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