Golden Gate National Recreation Area Turns 40- October 27

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 24, 2012
Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-786-8021

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Turns 40

Activism, controversy, history, beauty and vision come together to create one of the first, and largest national parks in an urban setting

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA: On October 27, Golden Gate National Recreation Area will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special event honoring the dedicated and determined citizens who worked with a bipartisan group of elected officials to create a new vision for the San Francisco Bay Area.

Officially designated on October 27, 1972, by President Richard Nixon in Public Law 92-589, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is an assemblage of former military, private, and public lands-spanning three counties and offering vast skylines, natural beauty, and diverse cultural histories to locals and visitors alike.

In a time when the population and growth of the San Francisco Bay Area were increasing rapidly, there was also growing concern for the environment and the need to have open space available to local urban populations. Corporations were seeking to build new developments in the Marin Headlands and highways were proposed to run across the wild ridgelines in San Mateo County. Advocacy groups such as the People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area (headed by Dr. Edgar Wayburn and Amy Meyer), Headlands, Inc., and later the Peninsula Open Space Trust, along with U.S. Congressman Phillip Burton, sought to block construction.

As the Golden Gate National Recreation Area reflects on its beginnings, it is clear that the efforts made by those who worked to create this remarkable gift and passed it on to us should not be forgotten. This event on Saturday, October 27, will bring together many of the surviving "founders" of the park, families from those who have passed, new and long-time park users, and park management.It is an important opportunity to relate the founders' story to a new generation of emerging leaders, to inspire them to think boldly and to work diligently and intelligently to accomplish their own visions for the future of the Golden Gate National Parks, which includes Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site.

Public Celebration Event on October 27, 2012

What: A unique opportunity to hear directly from the founders who worked hard to make this vision a reality during a presentation and a guided walk, and cake! People can join the founders on an easy walk that is 1¼ -mile roundtrip, with the option to continue on with a ranger further into Gerbode Valley to complete a 4-mile roundtrip hike to where it all began. Be prepared; wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water and snacks. There may be food for sale on site, but plan ahead.

When:Saturday, October 27, 2012, event starts at 10am, with special activities ongoing all day. There may

Where:Marin Headlands Visitor Center, located in the historic Fort Barry Chapel, at the intersection of Field and Bunker Roads. The Visitor Center is approximately 3 miles from either entrance to the Marin Headlands. Take the bus! Muni 76 services will be running the same schedule from San Francisco both October 27 and 28. Check for schedule and locations.


9am-4:30pmMarin Headlands Visitor Center- special exhibits

-People for the Parks: 40 Years of Golden Gate National Recreation Area exhibit

- California Animal Habitats and Tribal Shelters student art exhibit

- Sneak peek of Saving the Golden Gate, film by Doug McConnell

9am-5pmBay Area Discovery Museum

10am-5pmMarine Mammal Center

11:15-12:15pmFounders Anniversary Walk, 1.25 miles

12:15-1:30pm Extended Anniversary Walk into Gerbode Valley, 4 miles

11:30-3:30pmPoint Bonita Lighthouse - New Bridge and Cell Phone Tour

12:30-3:30pmNike Missile Site

Native Plant Nursery - Fort Cronkhite

12-4pmBattery Townsley - New Gun

All dayHawk Hill - Hawk Watchers

12-1pm Hawk Hill - Hawk Talk

1-2pmHawk Hill - Hawk Banding Demo (if they catch a bird)

Other 40th Anniversary Activities on Saturday, October 27:

All Day Multiple Sites - Make a Difference Day volunteer opportunities

10:30-11:15am Crissy Field - Golden Gate, A People's Park at 40

11am-12:30pm Alcatraz - 40 Years of Golden Gate

1-1:45pmCrissy Field - Golden Gate, A People's Park at 40

Background:To retrieve historic and current photos, fact sheet, and history about the founding of Golden Gate National Parks visit

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

Contact Us