The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco Launches “Give Back Getaways” in Partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

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Eco-friendly voluntourism experiences bring guests up close and personal with San Francisco landmarks Alcatraz Island and Presidio Nursery.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco launches "Give Back Getaways" in partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy have joined forces to create a “voluntourism” opportunity for the iconic hotel’s guests and members of the community with Give Back Getaways, a series of local, daytime excursions that feature opportunities to volunteer at Alcatraz Island and the Presidio Nursery. As part of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s global Community Footprints program, Give Back Getaways provide a unique opportunity to get outside and experience some of San Francisco’s most breathtaking parklands while giving back to the environment, and are available on specific dates through May 22, 2013.

Considered one of the largest national parks in an urban setting, the Golden Gate National Parks stretch 70 miles north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge, creating an 80,400-acre greenbelt along the Pacific. These national parklands are home to ancient redwoods, historic landmarks, miles of trails, dramatic shorelines, rare and endangered species and jaw-dropping vistas. As volunteers and community support are at the heart of preserving these national treasures, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is inviting hotel guests and the general public to spend a half-day lending a hand to keep these parks healthy, vibrant and enduring.

There are two options for the hotel’s Give Back Getaways: Preserving the Gardens of Alcatraz Island and Restoration at the Presidio Nursery.

Preserving the Gardens of Alcatraz Island
Available March 27; April 10 and 17; May 3 and 22, 2013

This complimentary half-day voluntourism opportunity gives guests the chance to help preserve the historic gardens of Alcatraz Island, a treasured San Francisco landmark. Guests will travel to the island by motor coach and early-morning boat (arriving on Alcatraz during the most tranquil time of day, before other visitors), and will collaborate on projects to restore the gardens, which are more than a century old. Activities will include clearing invasive weeds to reveal the historic remnant plants, pruning and planting. Volunteers will be introduced to the stories of the gardens and will have the opportunity to visit some areas not accessible to the public. The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco will provide each volunteer a complimentary box lunch to enjoy after the service project. As an added bonus, garden volunteers have the option of staying on the island after the service project to explore and enjoy a complimentary audio tour.

Depart the hotel: 7:45 a.m.
Volunteer Activity: 8 a.m. to noon

Volunteers ages 18 and up are welcome. Availability is limited and reservations are required with at least 48 hours advance notice. Program runs rain or shine. Complimentary transportation includes ground transportation to Pier 33, ferry to Alcatraz Island and return ferry to Pier 33. Participants receive a complimentary boxed lunch, Community Footprints t-shirt and water bottle.

Alcatraz Gardens is a partnership project of the Garden Conservancy, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and National Park Service.

Restoration at the Presidio Nursery
Available March 23; April 24 and 27; May 8 and 18, 2013

A hidden gem of San Francisco, the Presidio Nursery is located in the center of the Golden Gate National Parks, where picturesque views of the Bay, the California Coast, and the Golden Gate Bridge provide inspiration to help preserve our natural world. The Presidio Nursery is currently growing over 65,000 native plants for restoration projects in areas including Inspiration Point, Crissy Field, Dragonfly Creek and Baker Beach. Volunteer activities include seed collection and cleaning, transplanting, pruning, weeding, compost sifting, nursery maintenance and general care of the Habitat Demonstration Garden.

Depart the hotel: 12:20 p.m.
Volunteer Activity: 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Reservations are required with 48 hours advance notice. Program runs rain or shine. Complimentary roundtrip transportation, Community Footprints t-shirt and water bottle, fruit and snacks included.

The Presidio Nursery is a partnership project of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, National Park Service and The Presidio Trust.

To book a Give Back Getaway please call The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco at
(415) 296-7465 or visit

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is located at 600 Stockton Street, between California and Pine Streets, San Francisco, CA 94108.

The Ritz-Carlton Give Back Getaways
Engage. Contribute. Inspire. These are the guiding principles of Community Footprints, The Ritz-Carlton social and environmental responsibility program. The Ritz-Carlton strives to make a meaningful difference in communities around the world. Through Give Back Getaways, guests are invited to participate in half-day voluntourism experiences that make lasting contributions to the local community. There are unique Give Back Getaways projects at every Ritz-Carlton destination, but there is one constant – each experience makes a lasting contribution. (

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
The Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit membership organization created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experiences of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future. The Conservancy is an authorized cooperating association of the National Park Service, and is one of more than 70 such nonprofit organizations working with national parks around the country. To learn more, please visit or call (415) 561-3000.

The Golden Gates National Parks Volunteer Program
An endless source of adventure and inspiration, the Golden Gate National Parks (comprised of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, and Fort Point National Historic Site) are rich in habitat, history, and community. As such, the commitment to service and community is vital. The parks were built on Community Action and that tradition continues today – volunteers and community support are at the very soul of these parks and all are invited to be part of this essential tradition.

The Golden Gate National Parks Volunteer Program is a cooperative parkwide effort of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, National Park Service and The Presidio Trust.

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Photos available upon request.

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Diana G. Haven
Ellipses Public Relations
(415) 728-5803
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Shelly Auyeung
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
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