I drive to work and look up at Inverness Ridge along an open Highway 1 while bumping some J. Cole, and think how lucky I am. I turn into the Park, go to my office at the Morgan Horse Ranch, and say “Damn, I’m hella lucky.” That’s the dream routine to start off the day. 

Outside my office once, someone stopped me. I waited for him to go by, but he wanted to talk. I’d never seen him before, but maybe he had a question. I turned down my music, rolled down the window, and heard “You can’t drive up there! Can’t you read? Authorized vehicles only!” I turned my music off, and asked sarcastically, “Even if I work up there?” He replies, “You don’t work here! I’m here all the time, and I know you don’t work here!” 

The next ten minutes convincing was quick compared to other similar interactions in parks. Afterward I parked, took a breath of the fresh air, and said, “Damn, I’m hella lucky to work out here, right?”

By Brandon Barragan, PRNSA's Diversity and Outreach Coordinator
July 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

Summer has definitely arrived and so has PRNSA’s re-commitment to ensuring that Point Reyes National Seashore is truly a park that welcomes, respects, and is safe for all who seek out its beauty and inspiration. Over the last three months our staff have shared the duty of hosting our educational #ParkInPlace e-news issues. I hope you’ve enjoyed the varied voices. Brandon’s is one I listen to carefully. His perspective always expands my view and PRNSA’s, whether we are talking about racism or a whole new approach to program delivery. I invite you to read the recent Rethink Outside article to get to know him a little more.

Working to welcome visitors, especially children, who have not traditionally seen a national park as their space is not new to PRNSA. With the addition our Get to the Point program two years ago, we added another layer of programmatic depth to this commitment. As we pause for Covid-19, we have a chance to examine each of our education offerings and re-build with greater intention. What a gift from such a hard experience! Through the work of our expanded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, we are partnering with our National Park Service colleagues to examine the structural barriers…policies, traditions, and norms…that get in the way of our goal of a park for all.
Swimmers entering cold water
­­­­­­­Moving Through the Cold Water
Brandon often starts a conversation with, “This may be uncomfortable.” I smile when I hear this now, knowing that I’m about to learn something new. I've realized it is at the edge of discomfort where the most growth happens. I started my daily summer swims in Tomales Bay last week and I liken that uncomfortable moment to when I first step into that north coast water. As I brace against the cool water, I pause, catch a breath, adjusting for just a moment to the laving current. Then I dive in knowing that pushing through the discomfort is the only way to the reward of a swim in open water.

At PRNSA our staff aren't shy about talking through the hard stuff. We identified supporting the good mental health of the children we work with throughout the year as high priority, especially in this more stressed time. Read more below about how the West Marin Fund is supporting our community’s ability to strengthen the good mental health of children as we introduce them to the medicine of time outside. 
One hand reaching for another
Friends Who Show Up
Real friends show up in a crisis and I am proud of PRNSA’s board members who have re-doubled their support of our organization over the last few months. Truly, at every point of the pandemic staff have benefited from their practical and emotional help. I’m so pleased to welcome three new board members to this incredible team. None are strangers to PRNSA and each have chosen to step into lead roles at a time when their unique perspectives will expand our impact. Welcome Blanca, Danny, and Ravi!

We recently signed on to the West Marin nonprofit equity statement. I’m proud to work in solidarity with so many organizations whose commitment to a fairer, and thereby stronger, community matches ours.

Clearly, I’m hopeful and excited about PRNSA’s direction and I welcome your questions and comments. We received many kind words about our Black Lives Matter statement last month and some feedback with concerns about the politicizing of our message. Environmental and social justice issues are often intertwined, and we are proud of our work. We hope you are too. Please consider making a donation to support this important work

Summer is here and the water is fine! I hope to hear from you or see you soon. Take good care.

Donna Faure
Executive Director
Board and Staff Updates
PRNSA's newest board members, Blanca Chang Johnson, Danny Dawson, and T.M. Ravi, reflect on why they love our Park and our work.
Blanca Chang Johnson
I believe Point Reyes is one of the most beautiful places on earth and am honored and excited to continue supporting PRNSA's ongoing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Outreach work to promote and ensure education and equitable access to the coast and the national seashore for all people.

I am excited to see continued outreach and inclusion of underserved communities and all people who would not ordinarily have access or exposure to our beautiful coastline and its profound benefits on physical and mental wellness. I'm thrilled to help PRNSA in its mission to turn visitors into stewards.   
Danny Dawson
One of my first hikes in the Bay Area, back when I lived and went to school in Berkeley around 2001, was along the Estero Trail. The park felt like it went on forever, despite being so close to a dense urban area. Years later, as I settled into my adult life in San Francisco, I would return to Point Reyes to learn to identify wild mushrooms for foraging, to train in the hills for trail running, and to practice my rucking and wilderness skills for backpacking. Point Reyes has given me so much over the last 20 years that it is both my obligation and my pleasure to find ways to give back, and PRNSA’s mission aligns with that perfectly.

First, I want to applaud PRNSA for the work they’ve been doing in recent years to support access to the park for a more diverse community of people. These outreach and education programs, particularly with the younger generation, create the kinds of experiences and bonds with the natural environment that will help ensure the preservation of our natural resources will continue after we are gone. I would like to see those programs continue to grow and thrive.

In addition, being a person who loves long-distance trails and exploration, I’d like to help us build relationships within the local community to support more on-the-ground, away-from-the-roads experiences. I believe we still have room to expand wilderness access and trail development in the park while also expanding opportunities for visitors to engage with and support Point Reyes’ local economic and cultural history in context.
T.M. Ravi
The Point Reyes area and the magic of our beautiful coastal park has had a special place in my heart for a long time. The extraordinary natural beauty of the location, the excellent set of science and environmental education programming, and large diversity of multi-generational visitors and members from all across the world combine to make PRNSA extraordinary.

I am keen to see a PRNSA 2.0 that has used the shutdown and pandemic crises as an opportunity for transformation. I want to see PRNSA become a world class organization with a strong and growing financial base that engages the community in ambitious and audacious multi-disciplinary programming. I am especially passionate about equity and access, and seeing PRNSA expand its engagement in all segments of the community including ranchers and the farming community
Welcome Dune Restoration Intern Jacob Longmeyer!
We are very pleased to introduce Jacob Longmeyer, PRNSAs new Dune Restoration Intern. Jacob first came to Point Reyes in 2019 to work on a long-running research project monitoring the endangered Tidestrom's lupine. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Environmental Biology, he returned to Point Reyes to continue working on the lupine project as well as begin an internship as a dune technician. He is thrilled to be working at Point Reyes for another summer, and while he's working you might find him stopping to smell the Monardella or tediously picking spiny sand mat out of his socks. 
Upcoming Field Institute Classes
Friday, July 17, 7:00pm to Sunday, July 19, 5:00pm
Friday, August 7, 10:00am to 4:00pm

Friday, August 21, 7:00pm to Sunday, August 23, 6:00pm
Inside Out: Supporting Mental Health In the Outdoors
Silhouette of a woman with mossy bay branches
PRNSA is grateful the West Marin Fund for awarding us a $7,500 “Building a Strong Team to Better Serve Community” grant in June. With these funds, we will offer our staff and peer staff at other nonprofit organizations working with youth in West Marin a series of professional trainings this fall focused on supporting the good mental health of the youth we serve.

The training will be led by licensed marriage and family therapists and Marin County residents Jeannine Curley, MFT and Rainiero Miranda, Ph.D., MFT. Each has extensive training and experience in trauma-informed therapy – both in clinical practice and with community service organizations. Dr. Miranda is fluent in both English and Spanish, with a unique set of therapeutic skills and experience. In addition to his doctorate degree in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, he is a registered indigenous practitioner of ancestral medicine in his home country of Colombia. He specializes in working with young men from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. Ms. Curley has worked as an advocate for youth and families with the Public Defender and Juvenile Probation departments in Marin County, as well as through her non-profit organization, Opening the World, and in private practice. 

We look forward to deepening our skills and learning with staff of other local nonprofits to recognize and safely support youth affected by trauma, depression, and anxiety while using nature as a space for healing. 
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | development@ptreyes.org | www.ptreyes.org