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BOULDER CREEK, Calif. February 4, 2022 – California State Parks is urging the public to get involved and to learn more about the “Reimagining Big Basin” project, a project that will memorialize the broad vision for reestablishing California’s oldest State Park. With the loss of all park infrastructure in the 2020 CZU Fire, the park has been closed while recovery work has been underway. During this time, State Parks has kicked off this planning project to initiate the public process of planning the park’s visitor serving facilities needed to provide the visitor experiences at the park.

“The CZU Fire was a tragic event in the loss of almost all of the iconic buildings, utilities and infrastructure needed to have visitors in the park” said Santa Cruz District Superintendent Chris Spohrer. “But at the same time, we now have a unique opportunity to rethink the siting of some of the facilities and reimagine a park that puts the needs of the forest first, and provides facilities designed for future generations.”

Since the Reimagining Big Basin project kicked off in fall 2021, there have been a variety of ways to get involved in the project, which will culminate in the release of a vision document. The State Parks team has been working with partners and the project advisory committee to hold online and in person events and ways to participate such as online webinars, a survey and pop-up events.

Here are some upcoming ways to participate in the Reimagining Big Basin Project:

  • Take the Survey before it closes this Saturday, February 5 in English or Spanish.
  • Share your memories of Big Basin through the online memory mapping exercise.
  • Participate in the online virtual Vision Workshop on Thursday, February 17. A link to register will be available at the project website.
  • Share images representing your vision for the future of Big Basin with the hashtag #BigBasinBigVision or submit through the project website.

The feedback and responses received from these activities will be summarized and be integrated into the vision document that State Parks will release in spring/summer 2022. After the vision document is prepared, it will guide the future park planning, design and construction of visitor serving facilities, as well as forest management, trail work and other park projects needed to restore full operation of the park over the next several years.

The CZU Fire of August 2020 was a severe historic event, as it burned 97% of the iconic Big Basin Redwoods State Park in a 24-hour period, including the parks coastal redwood forests and almost all the park’s infrastructure. Reimaging, planning, designing, and building the park will take time. The decisions we make now will have lasting implications on the park and its landscape. And what is most critical is to recreate a park that maintains its original purpose, which is to allow these forests to inspire the future generations who visit Big Basin.

To learn more, visit www.reimaginingbigbasin.org.

While Big Basin Redwoods State Park remains closed to the public, State Parks reminds visitors heading to other park units to recreate responsibly as COVID-19 is still present and deadly. Prior to leaving home, visitors are asked to check the status of the park units they want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Having a back-up plan in case their destination is crowded is recommended. For additional guidelines and safety tips, please visit parks.ca.gov/COVID19.