Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC) is an official nonprofit partner (or “cooperating association”) of the
Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC) Membership Benefits:
- Quarterly member newsletter, The Redwood Review, with RPC project updates and announcements.
- Email newsletters - all about the people, the animals, the trees and projects that you support.
- Priority invitations to RPC events and activities.
- 15% discount at our park stores, plus discounts at over 100 other park stores across the country. Simply show your membership card to a sales associate in order to receive your discount.
- 15% discount anytime in our online park store by entering your exclusive membership code in the coupon box at check out.
Message from the Director
Perhaps you’re reading this newsletter after returning home from your summer excursion to the redwood coast. Or maybe you’re one of our devoted friends here in our local communities. Either way, you’ve likely met our dedicated employees and volunteers in any of six visitor centers in and around Redwood National and State Parks. So far this year, our staff and volunteers have spent over 15,000 hours serving park visitors along their journeys. We also provided over 900 educational and interpretive items in park stores for our visitors to enjoy.
Over the last few years, we’ve been broadening our scope beyond visitor services to accommodate the growing needs of the agencies we support. In 2019 alone, we’ve provided over $113,000 to support a variety of exciting projects including educational programs that highlight the history and culture of local Tribes; habitat restoration for the endangered Oregon Silverspot Butterfly; the Junior Lifeguard program along our state beaches; the repair and maintenance of popular trails; scientific research on the Redwood Creek watershed and so much more. But our work doesn’t stop there. We’re always identifying new and resourceful ways to support our parks and public lands on California’s far north coast.
I’m also excited to share some big news. Thanks to donors and supporters like you, construction on the Grove of Titans has officially begun! We’ve spent the last three years raising funds and awareness for this important restoration project, and I’m so proud to be watching it come together. Read more about this project inside.
Grove of Titans Project Begins!
It has been more than a two-year journey to come to this day: the Grove of Titans project broke ground officially on November 6, 2019. The project in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park will restore and give safe, ecologically-sensitive access to the group of ancient trees dubbed the “Grove of Titans.”
This is possible thanks to many of you, the 542 donors who gave to the Grove of Titans project through Redwood Parks Conservancy, and others who took up the cause through Save the Redwoods League. The public-private partnership has received support from agencies that contributed money, time, science and expertise and our partners at the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service.
Construction has started on a 1,300 foot elevated walkway through the Grove and vital trail re-building on the Mill Creek Trail leading to it. The 3-year, $3.5-million renovation project will establish official, safe access to the Grove, provide ecosystem protections for the trees, visitor services and amenities, including a new restroom facility where the Mill Creek Trail meets Howland Hill Road.
The project was conceived to provide environmentally sensitive access to the Grove and adjacent forest. Thousands of visitors have been finding their way on “social trails” or unofficial pathways since the location of the Grove was first shared in print and online in 1998, which has caused considerable damage over time.
As Brett Silver, California State Park’s Deputy District Superintendent, North Coast Redwoods District said in the official press release, “I know it will be frustrating for people not to have access during this extended construction period. We ask all visitors for their patience and cooperation as we work to preserve and protect this incredible place for future generations to enjoy.”
Thank you all
Member Spotlight: Wei and Lisa
"Thank you Redwood Parks Conservancy for being a steward of this wonderful land. Our recent experience in the parks made us more appreciative of the effort required to take care of this spot on Earth. Please accept our donation along with my company's additional matching contribution. We wish you the best in preserving this precious gem so generations after us can continue to enjoy and marvel. We can't wait to visit the giant redwoods again."-Lisa and Wei from Los Angeles
Running the “Run in the Redwoods 5K”
LEIFFER TRAIL: Beauty Enhances Beauty
Jedediah Smith State Park -
About half a mile down Walker Road, past the Simpson-Reed trailhead, is the newly reconstructed Leiffer trail. The Leiffer trail, at just under a mile in length, silently wends through an isolated and majestic portion of Jed Smith State Park.
Melody and her crew of State Parks trail builders have been working for almost two years to completely upgrade the lower section of this trail. The crew estimates they will finish up some last details before the end of the year. When completed, the trail will be ADA-compliant and suitable for wheelchairs. Presently the trail is walkable and open; and I recommend you check it out.
Not only is the forest ancient and magnificent, the stonework bridge supports and crossings the trail crew have installed harkens back to road construction methods of days of yore. This adds to the timelessness of your experience. The trail crew have meticulously selected from their rock piles and then, have chiseled individual stones fitting them into place by hand so expertly that cement is not needed to hold them. The trail is still primarily compacted crushed granite but to get over streams or bog areas, the crew have built structurally elegant stonework armored crossings, causeways, and bridges.
The three armored crossings are designed to let the water flow over the top and not wash out with big rain events. In addition to the armored crossings, five bridges and a boardwalk were erected over the larger creeks. Even these structures are beautiful and built to last. The trail at either end of the bridges gently rises supported on more stonework for the foundation and curbs for the trail. The trail crew’s proudest accomplishment is a 171-foot raised causeway and its attractive stone abutments.
The trail builders are extremely proud of their work making this beautiful trail safe for public access; and they got to work in the stunning setting, a win-win situation. Job satisfaction for the crew where beauty enhances beauty. I heartily recommend you put Leiffer Trail at or near the top of your list of gentle hikes, great explores, with the added visual delight of attractive stone masonry.
When you come to the end of the trail you are back on Walker Road about a mile from the Simpson-Reed trail. Parking is available at either end if you prefer to drive to the trailhead.
Little Things: Helping Educate with Stuffed Animals and Hula Hoops
Angela Edmonds is a California State Parks Interpreter, an educator that shares her knowledge with park visitors. Edmunds’ field of expertise is California’s underwater parks, called Marine Protected Areas or MPAs. She leads programs with our park visitors as well as students around the country and the world through the state’s distance learning program, PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students), teaching about how MPAs protect marine life off California’s coast. Nine MPAs are located offshore of the public lands that RPC serves.
Angie Edmunds giving a PORTS program about Marine Protected Areas with props purchased by RPC. Students in Jonathan Silverman’s class at Los Cerritos Elementary School in South San Francisco
Angie came to RPC this spring with a small problem. She needed props to teach kids about how Marine Protected Areas work, but buying things through the state could take weeks or months. She didn’t have time to wait, with both in-park and online programs coming up.
State Parks Interpreter Angie Edmunds showing students how Marine Protected Areas (represented by hula hoops) can protect marine life by giving animals connected sanctuaries.
RPC Funds Junior Lifeguard Program in Del Norte
North Coast Junior Lifeguard training session at Trinidad State Beach
In 2016, CDPR began their first session of the North Coast Junior Lifeguard Program at Trinidad State Beach. “The whole idea behind our program is to get community youth to be water safe,” program coordinator Dillon Cleavenger explains, “how to live near and even recreate in an extremely rough ocean with respect to the dangers.”
Tolowa Dunes Stewards: Bringing the Dunes to Life
Since 2003, a small band of volunteers, the Tolowa Dunes Stewards (TDS) have dedicated themselves to restoration, conservation and education in Tolowa Dunes State Park and the adjacent Lake Earl Wildlife Area. Tolowa Dunes State Park hugs the northern coast of California, just to the west of Jedediah Smith State Park. The park is part of a vast dunes and wetlands complex of public land that encompasses 11,000 acres known as the Tolowa Coast. Made up of open sand and forested dunes, hidden freshwater ponds and streams, grassy meadows, a large estuarine lagoon, and 11 miles of undeveloped coastline, it is home to a rich diversity of habitats and native species.