Natural Resource Division

The Natural Resource Division (NRD) is the branch of San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) responsible for managing the City’s Natural Areas. The mission of the Program is two-fold: to preserve, restore, and enhance remnant Natural Areas, and to develop and support community-based site stewardship of these areas. The initial impetus for the Program came from several local grassroots environmental organizations that recognized the value of the “Significant Natural Resource Areas” in supporting habitat for native plants and wildlife; ecosystem functions such as soil and water retention; and socioeconomic values, as well as being outdoor classrooms and living museums protecting natural heritage.

Recognizing the functions and value of these Natural Areas and the need to protect and restore them, SFRPD agreed to support and develop a community-based habitat restoration program, today known as the Natural Resource Division (NRD). SFRPD’s commitment to this project was formalized in the SF Recreation and Park Commission’s adoption of the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP) in 1995 (SFRPD 1995a ). In 1997, SFRPD hired the first staff for the Program and has been steadily building a team of natural resource managers and a base of volunteers. Today, the Natural Resource Division is composed of ten full-time staff who also work with thousands of volunteers on habitat restoration and environmental education.

Nat. Resources Management Plan

San Francisco encompasses an area of 49 square miles, in which small fragments of a unique ecosystem called the Franciscan landscape, part of the larger Bay/Delta region, still exist today. The Franciscan landscape … Continue reading

Natural Areas FAQs

How much of the city’s lands are in natural areas? Of the 3,500 acres and 230 parks in San Francisco managed by the Recreation and Parks Department, natural areas comprise more than … Continue reading

Urban Trails Program

Urban trails allow residents to escape the city’s hectic pace and explore nature in their own neighborhoods. One of the things San Franciscans value most about our parks and open spaces is … Continue reading

Forestry Restoration

Trees are an important resource to the people of San Francisco and the varied wildlife species that utilize the urban forests within the City, and in an urban setting, methods such as … Continue reading

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the use of multiple treatment methods to control undesirable weeds and other pests. While IPM has a range of meanings and is subject to various interpretations, the … Continue reading

Wild Habitat Conservation

The Open Space Element of the City’s General Plan (as amended in 1991) requires the City to preserve and protect the Significant Natural Resource Areas (Policy 13). Policy 13 includes natural resource … Continue reading

San Francisco’s Natural Heritage

A HERITAGE OF ABUNDANCE Two hundred years ago, you could start walking from any point in San Francisco and within 30 minutes encounter an extraordinary variety of habitats and wildlife. From Ocean … Continue reading

Things To Do & See

Hike to a scenic viewpoint, photograph wildflowers in bloom, look for birds and butterflies, volunteer to pull weeds and plant seeds, romp with your dog, just hang out…all these are popular activities … Continue reading

Natural Areas Photo Gallery

Browse our photo gallery of rare plants and wildlife, fantastic landscapes, historic views, and people at work and play.