Skip to content

Virtual Redwoods

Bringing the Redwoods to You

Healthy forests support healthy communities improving our environmental, physical, mental, and social health. Spending time in nature, especially near redwood trees, can help us be healthier and happier. Protecting and restoring forests of the tallest trees on earth right next door to the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley for people and wildlife is a critical step. But not everyone can get to the redwoods. For many, barriers to park access include transportation, entrance fees, mobility needs, and under-representation, all of which can leave would-be-park-goers feeling daunted and unwelcome. We believe in safe, welcoming, and inclusive access to nature for all.  So, if you can't get to the forest, we're bringing the redwoods to you to share the mood boost they can provide and the awe they can ignite, even virtually.

Explore the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains from anywhere through virtual hikes, videos from our stewardship team, webinars and podcasts with renown experts, and even an inspirational playlist.

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku as its called in Japan where the practice was founded, is a way of immersing your senses in nature that has proven benefits for our physical and mental well being. You can enjoy this virtual forest bathing experience with Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, AllTrails’ lead medical director, and an expert in the practice of Shinrin-yoku, for the ultimate break in your day. Thank you to AllTrails for support producing this film.

You can also watch the full Introduction to Forest Bathing webinar including discussions and questions and answers with Dr. Hackenmiller.

Webinars

Renown experts join us Under the Redwoods for a free webinar series exploring our magnificent redwood forests, what makes redwoods so special, why they thrive here and nowhere else in the world, and what they mean to us in our lives. See redwoods through their insightful lenses.

Featured Webinars

The Marvels and Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet

Portia Halbert, California State Parks Environmental Scientist, tells the tale of the marvelous and mysterious marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird that prefers to nest in the canopies of old-growth trees such as redwoods here in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Watch

Treasure Hunting in the Santa Cruz Mountains

In this webinar California Native Plant Society’s Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Manager Amy Patten reveals the life history and ecology of some of the rare plants in the Santa Cruz mountains and how they respond to challenges of life on the Central Coast.

Watch

Pumas in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Chris Wilmers, Ph.D., Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, UC Santa Cruz, explores long term findings of The Santa Cruz Puma Project exploring how human presence impacts puma behavior, movements, and survival.

Watch

Virtual Hikes

From the skyline to the sea, we teamed up with Google Trekker to record some of the best trails and sites in the Santa Cruz mountains, so you can explore them from anywhere you have internet. Enjoy 360 degree views from the trail and a glimpse into the past at the forests before the 2020 CZU Fire.

Featured Virtual Trails and Sights

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

An expansive regional trail connecting state parks.

Explore Skyline-to-the-Sea

The Father of the Forest

An old-growth coast redwood in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Meet the Father of the Forest

San Lorenzo Valley Vista

Take in the view from Castle Rock State Park's Saratoga Gap Trail.

See the View

Sempervirens Falls

Take a walk down to Sempervirens Falls, named in honor of supporters like you who have helped us protect redwood forests like this, and hear the impressive thunder of crashing water in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Read more about Sempervirens Falls

Field Notes

Our Land Team shares their coolest experiences from stewardship visits to care for and restore protected redwood forests and habitats in the Santa Cruz mountains. Share in the awe, delight, and excitement of the creatures, plants, and moments of the forest.

Podcast

Listen as we delve into the history and nature of the Santa Cruz mountains.

Episode 1

Russell Varian: The Man Behind the Klystron Tube, Silicon Valley and Castle Rock State Park

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Sempervirens Fund Podcast, an audio foray deep into the natural and cultural history of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

Join Ryan Masters, Director of Communications for Sempervirens Fund, as he links the establishment of Castle Rock State Park in 1968 to Allied Victory in WWII and the birth of Silicon Valley by tracing the life of Russell Varian and his family.

From his childhood on the Utopian community of Halcyon to international fame as a wartime inventor to his tragic death in Alaska, Russell Varian’s brief, wonderful life lies at a unique intersection of wilderness, technology, spirituality and grit.

With the help of Henry Lowood, curator for History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections in the Stanford University Libraries, this podcast examines how the man’s footfalls continue to echo loudly throughout Silicon Valley, Castle Rock State Park and the world today.

Episode 2

The Language of Birds with Jon Young

Interpreting Bird Language is an art form. The calls, postures, and other behaviors of birds convey much information to those who understand their patterns. The attentive, trained observer can deduce through bird language the location of predators and other forces on the landscape. The reaction of birds and animals also speaks volumes about the awareness and behavior of the observer. In this way, birds become a barometer for one’s own awareness of the landscape, both inner and outer. The voices of the birds become a beacon that enrapture the senses in a three-dimensional game of hide and seek that is being played on the land and in the air. Predator and prey, observer and observed merge into one as the language of the birds calls us on a journey of connection and wonder. Learn how to expand your senses with bird language with Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World.

Episode 3

Josephine McCracken: Pioneer Environmentalist and Feminist

In this episode of the Sempervirens Fund Podcast, explore the epic life of pioneer environmentalist and feminist Josephine McCracken. At the turn of the 19th century, McCracken became an indispensable voice for redwood preservation. Her activism inspired the women’s network essential for the successful 1901 campaign to create Big Basin Redwoods State Park. McCracken was also a leading figure in the San Francisco Bay area literary scene. She authored a collection titled the Overland Tales and was a close friend and contemporary of such luminaries as Bret Harte, Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce. Late in life, McCracken also befriended and mentored some of the biggest female stars in the burgeoning movie industry Mary Pickford, Zasu Pitts and Beatriz Michelena as they made silent films in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Join historians Traci Bliss and Randall Brown as they convey how this remarkable woman overcame major obstacles, including escaping a homicidal husband in the badlands of New Mexico and losing her Santa Cruz Mountains home to fire, to become a full-time journalist and advocate for women. Along the way, they will also reveal much about the founding of the Sempervirens Club and some common misconceptions regarding the establishment of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Playlist

Climate change shows no signs of slowing down, and neither will those of us committed to curbing the crisis. Celebrate the beauty of the redwood forests all around us and get inspired to help protect it!

Cities Under Water
Short Fiction

Burning Too
Fugazi

Feels Like Summer
Childish Gambino

 

Join Us

A healthy environment helps support healthy people and healthy communities, and nothing has more potential to positively impact our environment and health than coast redwood forests which can reduce more carbon dioxide than any other tree, clean our water, release health boosting phytoncides, and induce awe with their massive heights and lifespans. You can support healthy, vibrant redwood forests to take root in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With your help, we will protect and care for the remaining coast redwood forests, expand parks, and improve access to nature for all for generations to come. 

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter and mailing list.