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I was a lucky child whose family owned lakeside property near Peekskill, N.Y., so I spent my summers in the country. I saw magazine articles about the spectacular national parks of The West and yearned to see them some day. When my husband and I came to California, we got a tent and sleeping bags as soon as we could and went to Yosemite. We were smitten. Over the years we visited many more national parks.


In 1970, people in my neighborhood learned of a plan to build a branch of the National Archives on a small piece of federal land that was supposed to be part of San Francisco's greenbelt. Then we heard that East Fort Miley was also within a competing federal plan to have a national park of 8,000 acres at the Golden Gate. This park plan evidently needed articulate citizen support and advocacy. Edgar Wayburn of the Sierra Club, John Jacobs of SPUR (San Francisco Planning & Urban Research) and I organized People For a Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Ed was the Chairman, I the Co-Chair, and John a principal advisor of our group of advocates.


The Army was giving up its forts at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, and the park would save the headlands of the Golden Gate for public use in perpetuity. The GGNRA would be "A park for the people where the people are," said Interior Secretary Walter Hickel–– a national park in an urban area. On October 27, 1972 after an exuberant, park-enlarging campaign with outstandingly effective legislative maneuvers by our elected representatives at every level of government, a 34,000 acre park was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.


Today the Golden Gate National Parks include Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site, encompass 80,000 acres in three counties, and share a long boundary with Point Reyes National Seashore. With adjacent public park and watershed land the parks join together over 200,000 acres of contiguous habitat –– the only break is at the Golden Gate. These parks are the centerpiece of the UNESCO-designated 524,000-acre Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. Seventeen million people visit the parks annually.

This was -- and still is -- a very collaborative enterprise with scores of people involved for over 43 years. I did my best to capture our efforts in my book, New Guardians for the Golden Gate (with Randolph Delehanty), published by the University of California Press.

Park Activist

People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area


Organized in 1971 - Amy Meyer Co-Chair, 1971 - 2010, Chair, 2010

Conservation and civic-minded groups and individuals dedicated to the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and implementation of its legislation. 


People for the Parks and the Presidio (P4P/P)

(Formerly, People For The Presidio)


Amy Meyer, Convener - current

Began 1993 as People For the Presidio to work on the legislation creating the Presidio Trust; Chair; Hiatus: 1997 - 2003 while serving on the board of directors of the Presidio Trust; Re-convened: 2003 to present.




Presidio Trust  


When the Presidio, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, closed in 1994, it was the oldest continuously operated military post in the United States (dating from 1776), as well as a National Historic Landmark. In 1996, Congress created the Presidio Trust for the purpose of managing the central 80% of the 1,500-acre former post (the coastal area is managed by the National Park Service). Amy Meyer was appointed by President Clinton  and was a member of the founding board from 1997-2003.

San Francisco Recreation & Parks Commission


Member, 1976 - 1988;

Vice-President, 1979 - 1987


SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association)




Served on Board of Directors 1975 - 1984

Amy Meyer appointed by the Secretary of Interior - 1974;

Elected Vice-Chair 1974 - 2002 when the commission ceased to exist.

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