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Home / What We Do / Protect / Creating Parks and Reserves

Creating Parks and Reserves

With more than $135 million of our donors' support, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 190,000 acres (the size of 16 Manhattan islands) and helped develop dozens of redwood parks and reserves for everybody to enjoy.

Shady Dell

Photo by Paolo Vescia.

For those who have had the chance to stand in a redwood grove, there are few life experiences that match it. Even if you have only ever seen a photo of the few ancient redwood forests left – and most of us have – it's hard to imagine life on our planet without these awesome and majestic places. We can all agree that there are some places on Earth that are so special that they are worth saving.

Save the Redwoods League was established in 1918 because these magical places were being logged, and we faced the risk of losing them forever. Today, there are still ancient redwoods slated for cutting that need to be protected. Redwood lands already protected in state and national parks also face threats such as devastating government budget cuts. These cuts close parks, leaving no personnel to protect redwoods from threats such as illegal logging and pollution from marijuana cultivation. Some of these lands are still struggling to recover from years of past damage and neglect.

To thrive, protected forests also depend on the health of nearby land, much of which is privately owned, including by commercial timber companies. Finally, we do not yet know the impact that the Earth's changing climate will have on the size, strength and survival of redwood trees and forests.

Save the Redwoods League is the only organization with the type of comprehensive approach needed to ensure that forests that take one thousand years to grow will be here for another thousand years.

With our members' and partners' support, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 190,000 acres (the size of 16 Manhattan islands) and helped develop dozens of redwood parks and reserves for everybody to enjoy.

Our members' donations help us create redwood parks and reserves by allowing us to purchase forests and the landscapes that nurture them from willing sellers. We donate or sell this land to caretakers such as other nonprofit organizations. If necessary, we care for the land we purchase until another organization can purchase or care for it.

Help us save more redwood forests. You can make your gift in memory or honor of an individual or organization.

Donor Profile

Hayward Family: Saves Giants from Imminent Harvest
Hayward Family: Saves Giants from Imminent Harvest

The grandchildren of Homer Hayward cut the ribbon to dedicate the Homer Hayward Whistle Stop as their parents watch. The Haywards' $1 million lead gift helped the League protect the Noyo River River redwoods from imminent harvest. Photo by Paolo Vescia

"Every tree was near and dear to dad's heart, but the majestic redwoods always called to him," recalled Wendy Hayward, about her father, Homer Hayward.

Homer was a community leader, a philanthropic giant and a third-generation California lumberman who successfully ran Hayward Lumber for 48 years. He grew his grandfather's company into the leading supplier of lumber and building materials on the Central Coast.

As a young father, Homer would take his family on Skunk Train excursions through the forest while visiting the other lumber companies in Mendocino County.

When they heard Save the Redwoods League was raising funds to protect the ancient redwoods along the route of the Skunk Train, the Haywards got the idea to make a gift in memory of their dad, who had passed away the previous year at the age of 89.

In 2011, Wendy and her siblings — Robin, Bill, Hope — made the extraordinary $1 million lead gift through the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation to protect the Noyo River Redwoods.

"Dad would have loved the idea of protecting the magnificent Mendocino old-growth redwoods, and it is a perfect legacy in his memory," Wendy said.

To celebrate the property's protection, Homer's closest friends, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered to remember their beloved "Papa Bear" with the dedication of the Homer Hayward Whistle Stop along the Skunk Train route from Willits to Northspur.

A benevolent and bold carved bear stands proud, among the trees, keeping a watchful eye over the forest. He serves as a lasting symbol of Homer's tenacity, humility, warmth and generosity.

You Can Protect a New Gateway to Giants

You may know about our Santa Cruz Mountains Old-Growth Campaign to protect some of the most beautiful ancient redwood forests still standing less than an hour's drive from the bustle of the South San Francisco Bay Area. Now we've added another magnificent forest to this campaign, and you have the chance to complete the project to restore and open this easy-access gateway to Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Learn more about this addition and how you can help.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

HIGHLIGHTS: Thirty-seven miles south of Carmel, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park showcases an exquisite 2-mile stretch of the central California coast.

Park Highlights & Visitor Information »