Our Forest Steward Terri Heath discussing her thoughts on a new area.
It's been a while since we posted an update about the forest and its development. But the team headed up to the forest over the weekend, and we wanted to tell you all about it.
And the trip was incredible! The team has grown so quickly that we had a few new members that hadn't seen the forest. So for this trip, we wanted everyone to:
- Walk the new pathways and trails that we've cleared out
- Participate in a visitor tour and tree selection
- Help inventory trees on new pathways
The goal was simple - we want to make sure that every visitor's experience is as comfortable and useful as possible.
Walking The Newly Cleared Paths
We recently cleared out three old logging roads that were overgrown with underbrush, making them impassable. While Terri had already walked them, these new paths are beautiful and a real treat for the team to see.
Sandy, Brad (me), and Chase walking the forest pathways and getting excited.
If you've already visited the forest, then you know how special it is to walk around a landscaped redwood forest. (And if you haven't booked your visit yet then get started here!)
But what struck me the most walking the new paths was that you could truly get a sense of what the visitor journey will be when we open this summer.
The vision for a beautiful family afternoon at the forest is more clear now than ever. We've added a new paved entrance where the Visitor Center will be, overlooking the Oceanview Meadow. And with all the new pathways, there's even more beautiful forest to explore.
Participating in a Forest Tour
One of the most eye-opening experiences for me was watching Sandy and Terri help visitors tour the forest and select a tree.
Terri and our newest team members touring the forest with a wonderful couple.
Watching people fall in love with the forest is an amazing process to witness. Helping families find their region within the forest and ultimately their tree is incredibly motivating. We love what we do!
Having our newest team members at the forest was a great experience for them as well. We're growing quickly and we wanted to make sure that our newer team members participated in a forest tour.
It was a huge success!
Not only did the team get to see the forest and the tour experience, but it kicked off a ton of ideas about how we can make the entire visitor experience even better.
The happy couple with their Tanoak along the Main Pathway!
We're already hard at work to improve the process from start to finish. Easier forest visits, tree selection, and family photos are just a few of the pieces we're working on.
The BPF team evaluating our latest digital solutions for Tree Agreements, billing and file management. We want every step of the process to be as simple and transparent as possible!
Just a reminder - if you haven't booked your forest visit yet, please get the process started by filling out this short form!
Categorizing All The New Trees
Another interesting part of the weekend was the process of putting all of the trees on the newly cleared paths into our tree inventory database.
If you're not familiar, we identify and categorize every tree on the property, since trees are reserved on a per-family basis.
We've been developing our own software to do this quickly and efficiently and it was amazing to see it in action at the forest.
Jeff and Gabe categorizing a Tanoak using our new iPad app.
Next Steps for the Forest
Here's something we're excited to announce... we're finalizing our Visitor Center and pathway designs and we're about to break ground in the next two months!
We'll keep you posted with regular updates throughout the development process so you won't miss a thing.
We can't wait to see you all at the opening ceremony!
P.S. If you still haven't visited the forest, get the process started now!
Written by Brad Milne
Co-founder & COO of Better Place Forests