Early this summer, State Parks notified Exploring New Horizons that they would not be renewing our lease at Sempervirens. This news was obviously disappointing, as we have provided seventeen years of quality outdoor education to thousands of students on this beautiful and unique site. The memories and traditions that the staff, teachers, counselors, and students have made at Sempervirens will be difficult to leave behind, but we are grateful for the time that we all have had at this special place.
Why Does ENH have to Move?
California State Parks is currently in a period of transition. High housing costs and substantial deferred maintenance plague the Santa Cruz Sector of California State Parks. Regional State Parks leadership determined the facility would best be used to house a team from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to assist with the substantial needs in our region, before moving forward with the plan to convert the Saddle Mountain Facility into a parking lot as outlined within the Big Basin General
After receiving the notification, the staff at Exploring New Horizons worked with the California State Parks, Santa Cruz Mountain Sector Staff to push the original contract termination from August 31 to December 31, 2017. This later move date ensured that there would be no interruption to the schools and students already booked for the 2017-2018 school year, and allowed us to scout out new location possibilities over the summer for the short and long term.
Where Will ENH Relocate?
When looking at alternative sites, it was essential that we only considered locations that enabled us to continue to offer the rich environmental education programs that our students and teachers expect from Exploring New Horizons. After a thorough search, we are thrilled to announce that we have entered into an agreement with Camp Krem starting January 1, 2018 through the remainder of the school year. Camp Krem is located just three miles from the Sempervirens facility, making it possible to continue to offer the same exceptional program activities that students currently enjoy with minimal interruption to our winter and spring schedule, such as exploring the monarch grove and tidepools at Natural Bridges State Beach and taking in the majesty of the old growth redwoods at Big Basin State Park.
The talented naturalists and kitchen staff at Sempervirens will be part of the relocation to Camp Krem, along with most of the animals. We are still working out all of the final details, with the goal of making the transition as seamless as possible for the staff, schools, and students.
Short Term and Long Term Plans
With the 2017-2018 school year secured, the staff at Exploring New Horizons will continue to evaluate long term options for Sempervirens to ensure the continued enrichment of children’s lives through high-quality outdoor education programs. While Camp Krem may end up being the permanent Sempervirens replacement site, we are committed to taking the time to do a full evaluation of additional sites for long term feasibility and health of the program.
This year will certainly be a time of transition and change, but we are all looking forward to an amazing school year and are optimistic about the long term possibilities open to further Exploring New Horizons’ mission of providing transformative experiences that educate, inspire, and empower children to take an active role as guardians of the natural world.