Just a short drive southwest of San Jose lies the beautiful Portola Redwoods State Park. A few years ago, the park — which shelters some of the tallest, most majestic redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains — was threatened with closure due to Parks budgetary constraints. Since then, I’ve been working with State Parks staff and our partners, the Portola & Castle Rock Foundation and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), to keep the park open and running.
In addition to keeping the park open to the public, we’ve worked together to identify different infrastructure improvement projects we could assist with to make the park experience even better for visitors.
One major project was to build a new location for a camp host, the person who greets you when you arrive at a park. A camp host is a critical position in state parks: they’re the person who makes you feel welcome at a campground, whom you can ask questions of and buy firewood from, and who is there for you if an emergency arises.
After helping fund the construction of a wonderful new site that is now situated at the entrance to the camping area (rather than nestled far within the campground), we needed to find the perfect person to fill the position as host. And, thanks to the great work of State Parks staff, we finally did. We are so pleased to have Liz Elliott as our new host. She arrived at the beginning of April and plans to stay throughout the camping season. It is always so exciting to see what great work we can accomplish with our amazing partners, and our new campground host and host site are two huge successes for our partnership!
This spring or summer, plan a visit to Portola Redwoods to see its gorgeous redwood forest and go camping. There’s a good chance you’ll be greeted by Liz! It’s wonderful to know that thanks to collaboration and support from people like you, rather than being closed, this park is open to everyone and better than ever. Visit our Portola Redwoods State Park webpage to learn more and plan your visit.