Golden Gate National Recreation Area North Portion to Receive 2005 Landmark Award


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View of the North Portion and the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.The park protects both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge – The Presidio in San Francisco and the headlands of Marin. This award submittal addresses the North Portion only. (Photo: Dixi Carrillo, SWA Group)

(Click image for high resolution copy.)

Washington, DC, August 12, 2005—The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced that the North Portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) will receive the 2005 Landmark Award during the ASLA Annual Meeting, October 7–10, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The SWA Group, headquartered in Sausalito, California, led the interdisciplinary team and worked on all phases of environmental background analysis, public outreach, and park planning for the North Portion of GGNRA. The firm also coordinated joint planning and workshops with the team assigned to the South Portion of the park and developed interpretive and resource and land management plans and options for the full 90,000-acre North Portion.

“The GGNRA is a striking example of the landscape architect's contribution on a grand scale,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president/CEO of ASLA. “The landscape professionals at the National Park Service, SWA Group, and their consultants have created an amazing park to serve the people of the Bay Area and beyond, while protecting the underlying natural and cultural resources for generations to come.”

The North Portion of the GGNRA preserves 50 miles of coastline, beaches, estuaries, coastal terraces, redwood forests, farms, mountains, stream valleys, earthquake faults, historic structures, over 80 protected species, and a great variety of recreational and educational opportunities.

"The public participation component of the project contributed to establishing a principle of best practice that today remains a hallmark,” said Karen L. Jessup, a preservation activist and landscape historian who represented the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the Landmark Award jury. "Despite the significant growth of the region around the recreation area and incursions from transportation corridors established or significantly amended since the recreation area's creation, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, North Portion, continues to possess a high degree of integrity of design, materials, and locational qualities.”

The GGNRA serves an urban population of seven million people, with 17 million visitors every year. The 350,000 volunteer hours contributed to the park in the year 2000 alone and the $14 million in operational support and investments by the Golden Gate National Parks Association in that year can measure the significance of public support.

The SWA Group is also the recipient of the 2005 ASLA Landscape Architecture Firm Award and SWA’s president, Kevin Shanley, ASLA, will receive the 2005 ASLA Community Service Award.

This is the second year that ASLA and the National Trust for History Preservation have partnered in presenting the Landmark Award. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting the irreplaceable. Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the trust provides leadership, education, and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize communities. Its Washington, DC, headquarters staff, six regional offices, and 25 historic sites work with the trust's 200,000 members and thousands of local community groups in all 50 states. For more information, visit the National Trust's web site at

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,600 members. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. Learn more about landscape architecture online at

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Click images below for high-resolution copies.

Historic Structure
The park contains over 600 historic structures including military installations and agricultural buildings. In the northernmost areas, the preservation of the dairy/ranch landscape was part of land management proposals. (photo: Gerry Campbell, SWA Group)
Beach Walkers
The North Portion of the GGNRA includes more than 50 miles of coast, including beaches and headlands. (photo: Tom Fox, SWA Group)
Muir Woods National Monument
The North Portion also included Muir Woods, which was designated as a National Monument in 1908 to protect its beautiful redwood groves. (photo: Tom Fox, SWA Group)

Management policies for the North Portion emphasized natural resources and conservation of diverse ecosystems such as these coastal headlands, while providing recreational access. (photo: Tom Fox, SWA Group)
Bolinas Ridge
The GGNRA offers a range of recreational activities – such as mountain biking – while also preserving natural resources. (photo: Tom Fox, SWA Group)
View of City
GGNRA establishes the western "gateway" to our national park system and serves an urban population of 7 million people, with 17 million visitors every year. San Francisco is easily accessible and provides some of the striking views from the park. (photo: Tom Fox, SWA Group)


Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371