January 17, 2021
Dear Friends,
Confused, scared, angry. These are all feelings that washed over me last week watching the rain pelt the ground outside my office window and the images on my computer of the Capitol being sacked by the violent mob intent on overturning our election. Despite 10 months of consistent virtual experiences, I had to keep looking at the screen to comprehend what I was seeing was real. The shame was numbing. 
Power in Symbols
As a native of Alabama, I know what the Confederate flag symbolizes. It and other vile images of white supremacy at the Capitol were there to frighten and promote a terribly unjust and dangerous vision of the United States. Closer to home earlier this month came chilling news of swastikas hung in a West Marin post office and an attack on a Black community member at a local market. Troubling still was a request from a partner organization for a secluded retreat at our education center to avoid the all too common hard looks and harassing comments their Black and Brown staff and youth participants receive when visiting parks in Marin. As we get ready to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, these worrisome data points add to a continuing story of racial injustice in our country.
White supremacy is wrong for our country, our park, and our community. This statement is clear to me and it is clear to our organization. We oppose all who promote or excuse these hateful views. Black Lives Matter and our letter underscoring this view on the homepage of our website is as true now as it was in June when it was posted in response to George Floyd’s murder. 
Many Parks, One Vision, New Beginnings
The scenes from the Capitol, as hard as they were to watch, reminded me of PRNSA’s connection to other parks across the country and our role in addressing racial injustice. I’ve represented PRNSA three times over the past decade at meetings in Washington D.C. where I’ve gathered with colleagues from organizations that support national parks, National Park Service staff, and lawmakers. We talk about public private partnerships, fundraising to support public lands, trends in environmental education, and increasingly, practical ways we can make parks welcoming, safe and meaningful for all people. I look forward to the learning and sharing as we gather virtually in February for our next meeting. 
Despite the attack on the Capitol, I watched with relief as legislators continued late into the night showing resolve and a commitment to our republic and the peaceful transfer of power. PRNSA welcomes the Biden administration and sends best wishes for a safe Inauguration Day. Across the country park partner organizations are excited about Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s nomination to lead the Department of the Interior. As the first Native American cabinet member in U.S. history, she will bring a strong voice for public lands and commitment to equity. Here at our park, we can’t wait to meet Point Reyes National Seashore’s new superintendent, Craig Kenkel, when he arrives this coming week. 
Acting Locally to Put 
Equity on the Map
As much as I love getting together with colleagues from around the country in D.C., we all know our core work happens when we go back to our parks. Linked here is our 2019-2020 annual report that gives a snapshot of our impact pre-Covid. While the pandemic disrupted some of our work, it has also given us an opportunity to make changes and plan new directions in alignment with our strategic plan that was passed last February. One is a deeper commitment to making our organization, our park, and our world more welcoming, inclusive and fair. Hate and injustice are home grown and so are love, justice, and a community where all truly belong. Access to nature is a human right and at PRNSA we work to ensure that people who have historically been excluded from public lands are welcomed here. 
I’m proud that our first in-person program for young people since the pandemic began aims to both welcome and learn from partner organizations that have a deep commitment to equity. Read more below about our new Youth in Parks program. We are especially grateful to the anonymous donor whose $50,000 made this program possible. To hear more about what it takes to make an environmental education experience truly inclusive you can view our Park in Place webinar, Color In Nature
Team Effort
At PRNSA we’ve declared 2021 the year of governance and each of our board committees have new charters that include a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to our formal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee’s work, we’ve organized a monthly JEDI discussion group for our staff and board to learn together. This coming week we are discussing a podcast on the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Malcom X. 
I am so grateful to Phillip Chavira, who leads our financial and human resource administration, for restructuring our hiring processes and providing training to our staff and our National Park Service partners so we are truly inclusive in the workforce we build. We are already seeing results that make our organization stronger.

Lastly, as hard as this past year has been, I am inspired every day by all our staff who lead practically every discussion with the question: "Is this the most inclusive way to approach our work?" Their curiosity and commitment to equity are how we will put our little corner of the world on the map as a place where all are welcome and safe. Together with our Board, our National Park Service partners, and with you, we are part of a larger movement to make the outdoors accessible and inspiring to all. 
Donna Faure
Executive Director
P.S. In Park Updates below you’ll find resources from the National Park Service about Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. Additionally, our staff are excited about tomorrow’s “The Drum Major Instinct”reading and musical program to honor Dr. King and I thought you might enjoy it too.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honors his legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice. A prominent leader in the modern civil rights movement, Dr. King was a tireless advocate for racial equality, working class, and the oppressed around the world. In honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Park Service sites will have free admission for everyone on Monday, January 18, 2021. It is also a day of service when hundreds of volunteers participate in service projects at parks across the country. Learn more about the memorial to Dr. King in Washington, D.C. here, and about MLK Day celebrations at National Parks across the country here.
Point Reyes National Seashore Closures and Seasonal Updates:
Some areas, roads, trails and facilities in Point Reyes National Seashore continue to be closed due to the Woodward Fire, COVID-19, and road work. Visit the park's web site for the most current information.

Annual Closures due to Elephant Seal Activity:
Drakes Beach Closure Alert - To protect the elephant seal pups from disturbance and to keep the public safe, Drakes Beach will be closed starting at the southern edge of the cove in front of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and continuing southwest to the end of Drakes Beach. This closure is in effect from December 31 through March 31. Learn more about the elephant seals at Point Reyes here. (Note: dogs and drones are NOT permitted.)
Youth In Parks
Thanks to a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor, we are kickstarting Youth in Parks (YIP), a pilot program to bring youth of color and from low-income families to the park in spring 2021. This is the beginning of a wonderful partnership with the San Francisco Foundation and their Youth Access to Nature Equity Outdoors grantees who will be our partners in making this happen.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work with youth from BIPOC and underserved communities, and look forward to providing guided programming and transportation to the Seashore. Equally, we are excited about the chance to learn from these partner organizations and the youth participating in YIP as we continue to build park experiences that are truly welcoming and inclusive. Our goal with YIP and all of our programs is to inspire a lifelong love for nature to preserve the earth and our public lands now and in the future.
Get Fit 'Nature'ally
This New Year, did you resolve to get fit and get more exercise? If you like to walk, run, hike, bike, skip, or anything else, jump into our #NatureFit Challenge now through the end of the month. Keep us posted at #NatureFit about your exercise efforts, adventures, and progress. Share your stories with other participants and possibly win some swag at our wrap-up Zoom event. 

We’ve got some great January trail recommendations for you from our PRNSA community. Lena Zentall suggests the Five Brooks Loop, and Lagunitas Creek & Bolinas Ridge, and shares interesting things to note along each route. Rachel Sage compiled these options Tomales Point Trail Run, Drakes Estero View Run, and Limantour Spit Trail & Beach Run – as part of the California Naturalist Program. Lastly, check out Weekend Sherpa’s most recent guide to Wild Wild Coast Walks. We hope to see some interesting pics from your hikes at #NatureFit.
Saturday, January 23, 10am – 12pm
In this online class we will begin with a group discussion on what the word “place” and “placemaking” means, as well as its complexity in a global society prone to frequent moving and dislocation. Participants will then be invited to their first place-based writing exercise before wecome together as a group and discuss what worked, what was difficult, and any “ah-ha” moments folks may have had. We will then discuss the craft of poetry, specifically how imagery and figurative language establish the mood of a piece. Allie Rigby is a Bay Area poet and educator with roots in the chaparral of southern California. Allie’s workshops are for all levels and range from poetry to the art of teaching creative writing. Register Here.
Select class title for more information on these and other upcoming classes.
Sunday, January 24, 9am – 4pm
A Five-Part Series: Tuesdays, January 26 – February 16, - 7pm – 9pm
Saturday, January 30, 10am – 2pm
Sunday, January 31, 10am – 4:30pm
Know Anyone Interested
in Joining our Dynamic Team?
Communications and Development Coordinator 
Works with the Development Director to develop, execute, and evaluate a comprehensive communications plan to increase organizational visibility and support. This position organizes all marketing functions across the organization and supports fundraising and education events as well as membership and major donor campaigns. This role helps with brand positioning, voice, and consistency across channels to our community. Learn more and apply here. Please send inquiries to jobs@ptreyes.org.
We partner with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations.
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | development@ptreyes.org | www.ptreyes.org