38 new citizens naturalized at Port Reyes National Seashore

Port Reyes National Seashore celebrated its 61st birthday and invited some special guests to join in on their own, very special day. 

On Sept. 13, 1962, the U.S. National Park Service took over the Point Reyes peninsula and turned the geological preserve into the 111 square miles that are the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

"An open place for everybody. We don't have an entrance fee specifically to make it welcoming for those folks who come from near and far," said Park Ranger Christine Beekman, who is also the park’s public information officer.

So, to help celebrate the park's birthday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau swore in 38 immigrants from 22 nations to the birthdays of their own U.S. citizenships.

Mexican-born Yasmin Hurtado Barriga was thrilled. 

"I was waiting for this moment and I just feel very happy today. I feel I accomplished a dream that I had for so many years. It’s unreal…Now I can vote. There's [sic] so much [sic] opportunities here in the country.  My whole family is here now; my parents, my sisters and I'm happy that we're all here," said Barriga.

Though Port Reyes National Seashore is celebrating its 61st birthday, it was here long before America was America. 


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From its world-famous lighthouse on the south tip to its legacy herd of Tule Elk on the north tip, this peninsula and adjoining Tomales Bay was forcefully carved out by the San Andreas Fault. 

Elephant seals and sea lions bask and breed on its beaches, while migrating whales slowly pass by.

While some legacy farms remain within the protected area, it's important to note that this was designated a national seashore specifically to protect and save it from proposed development of the slopes overlooking Drake's Bay. 

"Eighty miles of undeveloped coastline, so close to San Francisco, and it has something for everyone," said Beekman.

This is just one of the nation's 425 national park units. 

"America's best idea as coined by Ken Burns," said Beekman.

If we truly take care of these parks and seashores, for as long as the wind blows and the grass grows, and the sky is a crown above, these parks will last for many, many more generations.