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Presidio to Welcome Student on Unique Cross-Country Quest

Student visiting national parks and meeting others who share his name.


​​Presidio of San Francisco (October 16, 2013) — The Presidio Trust today announced it is welcoming an east coast high school student on a journey across the U.S. to meet others who share his not-uncommon name. Dave Smith and his father Pete of Kennebunk Port, Maine are visiting U.S. historic sites and national parks, journaling their adventure and earning credit toward Dave’s graduation. When the trip is complete, Dave will have compiled a journal with photos and videos for his senior project.

“The idea to position our road trip as a journey to network and eventually connect with others who share my son’s name was his mother’s idea,” said Dave’s father, Pete. “The opportunity to network and record our meetings is making for a very interesting report. We’ve been camping overnight at national parks, to keep our budget manageable, so the government shutdown and the closure of national parks came at a really bad time.”

​The Presidio, a former Army base and new kind of national park, is managed by the Presidio Trust an innovative federal agency. Congress created the Trust in 1996 with a mandate to revitalize and run the park under its own jurisdiction without federal appropriations after 15 years. In 2013, the Trust reached the crucial milestone of self-sufficiency and sustains the park without taxpayer support. The Trust earns revenue from residential and non-residential buildings that it has rehabilitated and leased, in many cases with partner organizations.

“From visitors to park employees, there are thousands of families who are impacted by the closure of our National Parks System,” said Craig Middleton, Executive Director of the Presidio Trust. “While the Presidio Trust’s funding model allows it to remain open it’s our hope that the public will again have access to all of our national parks very soon.”

In spite of the current federal government shutdown affecting the National Park Service, many free activities are still being offered in the Presidio to engage, excite, and entertain park visitors.  They include Golden Gate Bridge walks, family nature hikes, self-guided park tours, family camping clinics, ocean view hikes, and many others.

“I have a set of 15 questions that I’m asking all of the Dave Smiths I meet,” said 17-year-old Dave Smith. “It’s turning out to be a very cool senior project that I’m looking forward to turning in.”

To date, Dave and his father Pete have met over 20 Dave Smiths from across the U.S. On Thursday, October 10 at 9:30 am, they will add a new namesake to their journal when they meet Dave Smith, Manager of Programs and Strategy at the Presidio Trust.

The Presidio’s Dave Smith joined the Presidio Trust in 2013. His role is to develop programming for the Presidio Institute, an initiative of the Trust which is devoted to developing leaders better prepared to solve the most critical social challenges of the 21st century. For more about the Institute, please visit ​

About the Presidio Trust: The Presidio Trust, a federal agency, isan innovation in the management of a treasured American place. The Trust was created to save the Presidio and transform it for a new national purpose. The Trust’s vision is that the Presidio will be forever a public place: vital to the Bay Area, important to all Americans, and recognized for achieving broad benefits for the nation.Today the Presidio welcomes the public, is home to a vibrant community of residents and tenants, and inspires greater good through programs that draw on its history and natural resources. Three thousand people live in the park and more than 200 organizations have located in Presidio buildings. The Presidio Trust welcomes the public with events, lodging, venues, and recreational opportunities. To learn more, visit ​​​​​

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Presidio Trust Media Relations

Lisa Petrie

(415) 264-7787