• Muir Beach

    Crissy Field, the Presidio. Photo by Tom Fox

  • Muir Beach

    Muir Beach. Photo courtesy Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

  • Muir Woods Boardwalk

    Main Post, the Presidio. Photo courtesy The Presidio Trust

  • Muir Woods Boardwalk

    Cathedral Grove, Muir Woods Boardwalk. Photo courtesy Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

  • Park Bridge, Redwood Creek

    Park Bridge, Redwood Creek. Photo courtesy Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

  • View from the Presidio

    View from the Presidio. Photo by Tom Fox

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is an extraordinary 80,000-acre gem with some of the nation’s most significant natural and designed landscapes. The Presidio of San Francisco, once the headquarters for the military lands that gave rise to the GGNRA, sits at its center. The interior acres of the Presidio are managed by the Presidio Trust; the National Park Service oversees the coastal areas. Both agencies partner with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to develop philanthropy, undertake capital improvements, and provide programs and visitor services.


Managing this expansive cultural landscape is complex and costly.  Among the greatest management challenges is addressing the park’s inherent natural, scenic and cultural assets, while also mediating the often-passionate constituencies that represent them, which is the subject of this conference.  Landscape architects, ecologists, journalists, academics, managers of similarly diverse systems and other professionals will address sustainability, the agendas of different constituencies, diversity, the role of people, and public education.


GGNRA is not only a place for San Franciscans to recreate and enjoy, it also provides an ideal setting for learning, helps establish a lifelong connection with nature and the environment, promotes civic engagement and a holistic stewardship ethic - all while fostering engagement with a broader national and international community.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has organized two similarly themed conferences dedicated to the Nature/Culture divide—one for New York’s Central Park, focused on its woodlands (2012) and the other for the Jay Estate in Rye, New York (2011). TCLF and co-sponsor the Presidio Trust, in conjunction with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service, have a shared interest in organizing this symposium and its related events, engaging leading thinkers and experts to convene a public program that contemplates the region’s unique and unrivaled assets, provoke discussion, push boundaries and inspire site-specific solutions.

Schedule at a Glance / Receptions, Tours and Conference

22 Jan


Alcatraz Island
Thursday | 3:30-7:15pm

23 Jan


Presidio Officers' Club
Friday | 8am-4pm

23 Jan


California Historical Society
Friday | 6-8pm