It is a compelling story of vision, innovation, determination and persistence over more than 100 years, often against long odds, involving committed citizen activists, philanthropists and responsive political and governmental leaders. Together, they turned back the inevitable development of a major metropolis, saved more than 80,000 acres of scenic and ecologically significant land, preserved hundreds of threatened historic structures, forged one of the first two national parks in an urban area, and developed unprecedented programs and facilities that have brought millions of people of all ages and backgrounds into a national park for the first time. The dedicated people who had the wisdom and tenacity to save the Golden Gate and shape the national parkland that carries its name have left us all a grand and living legacy that will long endure. This is their story..... and the story of a magnificent national park at its 40th anniversary. But perhaps most importantly, it's a story that proclaims the priceless value of preserving open space and parklands everywhere in the world.
Hugging the coastline of California north and south of the Golden Gate for more than 80 miles, the GGNRA is a national park on the doorstep of over 7 million residents of the Bay Area and a destination for visitors from throughout the nation and around the world drawn to the park's stunning natural beauty, unparalleled recreational opportunities and vast wealth of historic and cultural sites. It holds seven percent of all the historic buildings and structures in the national park system. It's home to thirty-five rare, threatened and endangered species, more than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia and Kings Canyon combined. It's the country's second most visited national park, attracting over fourteen million people every year. And at its core is the iconic Golden Gate graced by its famous and beloved bridge, a symbol of hope, determination and opportunity for the nation.
In addition to the Golden Gate, think of Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Crissy Field and the Presidio. All of these and many other natural wonders and historic landmarks barely escaped planned commercial development to become public treasures, and it wasn't by accident. For the first time on national television, join us for a journey back through time to see the diverse splendors of the GGNRA and meet the extraordinary and compelling cast of eclectic characters, past and present, who've been, are and will be the guardians of the Golden Gate. See and hear what motivated them and the challenges they've faced, the values they've cherished and the goals they've sought since William Kent and Teddy Roosevelt joined forces to preserve ancient redwoods in the name of John Muir in 1908.
We are currently filming Saving the Golden Gate and raising the additional money we'll need to finish the documentary and broadcast it locally and nationally on Public Television to coincide with the GGNRA's forthcoming 40th anniversary year. On this website, you can watch excerpts from some of our principal interviews with people who've played significant roles in establishing and growing the GGNRA and who know its stories well. You can also see a short video preview for our special and a brief video introducing the production team, read comments from our broadcast partner, KQED, and endorsements from others who support our effort, and find out how to contact us directly.
We hope you'll join us in helping to celebrate the great success of the GGNRA and its promise for the future by helping us tell its significant story. It's a story that deserves our attention, perhaps especially in this divisive and sometimes despairing age of ours. The story of the GGNRA can inspire us to believe that political and social barriers can still be bridged in this nation, and that we can yet fashion together, as generations before us have, magnificent and lasting legacies of, by and for all the people.
VOICES FROM OUR WORK IN PROGRESS
How we got started
The Shaw Family Fund has generously provided the lead grant that launched this project and has underwritten the planning and field production portion of our work. Since our very first meeting, Alec Shaw has been a champion of this project.
The Point Reyes National Seashore Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit, serves as Fiscal Sponsor for this project. All contributions are tax deductible.
Here’s what folks are saying about this project and our team.