer. You are a vital part of this park and the National Park Service, and the Centennial is as much for you as the people who are visiting parks around the country. I invite you and your families to "Find Your Park" whether through participating in special Centennial events here at Golden Gate or just getting into a park to enjoy yourself when you are away from work.

Centennial News

GOGA has a dedicated App for park visitors!

After over a year of tireless work by our Interpretive team at GOGA and Harper's Ferry Center, we are about ready to launch the much anticipated digital app! It is going through a beta test right now. Once any bugs that are found are fixed, it will be launch on the Apple Itunes App store for FREE in mid-May. A huge thank you to Will, Michael Faw, Ben, VIP Crisitina Flores and Craig Scott as well as all our content reviewers for their role in getting us here.


Did you use the #FindYourPark during National Park week? If you did you got to see the special park ranger emoji created especially for the event.


Did you know you can take a virtual ferry to Alcatraz, home of the infamous federal penitentiary on the San Francisco Bay? Using Google Cultural Institute you can see objects from the famous June 1962 escape from Alcatraz, including the fake heads the escapees put in their beds to cover their absence. Luckily, you’re also free to go beyond the bars to learn about the first lighthouse on the West Coast and see Street View of the island’s gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views. Welcome to the Rock.


The Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Program is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Student Conservation Association (SCA), and launched last year on a pilot run involving 70 interns. Its expansion in 2016-2017 will further support the Department of the Interior’s Play, Learn, Serve and Work Youth Initiative to expand educational, volunteer, and career opportunities for millions of young people and veterans on the nation’s public lands.

The new ambassador team consists of more than 100 recent college, high school graduates, and veterans from diverse backgrounds. As they represent their respective parks, ambassadors will initiate or expand local community partnerships in support of volunteer service projects. The interns are responsible for recruiting, coordinating, and managing volunteer work groups throughout the year, with a special emphasis on national service dates such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Earth Day, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.

Kristen Hart is the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador for GGNRA, working alongside the Volunteer Coordinator for the Marin Headlands Facility Maintenance Division. Their projects vary from graffiti abatement at the several historic batteries in the area and brush clearing along pathways to clean-ups on the various coastal beaches.

San Francisco Library and National Park Service Partner to Celebrate the NPS Centennial

The National Park Service is marking its 100th birthday in 2016 and one of the primary partners for the Centennial year at GGNRA is the San Francisco Library System. In celebration of the wonders of the national parks, the SF Public Library is positioning its annual summer reading program, Summer Stride: Read, Create, Explore to ensure that youth and families spend time reading and learning as well as exploring national parks. Summer Stride kicks off May 7 at the Junior Ranger Jamboree at Crissy Field and will continue until August 13.

As part of this partnership, rangers from the GGNRA will be leading ranger talks at all 28 San Francisco Public Libraries this summer. In addition, patrons can join a park ranger on a free shuttle from nine neighborhood branch libraries to local national parks.

San Francisco Public Library Summer Stride
As part of a robust partnership with San Francisco Public Library, the 2016 summer reading program for kids (and adults!) will center on the national parks. The program will kick off with a Junior Ranger "swearing-in" ceremony on Crissy Field in May. Complete the challenge to become an official “Reading Ranger” and receive a Centennial commemorative tote!

Library Trailheads
In summer 2016, visit the trailheads at seven libraries throughout the city to discover activities and events in the parks; learn how to get free shuttle bus rides from libraries to park sites; and find the best reads about parks, the outdoors, and adventure. Visit your local library and experience a small slice of the national park experience.

Park Book Nooks
Ten Little Free Libraries are scattered throughout the park at some of the best reading spots in the outdoors. Visit Book Nooks to participate in the free book exchange! Also, take your picture and show the pic at any park store or visitor center to receive your free commemorative Centennial item.

Community Ranger Talks
All summer long, National Park Service rangers will visit every branch of the San Francisco Public Library system and bring the joy and wonder of the parks to neighborhoods all across the city.

For a full outline of all Centennial related events, check: http://www.parksconservancy.org/nps100/

Happy Birthday Video for NPS Centennial

This video was produced by the National Park Foundation and Grey Advertising for a national campaign. You may recognize our very own Ranger Lucy Scott and Muir Woods NM are featured in the video. Great job Lucy!
Find Your Park - National Park Service Happy 100th

Junior Ranger Jamboree

Saturday, May 7th, 12-3pm

East Beach

San Francisco, CA

All 4th graders, their families, and kids of all ages are invited to become official Junior Rangers and celebrate National Park Service’s 100th birthday! Enjoy entertainment, refreshments, and hands-on activities and games, discovering all about the Junior Ranger’s duty to “Explore, Learn & Protect.” Gather ‘round the campfire, roast some S’mores and sing Happy Birthday to our National Parks. All youth will be sworn in as official Junior Rangers and receive a commemorative ranger badge. This event is FREE for the whole family! For FREE tickets & more info: parksconservancy.org/jamboree. Public transportation and shuttles available

We are actively looking for NPS staff to assist on this day. If you are interested, please email Kay_Wang@nps.gov or call 415.561.2813.

From Marin County Community Liaison Mia:

National Park Week had lots to offer in Marin. Fee Free At Muir Woods for nine days PLUS a site for OneTam sponsored Earth Day (also big service events at Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Pantoll). Earth Day was also celebrated with Jr Ranger Day at Marin Headlands and a GGNRA booth at John Muir NHS. Slide Ranch had fun with their annual Spring Fling!

Muir Woods shuttle is operating...weekends! West Marin Stage is also a great service, especially for locals and hikers. But still there's overwhelming traffic to Muir Woods so the real news here is the out-of-the box solution offered by LE: parking lot attendants to manage the flow of traffic and parking on site.

Spring IS here: Dipsea Plank soon to be put back in place, TV beach open again and the Marin Headlands campgrounds OPEN for the season.

“Reworking the Wetlands," a mixed media series depicting endangered species of Northern California by Anne Garden at MAHE VC Greening Gallery

up through end of june, artist reception late Sunday afternoon...consider stopping in to see it while also checking out the art up in the Headlands Center for the Arts Open House on May 15.

IMBD (International Migratory Bird Day) rescheduled for Oct 22

How's your supply of Species of the Year coloring books? mia has plenty! features spotted owl, coho, mission blue butterfly and redwoods! more, too!

Nature Notes:

BIG BLOOM here, too...look for fields of poppies, buttercups and lupine! mules ears and cobweb thistle...WOW!

Spotted owls setting up a nest again in Muir Woods

baby fish (coho and trout?!) in Redwood Creek

mamma gray whales slowly making their way north with calves...good viewing spots are Point Bonita and Muir Beach Overlook (look for porpoises, dolphins, too)

End of an era: the Tennessee Valley Nursery closes after three decades of growing plants and work days...wow! Formal "good bye" onMay 1.

In the News

NPS.gov has Gone Mobile and has a New Look!

Recently the NPS launched its new web site format that is more user-friendly on mobile devices. Check out our https://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm if you haven’t yet. We are still ironing out sporadic page load failures and getting the old pages into shape to look nice with the new format. If you notice pages that go to a blank screen rather than loading, or things that just don’t look right, please notify Will Elder to get them fixed.

With the full launch of the new system, we will be able to sync our calendar of events with the Parks Conservancy's webpage. Anytime you are wondering what public programs are going on in the parks you can just go to the website! Thank you Will Elder for spearheading this effort for GOGA!

San Francisco Bay Area Network Newsletter

Want to know more about the wildlife in the Bay Area? Sign on to read this very informative newsletter. It is worth your time.


Raptor Report

Can You Help?

We are always recruiting new Golden Gate Raptor Observatory Apprentices.The 2016 GGRO Volunteer Recruitment Meetings are on May 4, 5, and 7, at Ft Mason. Whatever you can do to get out the word to your birdy and active outdoorsy friends, would be a tremendous help. Remember the Recruitment Meetings are also fascinating introductions to the work of the GGRO with no requirement to volunteer. (However that is the point of the evening.)

Migration Season Begins August 17. Have you ever been to a Hawk Hill hawk count?

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Why is There a Boat on Rodeo Lagoon?

Scientists Investigate Fish-Kills in Rodeo Lagoon

Visitors to the Marin Headlands may have noticed a series of small barges on Rodeo Lagoon of late. These are collecting water quality data as part of a new project to examine the role of nutrients in fish kills in the lagoon. Fish kills have been documented in Rodeo Lagoon since 1993 and are an especially important management issue because they have included die-offs of two federally-listed fish species, the endangered tidewater goby and the threatened Central California Coast steelhead. Hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen in the water, is thought to be the primary cause. High levels of nutrients trigger algae blooms, and then decomposing algae consume so much oxygen from the water that fish and other aquatic animals essentially suffocate. Identifying the source of the excess nutrients is among the key goals of the project, which is expected to continue through April, 2017.

This project is being funded by the USGS-NPS Water Quality Partnership. It includes scientists from the USGS California Water Science Center, the USGS National Research Program, the National Park Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service with combined expertise in coastal environments, fish biology, and nutrient-algal linkages. For more information, contact Darren_Fong@nps.gov.

Partner News

The Presidio Restoration Advisory Board received the NPS 2015 Environmental Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community, on April 4, 2016 signed by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

A scan of the Park Service Achievement Award presented to the Restoration Advisory Board by Superintendent Chris Lehnertz at a recent ceremony. The plaque is housed in the NPS Archives along with the Final Report https://archive.org/details/RABFinalReport2015July8ISOPDFX42008 and copies of other awards which are pertinent to this effort.

Summer 2016 Operational Leadership Training Available

NPS Operational Leadership empowers employees to be assertive about their safety and the safety of their team, and encourages them to participate in the decision making and risk management process. As a component of the NPS Safety System, a goal of NPS Operational Leadership is to assist the NPS workforce in achieving a higher level of professional excellence by creating and fostering a culture of safety that seeks out and values input from employees who are the best equipped to make risk management decisions within the organization.

NPS Operational Leadership is an invitation for all employees to assist you in increasing your awareness of risk and safety in day-to-day situations.

May 18 & 19, Fort Mason 201, 1st Floor, 8:30am - 4:30pm

June 14 & 15 MAHE, Building 1050, 8:30am - 4:30pm

July 25 & 26, Fort Mason Building 201, 1st Floor 8:30am - 4:30pm

Employee News

Alex and Fred Picavet are Moving On

Alex and Fred Picavet are moving after seven fantastic years here at Golden Gate. Alex has been selected as the Chief of Communications for the NPS Midwest Region, based in Omaha. Fred will still be in Contracting for Golden Gate, but working out of an office in the Midwest Regional Office.

There is an event planned to wish them well on May 17 at 1:30 in the Community Garden. Please RSVP to Michael_Gabriel@nps.gov if you plan to come so we can have enough treats on hand.

Kevin Cochary has Retired After 40-years in the NPS

Kevin Cochary and his wife was honored on April 26 with a celebration of his wonderful career in the NPS by friends and coworkers from GOGA, Region and other parks he has been part of. His legacy at Golden Gate will continue with the terrific team he built and with the special work he did to develop the Safety and Continuity plan for the park. Kevin and his family are moving back to their house in Jackson, Wyoming.