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Special: Big Basin on the Mend

Contributed by Visit Santa Cruz County

People the world over are looking to 2021 to be a year of healing — from division, disease and, here in California, a devastating wildfire season. Nowhere is that truer than in Santa Cruz County, where five blazes ignited by a dry lightning storm on the morning of August 16 tore through the mountains, destroying nearly 1,500 structures and burning more than 86,000 acres. Nearly all 18,000 acres of the beloved Big Basin Redwood State Park were scorched in what came to be known as the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, including the park’s precious 4,400 acres of old-growth redwoods and the park’s headquarters built in 1936, which burned to ash along with almost all the other buildings on day two of the fire.

Upon news that the park had burned, social media lit up with messages of sorrow and remembrance from redwood lovers across the country. Big Basin, people were saying, was gone forever. A terrible loss had occurred, and we would have to learn to live without the beauty of California’s first state park.

But the eulogies for Big Basin’s redwoods were premature. Two months later — the very next breath, in Mother Nature years — tiny green sprouts had burst into sight throughout the forest. Along the redwoods’ huge blackened trunks and exposed roots, tender shoots started coming up, no bigger than moss at first but destined, some of them, to become enormous branches or maybe even big trees themselves someday, should the parent tree not survive. (Scientists have predicted that 10% of the old growth trees in the park will perish as a result of damages sustained from the fire, leaving 90 percent to carry on, battle-scarred but alive.)

Click here to read the full article from our friends at Visit Santa Cruz County.

Turn your used vehicle into support for local state parks and beaches

A vehicle donation is another way to support us and a great alternative for you to take care of that unwanted vehicle. We can accept your car, truck, RV, motorcycle, off-road vehicle or boat. Your gift may be tax-deductible!

Top reasons to consider a vehicle donation:

  • It’s easy and the pick-up is free
  • Skips the hassles associated with selling a car
  • Avoids costly repairs
  • Frees up space in your garage or driveway
  • It’s better than a low trade-in offer
  • Vehicle donations are tax-deductible (to the extent allowed by law)

Whatever your reason, our Vehicle Donation Program works to get the highest return for your vehicle. The proceeds from the sale of your car, truck, RV, motorcycle, off-road vehicle, or boat enable us to continue the work we do to support our beautiful local parks and beaches every day. Learn more and donate today.

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Golden Poppy Pass - $125

The Golden Poppy Pass is your Golden Ticket

Access most state parks and beaches on the Central Coast and across California with the Golden Poppy annual day use pass. This pass is good for 12 months. Click here for a complete list of parks that accept this pass.

The pass is available now in our ParkStore Online. Purchases support local state parks and beaches.

Campgrounds temporarily closed

State Park campground sites in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties remain temporarily closed due to the critical need to stop the COVID-19 surge. Affected reservation holders will be contacted by ReserveCalifornia via email. Cancellations and refunds will be automatic.

Day use areas in park units currently open to the public will remain open. Remember to stay local, plan ahead, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings with people outside the immediate household. Learn more about the Parks Pledge.

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