In Marin / CURRENTS
AS A KID, Joanne Jarvis once visited the massive Bay Model in Sausalito on a field trip, but she never imagined that as an adult she would work there as a National Park Service ranger. How did you become a ranger? I saw a local TV show about volunteering with the National
Park Service and I thought, “I didn’t know you could do that.” One
day I gave them a call. I started as a volunteer on Alcatraz. I thought
I would do it for six months.
Fast-for ward a couple of years.
I was still there and was think-
ing, “Hmm, I should try to find
a way to make this more per-
manent.” So I did. You’re from the Bay Area? Native San Franciscan.
I’m the one you’ve heard of. My wife is native as well. You still live in
the city? We live in Marin now. Well, there you go. Where else have you
worked? I’ve worked at every national park site on San Francisco Bay.
Any favorites? Alcatraz. There’s so much interest. It doesn’t matter
what corner of the world you’re from, you’ve heard of Alcatraz. And you
rode a boat to work. The ferry ride was one of the highlights of the day.
Tell us about the Bay Model. It was built in 1956 to study a proposal
Maybe you’ll inspire another Joanne Jarvis? Yes! M
— the Reber plan — to put t wo dams on San Francisco Bay. It’s kind of a
hidden gem. The name doesn’t really explain what it is, does it? A lot of
people think it’s little desktop model of the bay. They think, “We’ll come,
we’ll look, we’ll spend 10 minutes and we’ll go eat lunch.” No, the model
is an acre-and-a-half in size and there are a lot of exhibits about the bay
and the old shipyards. How do visitors react? At first they’re usually con-
fused about what this is, so we give them the history. But we know that
once they go back there it’s nothing like they think it’s going to be. When
they come out, the reaction is usually, “Wow!” “Impressive!” “I never
knew the Bay Area looked like this.” It’s an education? It provides a per-
spective about the drought and the watershed. Usually, once they come
out, they’re sold. They’re lifelong stewards of this place. That’s what you
want? As park rangers we try to instill the idea of stewardship for the
next generations so people think this is cool and they’ll want to protect it.
Teaching the next generation to love the bay.
BY TIM PORTER
Joanne Jarvis, park ranger/
volunteer coordinator, U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, Bay Model Visitor Center,
2100 Bridgeway Blvd, Sausalito
ON THE JOB