The Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance
A New Park Entrance for the 21st Century
For many years, Sempervirens Fund has envisioned a grand entrance welcoming local residents and visitors to the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 2011, generous contributors supported the purchase of a 33-acre parcel from the Whalen Family. State Parks had long identified this site as the ideal entrance for Castle Rock State Park, the “gateway” to the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods. After community meetings, design revisions, and traffic and environmental assessments, Santa Cruz County approved our two-phase conceptual plan (which includes a future 6,000-square-foot visitor center as Phase 2) in September 2014. Since that time, the property’s zoning has been changed from agricultural to open space and recreation, additional assessments and plans were produced, and the necessary permits for Phase I improvements were finally secured in March 2017.
Thanks to ongoing support from individuals and foundations, Sempervirens Fund approved a $5 million contract with local builder Robert A. Bothman, Inc. Construction.
The new Robert C. Kirkwood entrance will include a 90-car parking lot with permeable paving, six restrooms with flush toilets, a drinking water station, a 60-seat amphitheater, accessible pathways and picnic areas. There will also be interpretive exhibits, WiFi connectivity, and new engagement opportunities.
The Black Oak Forest
With the help of nearly 100 dedicated and hardworking volunteers over two weekends in April, Sempervirens Fund planted 200 black oak trees and did a variety of other stewardship projects at the site of the new Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance to Castle Rock State Park. Thanks to these incredible people, future generations will walk, relax and picnic beneath the towering crowns of majestic black oak. We can't thank everyone enough!
RELATED NEWS ARTICLES:
- “Castle Rock State Park: Construction begins on grand new entrance” (San Jose Mercury News, 9/2/17)
- “Plans for new entrance to Castle Rock State Park move forward” (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 5/15/16)
- “Castle Rock State Park: Grand new entrance proposed for Silicon Valley’s hidden gem” (San Jose Mercury News, 9/28/14)
- “Grand entrance for Castle Rock approved” (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/24/14)