Big Creek Lumber has a long history of supporting educational programs in our community. The wide scope of our business, from our forest lands, to our sawmill, to our retail stores, allows us to provide unique opportunities for all levels of learning and education.
Our forest lands provide a wonderful opportunity for learning about the natural environment. For decades we have provided access to research groups affiliated with the University of California, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the National Marine Fisheries, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board to conduct studies on plants, animals, fish, soil and water. To date, five PhD students have earned their degrees through research projects conducted on Big Creek Lumber forest lands. In addition, we partner with the California Forestry Challenge, an educational program for students in grades 9-12, designed to teach responsible forestry practices and methods in a hands-on setting.
Our sawmill is a unique fixture in Santa Cruz County. As the only sawmill still in operation in the county, it provides educational groups with a unique look at the process of how trees that get harvested in the forest become the lumber that builds our decks, fences, homes and furniture. By special arrangement, sawmill tours can be offered to educational groups of 10-20 individuals by contacting our administration office at our Davenport location. Tours generally focus on the history of timber harvests in Santa Cruz County, the sustainable management and harvest practices utilized by Big Creek Lumber’s forestry department, and the milling process.