Jug Handle’s new grant from the State Coastal Conservancy is Now Official

The State Coastal Conservancy’s October meeting in Fort Bragg had a wonderful outcome for Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center in Caspar. A new $ 600,000 grant agreement  was officially approved by the Conservancy for Jug Handle.

The project will provide new affordable visitor serving accommodations with access to the coast and ocean which is a need in this coastal area.   Through this project, Jug Handle’s campground will be enhanced with showers, sinks and flush toilets–something never before offered in this primitive camping spot.   

A new bunkhouse designed  to serve large school groups or service groups such as Americorps and the California Conservation Corps (up to 30) also been designed into four large rooms that can serve family groups and other smaller groupings.

The facility will provide four -season visitor accommodations. Botanical studies, avoidance of Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, pinpointing of solar gain, soils and topographical work were all completed to ascertain the ideal building placements within the site.

The Conservancy had previously provided Jug Handle with two grants to complete all required studies, planning and visioning meetings, preliminary surveys including: topographical; wetland; botanical; soils; hydro logical; archaeological, Permaculture Site Design Plan; two public design meetings; architectural programming report and schematic designs; cost estimates; mapping and site plans.  Construction design is still being completed as well as construction level septic plan and storm water plan.

Jug Handle’s Coastal Development Permit was approved in June, 2015 and Jug Handle is taking all necessary steps to meet the conditions of approval.

While Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center currently has a nice open, undeveloped camping space with pit toilets and cold running water, the addition of a plumbed restroom and shower facility will serve the new bunkhouse users as well as the general campers, making this campground a much more desirable low-cost visitor serving accommodation.

Jug Handle as a nature education center hosts several local and regional school groups throughout the year  and has hosted several environmental resource groups such as the Coho Confab or Salmon Restoration Federation’s field school.  To date, there has been no indoor teaching space or large meeting room available at Jug Handle to serve these groups.

A new 915 square foot teaching room  attached to the bunk cabins is designed to hold classes and workshops and provides a needed sheltered space for teaching and presentations for large groups.

The goals of this portion of Jug Handle’s Education and Access Site Enhancement Project are:

to provide additional low cost visitor serving facilities with access to the Coast and Ocean; to host many more restoration/education groups such as Americorps, Ca. Conservation Corps, Coho Confab, Salmon Restoration Federation and others; to provide more family friendly overnight spaces; to increase the attractiveness and functionality of the current primitive campground and to Increase comfort level of overnight visitors to the Nature Center and Lodge.

The project will additionally provide an indoor, sheltered teaching and/or meeting space and thus will allow Jug Handle to increase restoration/Education Training and other environmental workshops on site.

Jug Handle for several years has worked with Americorps volunteer teams on landscape restoration tasks at Jug Handle and several State Parks. The new bunk cabin structure will allow Jug Handle to increase coastal restoration activities with Americorps, Ca. Conservation Corps and other groups and thus  to help several community groups who also need low cost housing for shared Americorps teams.

Local State Parks has two bunk cabins which often house Americorps groups; California Conservation Corps and Park interns, but these cabins are full almost all year  The new bunk house at Jug Handle Creek Farm will fill a community need by providing an additional low cost lodging for these conservation/education/restoration groups that serve community agencies and non-profit organizations.

Letters of support for Jug Handle’s project were received from:

State Parks, Mendocino Sector Superintendent, Loren Rex; Senator Mike McGuire; Assemblymember Jim Wood; Mendocino County 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde;

Fort Bragg Mayor Dave Turner and City Council ;Fort Bragg Unified School District Superintendent Charles Bush and President of the Dorothy King Young Chapter of the Ca. Native Plant Society,Nancy Morin

For Information: Contact Helene  Chalfin, Director Grants/Ediucation & Site Enhancement Project.

Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center
(707) 937-3498

Students Plant 100 Trees at Caspar Headlands

Students Plant 100 Trees at Caspar Headlands ParkJoint project by Jug Handle Creek Farm, State Parks, the Caspar Community Group and MESA Club students to install 100 native trees at Caspar Headlands State Park. Plants were grown at Jug Handle Farm’s Native Plant nursery.

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Stewardship Incentive/Greenhouse Project

Stewardship Incentive/Greenhouse Project (1995 – Present)

Jug Handle’s Stewardship Incentive/Greenhouse Project is a logical outgrowth of the nature center’s earlier efforts to introduce meaningful environmental education curriculum into local school districts. The Stewardship program is designed to complement schools’ current science matrix, including Adopt A Watershed curriculum, Life Lab Science or the Child’s Place In the Environment curriculum, with classroom visits, field trips and service – learning experiences. The primary partners in the project are the Americorps Watershed Stewards Project, the State Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Fish and Game, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and members of the Watershed Project.

Beginning in late 1995, Jug Handle initiated the Stewardship/Greenhouse Project with surrounding school districts including Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Point Arena Unified. This project combines efforts of Jug Handle with resource staff from the State Parks Department, Ca. Fish and Game Dept., the Americorps Watershed Stewards and Watershed Project members as well as community members to give students and the community a role in the management of natural resources. Students at all grade levels have been involved in raising native plants for watershed restoration and revegetation projects under the leadership of Jug Handle Farm. Students have learned about watershed wildlife, aquatic insects, riparian plants and soils on interactive field trips to the watersheds in their community.