What’s the largest open space in San Francisco? Golden Gate Park? Guess again. It’s the San Francisco Presidio. At 1500 acres, it’s about 1.5 times the size of Golden Gate Park. And while it does have more buildings than the park, many of them historic, it has beaches, grassy fields, forests, wetlands, a lake, a golf course, tennis courts, playgrounds and 24 miles of trails. Fishing, wildlife viewing (including 300 bird species), kite-flying, wind-surfing, not to mention hiking, cycling and riding engaged many hundreds of visitors on a recent sunny Saturday.
We’re members of the Bay Area Travel Writers’ and our July meeting was hosted by the Presidio Trust at their offices facing the Main Parade Ground here. The Trust, in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, administers most of the former army post. Under special legislation that requires the trust be self-supporting, it must cover operating costs and fund capital projects without federal appropriations. The Trust has fostered over $1 billion in investment in historic preservation, habitat remediation and infrastructure upgrades and other projects through leases, other revenue and tenant investment.