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New Exhibition Explores the Presidio's Natural Heritage

Presidio Nature Lab set to open in historic Presidio Officers' Club


Presidio Nature Lab​​​​​

Presidio of San Francisco (April 19, 2016) – The Presidio Trust (Trust) today announced that a new special exhibition, Presidio Nature Lab, will open in the Officers’ Club on Thursday, April 21 to coincide with Earth Day.

Presidio Nature Lab invites visitors to learn about the Presidio’s ever-changing environment through hands-on exhibits and interactive displays that will let them compare and contrast the park’s past and present-day landscapes.  It was carefully designed as a starting point for visitors to get background and insight about the landscape before they go out and enjoy the 1500 acre park.

“The Presidio is a dynamic landscape, home to abundant species and unique habitats. For millions of years, natural forces like wind, water, and earthquakes have shaped it,” said Liz Clevenger, Presidio Trust Curator. “Over many generations, humans have also changed the landscape.” Ms. Clevenger led a curatorial team that included the Presidio Trust’s conservation and science staff.

The Presidio provides habitat for disappearing neo-tropical migrating birds like Red-Throated Loons and resident wildlife like Pacific chorus frog and gray fox. Additionally, the park’s water resources are some of the best natural systems remaining in the city. Lobos Creek Valley, Crissy Field Marsh, Mountain Lake and El Polín Spring are valuable ecosystems. The Trust partners with other agencies, universities and research institutions to study and restore habitat for rare species and protect the complex ecosystems that exist here.

“The Presidio harbors exceptional biological diversity”, said Terri Thomas, Presidio Trust Director of Conservation, Stewardship and Research. “The Presidio’s variety of geology, together with our climate and amount of water, are the template on which the stunning number of plants and wildlife species thrive. Despite two centuries of use as a military post, the land was not developed as intensively as the surrounding city. As a result, rare plants and wildlife that have disappeared in other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area still flourish here.”

The exhibition will kick off with an open house on April 21 at 4:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to learn about the Presidio’s preservation practices, and to mix and mingle with park staff and partners who help steward the Presidio’s natural areas. A special opening day panel discussion – Exploring Our Senses of Place – will follow the Open House at 6 p.m.

The exhibition will serve as a springboard for those seeking to learn more about the Presidio’s natural environment. Visitors are encouraged to go out into the park to experience one of the sites highlighted in the exhibition, Mountain Lake, Tennessee Hollow and the Presidio Plant Nursery. The exhibition will be open in the Officers’ Club Heritage Gallery, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The Presidio is a new kind of national park located at San Francisco’s Golden Gate. Once a legendary U.S. Army post, the park now offers world-class museums and restaurants, 24 miles of hiking trails and scenic overlooks with stunning views. The park also provides free public programs and events, a public golf course, the world-class Inn at the Presidio and the Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco’s most historic building, which features engaging exhibits inspired by the events that shaped the City of San Francisco, and influenced the nation. A wide range of recreation, wellness, and dining options are provided by the Presidio’s 200 tenants. The Presidio is managed by the Presidio Trust (Trust), a unique federal agency created in 1998 to save the Presidio and transform it into a national park. The Trust generates revenue for the park through rehabilitating and leasing historic buildings, and now operates the Presidio without taxpayer support. In 2015 The Presidio was recognized as a top destination by National Geographic Traveler’s magazine “Best of the World” list. To learn more please visit

Editors’ Note: For those that are interested in covering the exhibit before it opens, we are happy to give you access to the exhibition in advance. 

We have scientists and the curatorial staff available for interviews about this exhibit, who also can serve as resources for your Earth Day stories.

Media Contacts

Lisa Petrie

Presidio Trust

(415) 264-7787