If you're not yet receiving the newsletter from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, we want to share with you a recent post celebrating one of our favorite, most valued and visionary park stewards we know: Howard Levitt. Howard has been a champion for We Players in the parks for nearly 10 years and we are so grateful to know him and honored to call him a friend. Thank you Howard! Here is the post from "The Gateway" newsletter...
"After 35 years in the National Park Service, Howard Levitt - the director of communications and partnerships for Golden Gate National Recreational Area- is retiring in October. As the NPS liaison to the Parks Conservancy, Howard is also one of our closest friends and most admired rangers. His visionary leadership has helped transform park sites, promote parks and places of health, and welcome new and diverse visitors to the parks.
Gateway's question for him was simple: What will you remember most about your 30 years at Golden Gate?
"Golden Gate is in my heart and soul. I have far too many park memories to count, but a few come to mind. In 1983, my wife and I decided to get married while we were walking in Tennessee Valley. I have gone with dear friends on dozens of full-moon hikes over the ridge to Muir Beach. I've traced the perimeter of the Presidio on foot many times while visiting the Andy Goldsworthy artwork scattered throughout the post.
"I've seen marvelous Shakespearean performances at Fort Point, Alcatraz, and Sutro Heights Park. I've watched tearful visitors writing postcards to political prisoners after viewing the powerful art installations by Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz.
"I've seen proud new Americans sworn in as citizens at Immigrant Point Overlook. I witnessed a United States Army general (Lt. Gen. Glynn Mallory) welcome a former Soviet president (Mikhail Gorbachev) to the Presidio. I've seen San Francisco kids from the Mission District glimpse the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
"I partnered with the Conservancy in the genesis of that powerful change-maker, the Institute at the Golden Gate. I watched the greatest fireworks display I will probably ever see from the vantage point of Crissy Field, while celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"I've been filled with hope as I watch the next generation of park leaders step up from Crissy Field Center and Park Stewardship programs and student internships into career positions with the National Park Service. And through it all, I have had the privilege of working with the greatest colleagues and partners anyone could ever have."
Howard, it has been the great privilege of this park - and the entire park community- to have you as our staunchest supporter and wisest friend. Thank you."