“Have you ever wondered who runs the visitor centers for the fantastic parks in Del Norte and Humboldt counties?
You may see park employees behind the counters in Crescent City, Hiouchi, Gasquet, Tolowa Dunes and down south, but these facilities wouldn’t exist without the partnership that the state and national parks and the U.S. Forest Service have with the Redwood Parks Association.
The non-profit organization’s mission is to foster understanding, enjoyment, and stewardship of Northern California’s public lands. Sales at the visitor centers, online sales, memberships, and special events such as the annual Candlelight Walk down at Prairie Creek Redwoods generate money for interpretive facilities such as visitor centers, improvement of interpretive programs and equipment, design and construction of exhibits, displays, training opportunities, and publications of informative pamphlets, park maps, and brochures.
So when an organization makes a $5000 donation to the Redwood Parks Association, we all benefit. That’s exactly what was done by The Dutra Group, the company overseeing the reconstruction of Crescent City Harbor.
On Thursday, Dutra’s chief operating officer, Harry Stewart, met up with the association’s executive director, Cathy Bonser, and its board chairwoman, Martha McClure, at the parks’ Crescent City Visitors Center.
“The contribution came at such a wonderful time,” said Bonser, adding the money will be used to help keep the Mill Creek acquisition open in the money-challenged Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.
You know the place. It includes not only the well-used campground, but also some of the very best hiking trails through the redwoods such as Hobbs Wall Creek. It was placed on a closure list recently by the state, but is kept open for now through a partnership between the state parks and the National Park Service. The donation goes straight into a fund to keep the park open.
“Nobody wants to give grants to something that’s not open,” Bonser said.
Stewart probably enjoyed the chance to think about something besides the intensive harbor reconstruction that Dutra is heading up.
“We recognize the importance of (local) projects,” Stewart said. “That’s why we hire as local as we can,” he said of Dutra’s harbor work.
Bonser, by the way, used to work for the parks, and said she is enjoying making visitors’ experiences more complete.
“People don’t care if it’s a national or state (parks), they just want to be in the redwoods,” she said.
You can learn about how to donate to or even join the association—those member discounts come in handy for merchandise at the visitor centers—by going to redwoodparksassociation.org.”
-Del Norte Triplicate, Feb. 5th, 2013. Laura Wiens
Redwood Parks Association relies on people like you to help us further our goals, won't you make a donation today?