After the Army declared the property surplus in 1946, there was intense interest from the local community in the fate of the island. Two nonprofit groups, the Angel Island Foundation (today’s Angel Island Conservancy), and the Marin Conservation League, campaigned for the establishment of the island as a state park.

Believe it or not there were many other suggestions for uses of the island ranging from an amusement park to the west coast UN. But these groups were persistent. Over the next few years, they were successful in educating the public about the island’s history and potential recreational uses, and pressured local government agencies to push the state to acquire the island (Davison and Meier, 2002 131).

In 1954, the 37 acres making up the former Hospital Cove (Ayala Cove), was the first parcel of land deeded to the State Park System, and opened to the public. In the meantime, the US Army had selected the island as a site for a Nike missile launching facility and radar control station. Even with this partial reoccupation by the Army, the State Park System acquired more land above the cove in 1958. The mountaintop was renamed Mount Caroline Livermore, in honor of the dedicated Marin County conservationist who led the campaign to create Angel Island State Park (AISP). The rest of the island was given to the State in 1963, after the US Army decommissioned the Nike Missile base.

Since completion of the AISP general plan (which directs resource projects) the park has installed visitor centers at Ayala Cove and East Garrison and house museum exhibits at the Detention Barracks of the US Immigration Station.

History comes to life at West Garrison’s Camp Reynolds with overnight educational programs for school children. Since 2004, visitors to the US Immigration Station at AISP enjoy an interactive interpretive experience due to significant rehabilitation and installation of interpretive exhibits. Funded by federal and state funds, grants, and private donations, the facility has been stabilized and open for all to enjoy. Currently the hospital is undergoing a renovation as well, and will eventually house additional interpretive exhibits, and a house museum. Our partners at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation are leading this effort in conjunction with California State Parks.

Our Community. Our Island. Our Legacy.

Angel Island Conservancy // PO Box 866 / Tiburon / CA 94920 // 415.435.3972// info@angelisland.org // FACEBOOK // FLICKR // INSTAGRAM