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NEWS: Sempervirens Fund Announces Kickoff of its Capital Campaign: Redwoods Now, For All, Forever

The campaign aims to raise the final $500,000 of $14 million by September 15 to meet a one-to-one matching opportunity and to protect more than 1,000 acres of critical redwood forests including Camp Jones Gulch and the Gateway to the Big Basin

 

Contact: Blake Case, 601.832.6079, [email protected]

 

Old-Growth Redwoods, including trees more than 500 years old, tower over 39-acres and may provide habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet which is known to fly from the sea to the area’s forests to lay their eggs in uppermost branches.

Old-Growth Redwoods, including trees more than 500 years old, tower over 39-acres at Camp Jones Gulch. Photo by Canopy Dynamics.

San Mateo, Calif. (July 18, 2022)—Sempervirens Fund, California’s first land trust, announced today the kickoff of its capital campaign to raise and match $250,000 by September 15 to permanently protect more than 1,000 acres of redwood forests and to care for 11,000 acres of redwoods for generations to come. This is the final push of a broader $14 million campaign.

The capital campaign, which has been an ongoing fundraising effort, will enable Sempervirens Fund to protect and preserve key properties, including a $9.6 million conservation agreement with the Y of San Francisco to protect 928-acres of redwoods at Camp Jones Gulch near La Honda. Earlier this year Sempervirens Fund protected the 153 acres of redwood forests located in the Gateway to the Big Basin as part of the campaign. Funds raised will also allow experts to implement active management and conservation techniques on these two properties and the other 11,000 acres under Sempervirens Fund’s care.

Announced in May, the pursuit to purchase a conservation easement at Camp Jones Gulch will simultaneously preserve one of the largest unprotected stands of old-growth redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains and the outdoor educational opportunities for children in San Mateo County. The purchase of the conservation easement provides Camp Jones Gulch with funds to improve facilities that provide access for youth outdoor education. Sempervirens has also committed to being a partner to the Y in caring for the natural resources featured in their educational programming. In addition to protecting Camp Jones Gulch’s seven distinct ecosystems, including old-growth redwoods, the partnership allows Sempervirens Fund the opportunity to help restore habitat health and enhance forest resilience, especially in the face of climate change and increased threats, such as wildfire.

Earlier in 2022, Sempervirens Fund supporters helped complete the urgent purchase of the Gateway to Big Basin, which was burned over by the 2020 CZU fire. The purchase permanently protected 153 acres of second-growth forests that make up the scenic entrance into Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park.

Funding from the campaign will also advance on-the-ground stewardship work at the Gateway and at Camp Jones Gulch, and will also fund and inform enhanced stewardship of the more than two dozen additional properties under Sempervirens Fund’s care in the Santa Cruz mountains, most of which were directly impacted by the 2020 CZU wildfire.

“This campaign will give us the opportunity to continue working on a robust pipeline of conservation opportunities – including our work at Camp Jones Gulch and at the Gateway to the Big Basin,” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director, Sara Barth. “Our generous donors continue to support our work conserving and protecting redwood forests, and they have shown time and time again – through intense wildfires, extreme drought, and a global pandemic – that they are willing to help us meet the moment for the good of the trees and forests that we all love so much.”

Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has protected more than 35,000 acres of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains. The health, resiliency, and vibrancy of the Santa Cruz mountain region depends on connected, healthy redwood forests, but less than 5 percent remain. As the climate continues to rapidly change, producing more extreme weather and fires, it is more important than ever to protect and preserve ancient redwoods. Redwoods sequester more carbon per volume than any plant species on the planet, have shown incredible resilience against fire and drought, and are a vital tool available to mitigate harmful impacts of the changing climate.

Gifts to the $14 million campaign have come from more than 870 donors and range in amount from $5 to $2.4M. Donors and grantors include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Board, Peninsula Open Space Trust, California State Coastal Conservancy, Acton Family Giving, the Lipman Family Foundation, Sempervirens Fund’s Board of Directors, and many others.

The campaign will run through Sept. 15, and people can donate through the website at sempervirens.org. The final $250,000 of the broader $14 million campaign is being matched one-to-one by the Midgley Foundation.

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