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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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Birds and Birding in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Have you considered birding or birdwatching? Not sure how you start? We spoke to international expert birding guide Alvaro Jaramillo who shares his expertise with an introduction to birds and how to get started birding in the Santa Cruz mountains. Read on for beautiful birds, when and where to find them, and how to identify them.

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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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Bats of the Redwoods

Love them or hate them, bats are an important part of our ecosystem. They help control insect populations and even pollinate some flowers. And like all of us at Sempervirens Fund, they find solace in and spend a lot of time among the redwoods. Read on to learn what one researcher discovered about bats of the redwoods.

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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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San Vicente Creek Flow By Ian Bornarth

Mill Creek Dam and the San Vicente Watershed

An old dam has denied endangered Coho salmon their critical spawning ground and redwood forests their nutrients for over a century in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is the story of bringing down a dam to restore the southernmost habitat for Coho and coast redwoods.

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Rain Sorcery: A Wyrd Hike with Newts

By Ryan Masters, Sempervirens Fund (Originally published Nov. 26, 2014 in Hilltromper) The eyes of a California Newt are black slits set into saffron orbs. Gaze into them and you will know why the trio of weird sisters in Macbeth treasured them for their cauldron. They are gnomish and implacable. They hold secrets only found…

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