Whiskeytown’s WES Camp Offering Tours for the First Time Since Carr Fire to Celebrate 50th Birthday

Whiskeytown Environmental School (otherwise known as WES Camp) in Whiskeytown National Reacreation Area has given Northern California youth outdoor education for generations. In 2018, large portions of the popular camp were destroyed in the Carr Fire. Now, WES is celebrating its 50th birthday on September 26 by allowing the public to walk the grounds of the camp and enjoy informational and historical exhibits.

The camp has been closed to the public since the Carr Fire and its future has been uncertain since the devastating flames burned through the area. While there’s still no plan to bring groups of 5th and 6th graders back for their outdoor educational programs, this 50th birthday celebration is a step in the right direction.

WES, also known in the past as N.E.E.D. Camp, was born out of a partnership between the Shasta County Office of Education and the National Park Service during the early days of the 1970’s environmental movement. “N.E.E.D.” stood for the National Environmental Education Department which was part of the U.S. Department of the Interior under direction of the National Parks Service. The National Parks Foundation provided seed money to sponsor the program when it wasn’t much more than an idea on paper sketched out by local teachers, NPS staff and a retired US Forest Service employee.

The event is hosted is collaboration with the four WESforever.org partners: Friends of Whiskeytown, the National Park Service, the Shasta County Office of Education and WES Community. Each organization will have representatives on site to answer questions and help interpret the self-guided tour of the campus and informational booths that highlight the past fifty years and present a vision for the future of WES.

This celebration is a free public event but space is limited due to state Covid-19 rules guiding outdoor exhibitions. You may attend this event ONLY by making a reservation through EventBrite. Click on this link to obtain a ticket. Each member of your household must have their own ticket. The event begins at 10 AM and concludes at 3 PM. You will need to select from one of the four one-hour time slots to visit. If you are unable to access EventBrite, please contact WES Community at kathy_hill@charter.net or wescommunitypres@gmail.com.

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