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Land Director Laura McLendon surveys Big Basin State Park with Rangers after the CZU Fire.

Reimagining Big Basin

In August 2021, a year after the CZU fire, California State Parks launched a visioning process for Reimagining Big Basin. A year later, they have a vision for the park’s future. Learn more, connect, and stay involved.

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Camp Jones Gulch Sign By YMCA San Francisco

Camp Jones Gulch: A Partnership for Youth and Nature

Some of the oldest redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains thrive at a YMCA camp with the oldest history of inclusion—Camp Jones Gulch. We sat down with Jamie Bruning-Miles, President and CEO for The Y of San Francisco, to talk about how, together, we are expanding youth access to nature.

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A group of hikers looks up to an unseen redwood canopy in awe

Top 10 Redwood Trails 2022

If you’ve been yearning to reunite with coast redwoods or to see one for the first time, look no further. We’ve gathered trails that feature old-growth redwoods, mature second-growth redwood groves, rare dwarf redwoods, and even rarer ghost redwoods all right here in the Santa Cruz mountains. Here are our Top 10 Redwood Trails for 2022 with the best places to see redwoods now.

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Preserve the Gateway to Big Basin

Join Sempervirens Fund to preserve the Gateway to Big Basin. Together, we have the opportunity to permanently protect 153 acres of redwood forests and preserve a scenic approach into Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Donate by January 31 and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $200,000.

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Fairy Rings Redwood Canopy By Yuval Helfman Dreamstime

Redwood Fairy Rings and the Magic of Science

Do you believe in magic? Some say magic is just something science hasn’t figured out yet. But when it comes to coast redwood trees, the more science reveals about them, the more enchanting they seem. Looking beyond their incredible height and ages, to how they grow shows us the true magic of redwoods and reveals a heartwarming tale of family, interdependence, and awe.

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San Vicente Creek: Restoring a Stronghold

Mill Creek had been blocked since early in the last century by a 12-foot-tall, 25-foot-wide dam a quarter mile upstream from its confluence with the main aquatic thoroughfare, San Vicente Creek. In September 2021, that dam was removed, giving Mill Creek another half mile of free flow. The story of removing Mill Creek’s dam is a story about the pieces that fit together to bring life and vitality to an ecosystem.

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Nature Needs Time to Heal

The CZU fire transformed Big Basin Redwoods State Park in a matter of hours. Its effects will linger for hundreds of years. The forest is expected to rebound, eventually, more or less—but when? How long until the forest looks, feels, sounds, and smells like the place we knew?

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CZU Anniversary

On August 16, 2020 a climate-fueled-weather event sparked the most catastrophic fire ever recorded in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Over the next month, fire raged through the region impacting lives, communities, parks, and some of the most ancient and beloved remaining coast redwood forests in the world. A year later, we look back at the CZU Fire.

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Big Basin: Honor its Past, Build it to Last

If you love Big Basin, please consider this: reimagining Big Basin can pioneer a new model for California’s state parks, just as Big Basin was more than a century ago. We believe that in this moment of transformation, Big Basin can lead the way for the State Parks to enter into a new era of public parks–one that is desperately needed. 

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Funding for Big Basin’s Future and Santa Cruz Redwood Forests

Work at Big Basin and throughout the region to recover from the devastation of the wildfires is underway. We need your help. Learn about the Santa Cruz Redwoods Restoration Fund and Big Basin’s Future Fund to support regional recovery and the planning, designing, and rebuilding efforts that will shape the Big Basin’s future.

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