School camp cabins

Whiskeytown Environmental School camp cabins in 2018.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, in conjunction with the Whiskeytown Environmental School Community, will mark the 50th anniversary of Whiskeytown Environmental School on Saturday, Sept. 26.

This is the first time the WES campus will be open to the public since the Carr fire destroyed seven cabins and caused closure of this Shasta County institution. Since 1970, thousands of children have hiked the trails, investigated aquatic insects, performed skits, and resided in the cabins that rim the meadow.

A partnership renewed

In 1970, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and the Shasta County Office of Education created an outdoor science camp to serve Shasta County school districts at the newly created national recreation area. With the assistance of federal funding and seed money from the National Park Foundation, the camp, which was then known as the National Environmental Education Development Camp, was born. In the ensuing decades, this partnership has been joined by the efforts of two nonprofit organizations, Friends of Whiskeytown and WESC.

In 2019, these four organizations began plans to return to the WES site. The Redding Host Lions Club donated money to SCOE to initiate the planning process. The preliminary results of these plans will be on display during the anniversary event. Five decades of historical photos featuring campers, counselors, naturalists, and program leaders will also be shown.

Visitors must obtain a free ticket

Due to restrictions imposed upon gatherings during the pandemic, four one-hour blocks of time are available for visitors to select. The tickets will help WESC control and manage the number of people enjoying the tour and outdoor exhibition between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. While on campus, visitors are asked to wear face masks, practice social (physical) distancing, bring water, and wear footwear appropriate for uneven ground.

To obtain free tickets for the event: www.wesforever.org/2020/09/06/wes­ celebrates-50-years-on-september-26-please-join- us-to-celebrate-the-event/ .

For more information visit the WES Forever website atwww.wesforever.org/ or contact Tyler Compton, interpretive park ranger, at tyler_compton@nps.gov or 530-242-3462.

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