I’ve been enjoying East Bay parks for decades, but I first started learning about the history of Oakland’s redwood forest in 2015 when I was producing our first documentary, Trailhead. In that film, we featured Oakland’s connection to more than 500 miles of trails that span the entire East Bay–a broader story–but all throughout production, Oakland’s redwood forest kept coming up in the narrative. From visits to the Oakland History Room to in-person interviews with local stewards and historians, I learned there was a heart wrenching, yet rich story to tell.
Fast forward three years, and thanks to the success of Trailhead, we were finally able to dive into that story. Fueled by California’s Gold Rush in the 1850’s, our ancient redwood forest was drastically cut to help build San Francisco. But one old tree was left behind, and with the amazing conservation efforts in the early 1900’s, a second-growth forest around the “Old Survivor” tree was protected as parkland for future generations.
We are proud to feature Save the Redwoods League, the East Bay Regional Park District, and the City of Oakland in this film. We also appreciate their partnership and support, and that from many others in the community who’ve helped us tell this story.
While the forest we have today is still young, it’s growing very fast. The resilience of our redwoods is as amazing as the forest is beautiful. We hope our new film captures that, and increases the importance level for the essential stewardship commitment that our redwood parklands need today and into the future.
Interested in seeing the world premiere of the Old Survivor documentary and joining a reception following its debut? RSVP for a ticket to the premiere event on October 9 at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. Learn more and get your ticket today as space is filling up fast!