Happy New Year, friends!
I love this time of year, because the holidays mean time outside with friends and family. No matter where our lives may take us, my family is connected by the special places of our past, and in a good year, the holidays bring us back to reconnect in those places.
And when those special places happen to be in the redwood forest (we are among the lucky ones!), we get a double dose of holiday spirit, as the peace, beauty and perspective of the redwoods are a perfect match for the season.
Of course it helps that the redwood forest is particularly magical this time of year. The streams are swollen from recent winter storms, and the forest foliage welcomes the moisture with deep and dazzling shades of green. Fallen branches tell of the swirling winds that brought the rain and remind us of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of a forest that has withstood millions of years of change.
That sense of longevity and resilience, combined with the sounds, smells and sights of the quiet wild, makes for the perfect place to restore and regroup at the end of another year; a much-needed counterpoint, for some of us, to the clamor of holiday festivities. (And if you’re in the Bay Area and pining for the sight of snow, Purisima Creek Redwoods is known to get a spattering on some winter days.)
And speaking of magical moments, here were some of my favorites of 2014:
5. Our intrepid Explorers-in-Residence, Joanne and Doug Schwartz, spent the summer among the northern redwoods. They documented their adventures with fascinating blogs which include stunning photos.
4. The Education Program awarded $102,300 in grants, providing 4,500 young students statewide with fun and inspiring redwoods experiences.
3. We developed the trail design to open the wonders of the candelabra redwoods at Shady Dell to the public — I can’t wait for everyone to be able to visit this special place.
2. We began restoring Orick Mill Site, where a lumber mill operated for years in the heart of primeval forest.
1. Save the Redwoods League acquired the conservation easement on San Vicente Redwoods, so we’re now responsible for taking care of this vast and beautiful landscape in perpetuity!
Thanks for your support in 2014 and years past — I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in 2015.