Heron's Head Park
Heron’s Head Park is open daily from dawn to dusk, and is located at the foot of Cargo Way at Jennings Street in San Francisco. (+37° 44' 22.99", -122° 22' 33.49")
Photo: Bionic Landscape Architects
Earth Day 2019
Earth Day 2019 kicked off a new partnership between the Port and San Francisco Recreation and Park, making the EcoCenter an entirely City-run operation with plans to make environmental programs even more robust. More information coming soon! See photos from the Earth Day 2019 event.
Thank you for all your hard work!
Interested in volunteering at Heron's Head Park? There are opportunities on the Second Saturday of Every Month! Learn more.
Heron's Head Park Is the Bayview's Wild Wetland Gem - The Frisc
Happy Trails: Five Reasons Fall is the Best Time to Hike in the Bay Area - KQED
An Emissary from a Forgotten Past, Thriving in an Unlikely Home: California Sea-Blite - Bay Nature
Hidden San Francisco Gems Best Experienced by Bike - The Bold Italic
Heron's Head Park: Premier Bird-Watching Spot in S.F. - SFGate
100 Bird Species Spotted: Heron's Head Park in India Basin - Curbed San Francisco
Heron's Head Park was born in the early 1970s, when the Port began filling the bay to construct what was to be the Pier 98 shipping terminal. The terminal construction never materialized, and the peninsula remained undeveloped. Over years of settlement and exposure to the tides, a salt marsh emerged, attracting shorebirds, waterfowl and aquatic wildlife. In the late 1990s, with funding from the City and County of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Port, the California Coastal Conservancy and the San Francisco Bay Trail Project, the Port undertook a major renovation of Pier 98. The project enhanced and expanded the marsh by removing over 5,000 tons of concrete, asphalt, metal and other debris, created a tidal channel to improve circulation, and constructed upland trails, picnic and bird-viewing areas and a fishing pier. In 1999, the former Pier 98 officially reopened to the public as Heron's Head Park, named for its resemblance – when viewed from the air – to one of its residents: the Great Blue Heron.
In 2012 the Port completed various improvements to the park, made possible due to a 2008 voter-approved bond measure. Park improvements feature an off-leash dog run, a dedicated bike lane leading up to the park, and other park amenities such as bicycle racks and picnic tables.
Since Heron’s Head Park opened in 1999, the Port has provided environmental education in the park for students, teachers, adults, volunteers and a diverse array of visitors. The programs teach participants about the wetland and upland habitat, San Francisco bay ecology and our role in the ecosystem. Most programs include hands-on restoration of the habitat at Heron’s Head Park. The Port’s environmental education programs at Heron’s Head Park are offered free of charge through the Port’s partnership with the City and County of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s Youth Stewardship Program (for more information about environmental education programs in Heron’s Head Park, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download a list of SF Recreation & Parks Department Programs at Heron's Head Park (PDF)
The EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park
In 2010, a non-profit organization and former Port tenant, Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), constructed The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park to serve as a demonstration of green building technology and a recreational and educational resource to the surrounding community, the city and the region. The EcoCenter features 100% solar power, on-site wastewater treatment, a living roof, rainwater harvesting, all native landscaping, sustainable building materials, and other resource efficient building features. It was the first LEED Platinum – Zero Net Energy building certified in San Francisco.
In 2014, at LEJ’s request, the Port assumed ownership of the EcoCenter and, after a competitive selection process, leased the EcoCenter to a new operator, Bay.org, in partnership with City College of San Francisco and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Earth Day 2019 kicked off a new partnership between the Port and San Francisco Recreation and Park, making the EcoCenter an entirely City-run operation with plans to make environmental programs even more robust. More information coming soon!
- Heron's Head Park Soil Investigation and Health Risk Assessment, February 2004 (PDF)
- Addendum to HHRA (PDF)
- Heron's Head Park Wetland Monitoring, 4-13-05, (January 2003 - February 2005) (PDF)
- Heron's Head Park Wetland Monitoring, 4-19-03, (January - December 2002) (PDF)
- Heron's Head Park Wetland Monitoring, 8-5-02, (January - December 2001) (PDF)
- Heron's Head Park Wetland Monitoring, 6-19-01, (March 2000 - January 2001) (PDF)
- BCDC Permit Application, January 1998 (PDF)
- Alternatives Analysis Report, March 1997 (PDF)
- Preliminary Design Report, November 1997 (PDF)
- Heron’s Head Park BioBlitz
For more information about public & school programs at Heron's Head Park and the EcoCenter or to reach staff at the EcoCenter call 415-676-1394.
For more information about the Port's wetland restoration efforts, please contact Carol Bach at: (415) 274-0568 email@example.com