Cooperatove Conservation Project

Crissy Field Restoration

Transforming the Presidio’s Urban Waterfront

Location: Far West Region: California

Project Summary: The Restoration project created a world-class waterfront park from a former 100-acre asphalt and concrete dump, raising $34 million in private funds.
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The 28-acre restored grass airfield at Crissy Field. (PHOTO BY DAVID SANGER PHOTOGRAPHY)
Resource Challenge

The Presidio in San Francisco is a National Historic Landmark transferred from the Department of Army to the U. S. National Park Service in 1994. It was the nation’s longest-operating military facility, having served under the flags of three nations. Crissy Field, part of the Presidio and on the waterfront east of the Golden Gate Bridge, was originally part of a large estuary. It was filled with debris from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and was further degraded when it served as a site for the 1915 Panama International Exposition. Later, the Army located maintenance, engineering, and other operations there. It was also a dump for domestic waste and paved with asphalt and concrete.

Partners in the Crissy Field restoration needed to strike a balance between protecting cultural resources and restoring natural resources. Major resource challenges included removing more than 87,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials, crushing 75 acres of asphalt and concrete on site and using the aggregates as a foundation for walkways and bikeways, reconstructing the original dunes, creating a 22-acre tidal lagoon, and placing . ll from the lagoon to create a foundation for the restored Crissy air field. Partners would raise $34 million in non-federal money for the project. 

Examples of Key Partners
USDI National Park Service (NPS), Golden Gate National Park Conservancy, U.S. Army, The Presidio Trust (Federal Government Corporation), the City and County of San Francisco, California Coastal Conservancy State agency, and thousands of citizen stewards.
Results and Accomplishments

The Project’s Accomplishments include:

  • Raised $34 million in non-federal funds under the leadership of the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy, non-profit partner to the Golden Gate National Parks, realizing the public’s vision for the site.
  • Signed an agreement among the National Park Service, the Parks Conservancy, and the Haas, Jr. Fund, spelling out each party’s commitment to a successful partnership.
  • Accepted the largest monetary gift ever given to the National Park Service.
  • Established a zone stewardship concept to engage the community in site maintenance.
  • Created the Crissy Field Center, a community-based facility for environmental programs.
  • Established Community and Youth Advisory Boards through the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to develop onsite programs and connect to diverse communities.
  • Initiated an Emerging Young Environmental Leaders Program at the Crissy Field community center, drawn from diverse communities.
  • Initiated a Community Heroes program to recognize environmental leadership in the community.
  • Cultivated and planted vegetation for the "Help Grow Crissy Field" campaign, using citizen volunteers.

The partners raised $34 million in private funds and attracted citizen volunteers to sustain on-going operations.

Project Contact
Greg Moore
Executive Director
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

415-561-3030 x 2228


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