Redwood National & State Parks Visitor Center

Redwood National Park needs a new Visitor Center relocated out of the coastal tsunami floodzone. An abandoned lumbermill lies just inland at the edge of ancient old-growth Coast Redwood forest near the confluence of two critical wild salmon runs, Redwood and Prairie Creeks. Save the Redwoods League purchased this unique valley site with the intent of transforming its industrial and agricultural encroachments, deforestation, and degradation into the southern gateway to the North Coast Redwood Region and gifting it to the National Park Service. They hired our team to design a new visitor center complex in concert with remediation of the Prairie Creek floodplain as a wholly integrated  site development balancing public access and ecological restoration.

The new visitor complex will offer regional and local trail connections to towering old growth forests, fecund riparian corridors, and a continuum of restored native habitats linking the stream, floodplains, wetlands, and elk meadows with native upland forests; entry parking for cars and RV’s and bus drop-off; ecologically-derived site infrastructure; a visitor center building with indoor and outdoor interpretive and educational exhibits; and outdoor classroom, plazas and amphitheater.  The first phase of construction includes the ecological restoration of the entire site, grading to bring the future building site above flood and tsunami inundation zones, a trailhead with parking and interpretive facilities, restrooms, and an on-site extension of the Coastal Trail.  NPS will install the visitor center building and its associated site developments in the future on the transformed site.

JNRA oversaw the overall 15-acre Visitor Center site design and its integration with the adjacent 110-acre ecological restoration, forests, and trails, managed by the League’s and NPS’s separate Restoration and Trails teams, as sub-consultants of Siegel & Strain Architects. The overall site plan utilizes earth cut from the adjacent floodplain restoration to create high ground for public access while expanding the protected wildlife habitats in the wetlands, backwaters, and transitional upland forests. Design has been closely coordinated with the environmental compliance team to ensure consistency with the CEQA, NEPA, and county approval processes and criteria. As an eventual NPS resource, the project has also successfully gone through the internal NPS DAB process. The design team has participated in community outreach organized by the League throughout the design process with local Orick residents, Yurok Tribe, and philanthropic communities.

Location

Orick, CA

Size

15-acre development within a 125-acre property

Completed

In Progress

Client

Save the Redwoods League
National Park Service Pacific West Region

Team

Siegel & Strain Architects (Architecture)
SHN Engineers (Civil Engineering and Land Surveying)
AldrichPears Associates Ltd (Interpretive Designers)
GHD (Environmental Compliance)
NHE (Hydrology)

Scope

Concept – Design Development (current), Construction Documentation + Administration (TBD)

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