March 27, 2019 – Runners and lovers of the South Yuba River are gearing up for the 2019 Annual Salmon Run and Spring Festival organized by Woolman at Sierra Friends Center.

The 10k event, known by serious runners who like the challenge of rugged natural terrain and epic views, takes place April 20 followed by a Community Spring Festival, part of the Know Your Watershed Month. The race promotes watershed protection and sustainability and proceeds go toward environmental education and heightening awareness of the restoration of fish habitat in the Yuba River.

“It is probably the most beautiful time of the year to be on this route. Everything is green, the wildflowers are abundant, and birds and newts are all over the place,” said organizer Laura Carroll.

The course follows Jones Bar Road on its two-mile descent to the banks of the Wild and Scenic South Yuba River. From the river, participants will ascend a steep section of the course called the “salmon ladder” up to where it meets the Independence Trail. The course then loops back toward Jones Bar Road.

“This is a difficult trail race on diverse terrain. The ascent of the “salmon ladder” to the Independence Trail is the most difficult section of the run. It is also a walk so people who are not so hardcore can certainly still participate and take their time on harder sections,” said Carroll.

First started in 2000, the race is the brainchild of Evangeline Elston, a runner, former staff member, and alumna of the John Woolman School. The run was active from 2000 to 2008 and resurrected last year. Traditionally held on Mothers Day, the run is now held in April to coincide with Earth Day and the Know Your Watershed activities. It is a fundraiser for the Woolman Outdoor School.

Formerly known as the John Woolman School, the mission of Woolman at Sierra Friends Center is to steward diverse learning communities and educational programs that weave together Quaker values of spirituality, peace, sustainability and social action for people of all ages. The center and campus, located on 236 acres off of Jones Bar Road in rural Nevada County, offers an array of youth and family camps, an outdoor school, the Jorgensen School for Nonviolence, and spaces for retreats, events, and classes.

The John Woolman School, founded in 1963, continued for 38 years until it closed in 2001. The 4-year boarding school was followed by the Woolman Semester that ran from 2004 through 2016. Camp Woolman is now in its 12th year and is currently enrolling campers ages 9 through 17.

Runners have the option of registering as individuals or as a team of four. Last year, several runners who had raced during the original events returned. Organizers say race merchandise is sustainable and purposeful and event winners will receive local handmade items instead of medals.

“We welcome back long-time runners in Nevada County and are also growing our participant base since resurrecting the event,” said Carroll.

Following the race, the Spring Festival will bring together diverse organizations who steward the local watershed, with activities for all ages including a beekeeping demonstration, soil sample analysis (bring your own soil sample), guided hikes, and food vendors, including wood-fired sourdough pizza.

Check-in for the race starts at 7:30 a.m. and participants will be shuttled to the starting line. The race begins at 8 a.m. and lasts 40 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on skill level. Walkers may take a bit longer. Participants will be shuttled back to the Spring Festival.

Free and open to the public, the family-friendly Spring Festival will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food will be available for purchase. The festival features booths and activities by: Camp Woolman, California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project, Catalyst Compost, Sierra Streams Institute, Wingfield Honey, Grass Valley Friends Meeting and the South Yuba River Citizens League.

Registration Cost: Individuals $30, Teams of Four $100.

Learn more and register at:

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