Sempervirens Fund

Co-Chairmen: Judy Unrine,
Kathy Taylor de Murillo,

Sempervirens Fund logo Big Basin redwood grove Redwood trees in Big Basin Sempervirens Fund in Action: How we protect and connect the local redwood forests…

  • Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has permanently protected more than 53 square miles of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Big Basin Redwoods State Park and beyond, by raising more than $50 million to purchase and protect forest lands. These lands provide critical wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and opportunities for us all to go out and enjoy the incredible local redwood forests. By pooling funds from donors, Sempervirens Fund can buy land, establish conservation easements and negotiate trail easements.
  • CGCI has officially been involved with the Sempervirens Fund since 1975. Over the years, thanks to CGCI Garden Club members we have donated funds by purchasing Redwood groves and our generous donations have helped to protect over 200+ acres of Redwood forest land for future generations!
  • Grove #8 in Big Basin Redwoods State Park contains the trees dedicated to CGCI Presidents since 1970.
  • The most recent dedication, honoring the presidents 2011-2021, was held June 4, 2023.  Tree dedication photos
CGCI redwood grove sign

CGCI redwood grove sign

For more information visit the Sempervirens Fund website 

Excerpted from “The Diamond Years” by Rosa Radicchi, Sempervirens Fund Chairman From the beginning, Conservation has run through the history of California Garden Clubs, Inc. One of the precepts upon which the organization was founded was the protection and conservation of our natural resources, and among the important resources were the virgin stands of redwoods and big trees which were then being destroyed by commercial interests. Working through the years with Save-the-Redwoods League and Sempervirens Fund, the garden clubs have purchased acres of redwoods and transferred the ownership to the State Parks Department in order to preserve them forever in the public domain for the enjoyment of all, and have made innumerable contributions for honor and memorial trees. In 1937, the State Legislature designated the California œRedwood as the official State Tree. The ancient forests of redwoods, which once flourished over most of the Northern Hemisphere, have reached their last stand on the Pacific Coast. Sequoia sempervirens, or redwoods, are straight, towering trees found along the northern coastal plane, while Sequoia gigantea, or big trees, which have tremendous girth, are found in the central Sierra Nevada.

CGCI’s involvement:

  • 1940 s: Donation of $35,000 by a Life Member from Sacramento; CGCI endorsed œNational Tribute Grove to honor military of World War II; purchased 40-acre redwood grove in the name of CGCI; NGC purchased adjoining 40-acre grove.
  • 1950 s: Actively opposed unnecessary cutting of redwoods to widen Highway 101; assisted in saving including Butano Forest, the last stand of redwoods as far south as San Mateo County, instrumental in influencing the State to build a highway to bypass the groves; purchased grove as memorial to Mrs. Leonard B. Slosson, in Prairie Creek State Park.
  • 1960’s: Purchased another grove in Prairie Creek State Park…œDag Hammarskjold Memorial Grove.
  • 1970 s: Purchased 10 acre grove…œCalifornia Garden Clubs Conservation Education Grove, and the Evelyn Harris Living Memorial Grove; purchasea a œGolden Circle of Trees, presented to National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. in honor of its fiftieth anniversary; Conservation Education Grove increased to 15 acres.
  • 1980’s: Purchased two additional groves and dedicated thirty additional acres.
  • 1990’s: Raised funds to purchase a half-acre grove across the road from the forty acres acquired in 1947; dedicated redwood Grove #7.
  • 2000: Dedicated Grove #8; a 10-acre site, Grove #9 and approved Grove #10; a 2.5-acre site