The Garden Club of America Grove
Help bridge the gap and restore access to this historical grove.
The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Earth’s tallest tree, is native only in a 450-mile strip from central California to southern Oregon. Their trunks can grow to be 24 feet wide, and they can soar to heights taller than a 30-floor skyscraper. Even more incredible: These trees can live for more than 2,000 years. Some coast redwoods living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.
An ancient coast redwood forest contains the most aboveground biomass (organic matter) of any forest on Earth — 7 times greater than a tropical rainforest. The mass of some individual coast redwood trees is equivalent to 15 adult blue whales.
Of the original 2 million acres of ancient coast redwood forest, approximately 95% has been logged. Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 190,000 acres of redwood forests and connecting lands—the size of 16 Manhattan islands.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is home to the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest in the world. At the core of this majestic park is The Garden Club of America Grove. The protection of this awe-inspiring grove began in the 1930s when The Garden Club of America (GCA) partnered with Save the Redwoods League to purchase four parcels containing 2,552 acres from the Sage Land & Improvement Company. This property was incorporated as The Garden Club of America Grove in 1931 and formally dedicated in 1934.
Over the next several decades the League, GCA and California State Parks partnered to protect more priority lands surrounding the initial acreage. GCA members and clubs were encouraged to contribute to the League to cover one-half of the land purchase prices, as they had done during the initial acquisition. The Garden Club of America Grove now contains more than 5,100 acres, the third-largest dedicated grove in the entire State Park System!
Save the Redwoods League is grateful for the many contributions over the years from garden clubs and their members who share our belief that some places, like the GCA Grove, are so special they are worth saving. Since 1930, GCA members from across the country have donated over $1.5 million dollars to protect old-growth redwoods in the GCA Grove and ensure protection of the entire Canoe Creek Watershed.
New Partnership Opportunity
While the lands within and surrounding the GCA Grove were protected from logging decades ago, public enjoyment of these lands has been obstructed due to a fire in 2003, landslides from storms in 2006, and devastating park budget cuts that have prevented California State Parks from rehabilitating areas throughout the park system.
Building on over 80 years of partnership for redwood conservation, the League and the GCA launched the Bridge the Gap campaign in September 2013 to raise funds to reopen access to the GCA Grove for the public. The project includes restoring bridges across the Eel River, reconstructing the River Trail and building retaining walls to prevent erosion.
At the May 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, GCA President Katie Heins announced with great pleasure and pride that, thanks to the generosity of GCA clubs and club members coast to coast, the Bridge the Gap Campaign has reached its goal! Donations to the campaign by GCA clubs, members and friends were credited toward the remaining balance of GCA’s share of the acquisition costs of the final land purchase in 1972. Thank you to all who supported this special campaign and important project!
Save the Redwoods League is still accepting contributions to help restore access to the GCA Grove and support improvements to the GCA Day Use Area. Donations may be made online or mailed to 114 Sansome Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94104. If donating by mail, please make checks payable to Save the Redwoods League and enclose a note that your donation is to support the GCA Grove Trail Restoration Project.
Explore the GCA Grove
View the GCA Grove trailhead in Google Maps.Download a slideshow about the Bridge the Gap partnership and view the photo gallery below.