New Welcome Center in Big Basin Redwoods State Park invites visitors to learn about the ecology and wildfire risk in our beloved state parks.
The CZU lightning complex fire burned most of Big Basin State park in 2020, including the Rancho del Oso welcome center. But as the flora and fauna of the park regenerates, so do the man made structures, and JMP was lucky enough to be a part of the restoration team. Led by the Save the Redwoods League, and in partnership with The Acorn Group with James Freed Design, who designed the interior of the learning center, we fabricated and installed the exhibits and graphics in their new 400 square foot facility. The interior walls were transformed with a full wrap of vinyl graphics created from drawings by the talented artists at Wildways Illustrated. Each wall replicates the vantage point behind it, with notable replications of plants and animals that inhabit the local ecosystem. The south wall tells the story of forest fires, and how they impact the ecology of the area. The west wall provides a seascape and addresses the realities of a changing climate, with information about the Waddell Creek basin in which the welcome center is located. Flip displays explain the migratory pattern of birds through the region, and the plants and animals visitors may see when walking through the park. A centrally located touchscreen, with content and interface developed by our partners at Covive, provides an interactive experience where visitors can view images and videos related to the park. The north wall highlights the indigenous stewards of the lands, their history, and their critical role in today’s conservation of the park. And the east wall offers another touch screen experience where visitors are encouraged to become citizen scientists, documenting what they saw in the park in a nature journal. The result is welcome center that beckons all visitors to learn about this important ecosystem in a safe, equitable, and accessible manner.