50th Anniversary Celebration on September 29th, 2018

Sempervirens Fund and California State Parks are pleased to announce a 50th Anniversary celebration for Castle Rock State Park in conjunction with the grand opening of the new Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance on Saturday, September 29th, 2018 from 10am - 4pm.

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 6,000sf 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 was able to approve a $5 million contract with the well-respected local builder Robert A. Bothman, Inc. Construction. The new Robert C. Kirkwood entrance includes a 90-car parking lot with permeable paving, 6 restrooms with flush toilets, a drinking water station, 60-seat amphitheater, accessible pathways and picnic areas, and native landscaping (including an ethnobotanical demonstration garden, by the Amah Mutsun Land Trust). There will also be interpretive exhibits, WiFi connectivity,  and new engagement opportunities. Construction will continue – weather permitting – throughout the next several months, and we anticipate opening sometime this summer.

Creating this new entrance is a fitting way to mark the anniversary of Castle Rock State Park, which turns 50 years old in 2018. We look forward to celebrating this beloved park and walking with you through its new entrance later this year!

For construction updates and details for our last Wednesday Lecture Series, visit sempervirens.org/news-events.

To support construction, interpretation, and engagement programs at the Kirkwood Entrance, donate here.

Some exciting naming opportunities are still available. Contact Barbara Lamb Hall at (650) 949-1453 x 203 or Blambhall@sempervirens.org if you would like to add your support, or honor someone, at this new park entrance.