The article in yesterday's Chronicle is a snippet, a notice, a little bit of writing that doesn't do justice to the life of the late Ryan Jones. Ryan was an under-the-radar local hero. You may or may not have known him, but if you live here in San Francisco, Ryan probably made your life here more beautiful, more enjoyable, more memorable.
Ryan worked for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Site Stewardship program. He'd volunteered there as a high school student, and most recently as a full-time employee. Ryan led groups of high school kids out into the Headlands, the Presidio, and other GGNRA locations, teaching them about the land, organizing groups to fight invasives, and doing the hard weed-killing and cleanup that keeps these areas beautiful for all of us. If you have spent any time in the amazing areas that surround the city, you benefited from Ryan's work.
We met Ryan a few years ago while volunteering at Milagra Ridge. He was happy, patient, and inspirational as he divided us into groups with hoes and picks, sending us off to attack a strange vine that was destroying local vegetation. He was hit and killed by a drunk driver on Sunday, and we're all worse off for it. His friends and co-workers have put up a memorial site here. Stop by and leave your best wishes. And next time you're biking in the Headlands, walking in the Presidio, or hiking on the ridges south of town, take a moment and thank Ryan Jones.