If you’ve ever been to San Francisco, California, you probably visited one or more of these landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Alcatraz, and of course, Golden Gate Park! There are many amazing places to visit in the city by the bay, but Golden Gate Park is definitely one that lands on the list of many tourists. Why? Because it’s one of the largest man-made parks in the country! For 150 years, Golden Gate Park has welcomed visitors and residents alike to enjoy its tranquil lakes, lush gardens, and groomed trails. As the park grew, so did its features celebrating the many cultures, history, and people that make up the city of San Francisco. April 4th marked the 150th anniversary of the park, but such a significant birthday deserves a year’s worth of celebrating. While many of the in-person events have been canceled due to the novel coronavirus, virtual celebrations are going strong—virtual Metallica concert, anyone? Check out who’s headlining Golden Gate Park’s virtual concert series here. There’s something for everyone! We’re wishing Golden Gate Park a happy 150th birthday by sharing a few interesting facts about the park.
-Golden Gate Park welcomes approximately 25 million people every year.
-San Francisco’s first superintendent and civil engineer, William Hammond Hall, designed Golden Gate Park. He was only twenty-five years old at the time.
-Golden Gate Park is home to the first public playground in the United States. It’s now called Koret’s Playground, but when it opened to the public in 1888, it was called the Sharon Quarter for Children. Today, Golden Gate Park is home to five different public playgrounds for children and families to enjoy.
-There are bison in the park! Believe it or not, it all began in 1890 with a bison cow named “Sarah Bernhardt” and a bull named “Ben Harrison.” Since then, there have been a number of American bison that have either been transferred to the Buffalo Paddock in Golden Gate Park or bred there. Since 1890, over 100 calves have been born in the park!
-Speaking of wild animals, there is an abundance of coyotes in the park as well. Yep, despite the park being in the heart of a very busy metropolitan city, many coyotes still call Golden Gate Park their home. In fact, there are so many coyotes roaming the park that the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department routinely posts signs throughout the park warning people of their presence.
-Golden Gate Park is home to the oldest model yacht and lawn bowling clubs in the United States. The Model Yacht club was established in 1898, and the Lawn Bowling Club was established a few years later in 1901. Yeah, we’d say that’s pretty unique, wouldn’t you
-Although Central Park in New York City is world renown and thought to be one of the largest man-made parks in the United States, Golden Gate Park is actually twenty percent larger!
-There are a number of statues in the park, but only one of a woman. This statue of a woman sits by Stow Lake and is thought to be haunted. Whoooo …
-Tweets may be as common as sliced bread these days, but back in 2000 when Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey was just playing around with the idea of an email that could be reposted to as many people as he wanted, he sent a short message to friends from Golden Gate Park that read, “I’m at the Bison Paddock watching the bison.” The bison didn’t know it at the time, but they were witnessing a small piece of social media history.
-After the devastating 1906 earthquake, the park became a refuge for those who needed shelter and temporary housing.
Do you know an interesting fact about Golden Gate Park or a national park where you live? Share it with us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interesting fact! We’ll share it with fellow Xyza readers!