Happy birthday Nisene Marks!

May 15, 2013

The Forest of Nisene Marks is turning 50 this year and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks are hosting a big celebration this Sunday. 

Of course, the trees in the park are a lot older than 50 but it was in 1963 that the Marks Family of Salinas Valley — with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy — deeded 9,700 acres of second-growth redwood trees, canyons and mountain ridges to the California State Parks agency.

The gift was made in honor of the Marks family matriarch, Nisene, a nature lover who asked that the property be left undeveloped. Thirteen years ago, an additional 500 acres were added to the park through contributions to Save-the-Redwoods League and the Sempervirens Fund. 

Sunday’s celebration kicks off with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. , which will also mark the official opening of the new Waggoner Overlook trail, which is ADA-accessible. County Supervisor Zach Friend, Supervising State Parks Ranger Bill Wolcott and others will share their stories of the park, and there will be a bagpipe procession from the kiosk to the overlook.

That will be followed by:

12 p.m. – 3 p.m.:  Living History Lumberjack Demo

Log splitting, hand sawing, axe throwing, tree climbing — “get a sense for the early days when The Forest of Nisene Marks was owned & operated by the Loma Prieta Lumber Company,” say the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. Demonstrators will also talk about new, sustainable forestry techniques and how the industry has changed.

Location:  Mary Easton Picnic Area.

12 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Family Barbecue

Suggested donation of $3 per person.

Location: Mary Easton Picnic Area

12 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Kids in the forest

A variety of activities geared toward children will be offered, including face painting, crafts and of course, Doug the Surfing Magician.

Location: Mary Easton Picnic Area


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