Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), one of the largest national parks in an urban area, preserves and enhances the natural, historic, scenic and recreational resources of the lands north and south of the Golden Gate for the education, enjoyment and inspiration of people today and in the future. In the spirit of bringing national parks to the people, the park reaches out to diverse communities to promote the richness and breadth of the national park system and make Golden Gate a park for all. The park's many volunteer and partnership programs foster broad-based public stewardship.
Established by Congress in 1972 as part of the Parks for the People movement, GGNRA includes under its management two additional units of the National Park Service: Fort Point National Historic Site and Muir Woods National Monument.
GGNRA spans three counties: Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. With more than 19 million annual visitors, the park is both an international destination and a local treasure for the 7 million people who call the Bay Area home.
The park includes world-renowned destinations such as Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods, as well as many sites of regional and national importance, such as Crissy Field, the Presidio Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, Fort Mason, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Sweeney Ridge, and Mori Point.
GGNRA has one of the largest collections of historic buildings of any national park and dozens of plant and animal species that are accorded state or federal protected status. The park is part of the United Nations-designated Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve.
Partnership is one of the watchwords of the park, with a number of outstanding nonprofit organizations working with the park to make available a wide variety of programs. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the official support organization for the park, providing an extraordinary level of funds and assistance each year.
The park operates under Federal, Department of the Interior, and National Park Service policies and guidelines, in accordance with a General Management Plan (GMP) which was first published in 1980 and updated in 2014.
Park management includes a General Superintendent, Deputy General Superintendent, and a number of operating and administrative divisions. The park's budget includes annual federal appropriations, capital and special purpose project funding, fee funds, and donated funds. Park staffing is augmented by a high level of volunteerism, generally exceeding 350,000 hours of volunteer service per year.
By the Numbers
Updated March 17, 2017. Data is cumulative of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Point National Historic Site, and Muir Woods National Monument.
Craig Kenkel, Acting General Superintendent
Craig Kenkel was appointed Acting General Superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in December 2016. Kenkel’s 33-year career with the National Park Service includes extensive experience managing parks in urban areas. He served previously as Superintendent of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, as well as Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Cultural Resources at GGNRA.
Most recently, Kenkel served as Superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio, a role that also included superintendency at James A. Garfield National Historic Site and First Ladies National Historic Site.
Kenkel has an architecture degree from Iowa State University.