Sharp Park

Sharp Park

Sharp Park is in Pacifica but is managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. The park’s natural area encompasses diverse habitats, including coastal wetlands, coastal scrub, forest, and grasslands. It is situated between Milagra and Sweeney Ridges, two regionally significant open spaces managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is immediately north of Mori Point, another GGNRA-managed open space to which it has trail connections. It supports populations of federally listed species such as the California red-legged frog, San Francisco garter snake, and mission blue butterfly.

Sharp Park’s other features include an 18-hole golf course and a nationally recognized archery range.


Sharp Park’s coastal wetlands, known as Laguna Salada and Horsestable Pond, are home to California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes. The watershed that feeds the wetland originates in the headwaters of Sanchez Creek in the upper canyon. Although small, the wetlands provide important habitat for diverse communities of plants and animals, and are essential to the survival of these and many other species.

The endangered San Francisco garter snake is found only in San Mateo County. It has distinctive alternating red, black, green, and blue stripes, a red head, and a rich turquoise-blue underside. This shy, elusive snake eats frogs, including the threatened California red-legged frog, and is found only in areas that have both ponds with frog populations and surrounding uplands that provide basking habitat. The California red-legged frog, whose lower abdomen and back legs are mostly red, is the largest native frog in the western United States. The subject of Mark Twain’s story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” this frog now survives in only 30 percent of its former range.

Cultural History

George Sharp, who came to San Francisco from New York by ship around the Horn in 1849 at the age of 22, was the original owner of Sharp Park. A wealthy lawyer, he lived for much of his life in some of the best hotels in San Francisco, dropping dead in court in 1882. His wife lived until 1905, at which time her handwritten will directed that most of her property be turned over to her attorney, Reuben Lloyd, and to Adolph Spreckels. Both were millionaires and both were San Francisco park commissioners. She stipulated that the property was to be used for park and recreational purposes only. If this agreement is ever breached, Sharp Park will revert to the State of California.

From 1942 to 1946, Sharp Park was used by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as a temporary detention station for civilian Japanese, German, and Italian citizens before moving them to internment camps.

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