From Sand Dunes to Forest: Canopy Trees of Golden Gate Park


spring-summer 2020; dates TBD due to Coronavirus


From Sand Dunes to Forest is a unique exhibit that celebrates and honors the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park, specifically through art related to the trees that transformed the wild stretch of blowing sand that was “the Outside Lands” to the parkland we know today. The park means many things to many people, but this exhibit  focuses on the trees that transformed the sand dunes – without them there would be no park.


Originally three tree species were planted and survived as canopy trees in the park: Monterey cypress, Monterey pine, and blue gum eucalyptus. Those remain the most numerous trees in the park. Other trees in the original plantings included giant sequoia and coast redwood. Additional signature trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco Botanical Garden are represented.


In an open submissions process, the work of over 30 artists has been selected to portray the canopy trees. Participating artists will include several well-known Bay Area artists as well as many artists who are new to exhibiting at the Library. The art to be shown is in various media, including watercolor, oil, acrylic, photography, digital scans, colored pencil, pastel, and more. These beautiful artworks represent trees in landscapes, as single or multiple individual trees and including any parts of a tree – branch, cones, seeds, flowers, twigs, leaves, buds, fruits, pods, bark, with birds, etc.


Also included are historical images and artifacts that help tell the story of the horticultural transformation of Golden Gate Park.

About Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary

On April 4, 1870, the state legislature passed “An Act to provide for the improvement of Public Parks in the City of San Francisco,” paving the way for the creation of Golden Gate Park. A rich representation of San Francisco’s past, present, and future, the park represents the themes of creativity, innovation and can-do spirit that run through the City’s history and inform the present. To celebrate the park’s 150th anniversary there will be a park-wide celebration on April 4, 2020 with events scheduled throughout the year.


More about the Garden's role in Golden Gate Parks 150th Anniversary can be found here: 

Complete Golden Gate Park 150 information can be found here:


Framed prints and unframed prints are available for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library.


1199 9th Ave

San Francisco, CA 94122


Phone: (415) 661-1316

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San Francisco Botanical Garden is a public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.