Published by Hilltromper Santa Cruz | July 2014
by L. Clark Tate
Sempervirens Fund is gearing up to pull together a park so groundbreaking it’s named simply “The Great.”
The Great Park is Sempervirens Fund’s bid to achieve its ultimate goal to preserve a fully functioning redwood ecosystem in perpetuity. On a scale previously reserved for national parks, the lands identified will span 195 square miles, and will include public property and private lands. That includes vast stretches of coastline north of Santa Cruz all the way to Pescadero State Beach and rising inland to the Santa Cruz Mountains’ ridge along Skyline Boulevard. The swath will link preexisting parks (such as Big Basin, Wilder Ranch and the 8,500-acre San Vicente Redwoods) in a mixed-use matrix including wild lands, recreation areas and working forests (i.e., logging second-growth forest to financially support the venture). The small towns, semi-suburban neighborhoods and rural communities of the Santa Cruz Mountains will be “inside” the Great Park.
So what does this mean for us? Lots more mind-bendingly lovely trails, with opportunities for better and longer adventures, and increased opportunities to spy thriving wildlife populations. In ecological terms, the connectivity that such a park offers is huge, allowing animals and plants to migrate as seasonal weather or climate patterns shift.
It also means that we will be protecting a reservoir for otherwise climate-changing carbon, and giving those majestic redwoods a chance to grow into their 2,000-year lifespan. When I say “we” will be protecting, etc.—the vast majority of funds raised to date for The Great Park project have been contributed by individual donors. So, yeah. We.
Learn more about Sempervirens Fund’s Great Park campaign.