Point Reyes, CA

Mar 4th, 2017 to Mar 11th, 2017
Cost: $825.00 Partner Organization(s): National Park Service Service Type: Environmental conservation Number of Participants: 8

Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements:

We will be driving as a group to NOVA on the Friday and flying out of Dulles and into San Francisco Airport on Saturday March 4th. We will return to Charlottesville Saturday, March 11. We will be renting a large van (hopefully, white, no windows) at the San Francisco airport and driving straight to Point Reyes national park (this is a beautiful 1.5 hour drive along the California Highway 1). During the week, we will be camping at a campground within Point Reyes. We will spend the last night in San Francisco before returning to Cville.

Participants should have a love for the outdoors and the environment but no previous conservation or camping experience is required. All camping gear will be organized by us.


Service Activities:

We will spend four days completely dedicated to service. All service activities in the park will be coordinated with the National Park Service. During our four days of service we will help with a variety of tasks including trail building and general maintenance of the park. Trip participants in the past have really enjoyed their service experience due to the variety of activities undertaken with the park rangers. These service expeditions also offer a great opportunity to see large portions of the park and learn a lot from the rangers while working.


Regional Background:

Point Reyes is a unique national park found directly on the Pacific Ocean seashore an hour north of San Francisco. The park is located on a peninsula that stretches 15 miles into the ocean. This seashore is far more than your typical beach. The landscape includes fields of of wildflowers, dramatic cliffs, coastal grasslands, and conifer forests. You’ll have a chance to see the beautiful wildlife of Point Reyes which includes elk (the park has a large Elk preserve), sea lions, whales, foxes, and an incredible diversity of bird species. On top of that the park is dotted with historical landmarks including a lighthouse from 1870. In sum, Point Reyes offers a perfect glimpse at what the Northern Californian coastline has to offer.


Community Background:

Point Reyes is a relatively new national park founded in in 1962. The park’s beauty was almost lost to the commercial development of the area by loggers and ranchers. Today the park and its visitors coexist with a small local economy of dairy farms and fishermen. This is a unique setup for a National Park and contributes to the Point Reyes charm. Another unique aspect of Point Reyes is that it is in such close proximity to a large city, San Francisco. This offers a stark contrast between the chaos of the city and the serenity of a preserved seashore.


Recreational Activities:

We will have one full day to see the park on our own. The majority of our recreational activities will be spent exploring the park’s trails, beaches, and historical landmarks. We really look forward to hikes across the windswept peninsula of the park offering gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean (hopefully we will catch a glimpse of a California Gray Whale). After a day of hard work it will also be relaxing to spend time around a bonfire on the beach and discuss the day’s events. We may have time to see the park by kayak or bike.

We will conclude our week with a trip to Muir Woods and San Francisco. While in San Francisco we will stay in a hostel and explore Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight Ashbury (home of the hippies and the Grateful Dead), and/or Alcatraz.


About the Site Leaders:

Ben (bsd7cv) is a 2nd year from Crozet, VA.  He is currently undecided on a major, though he is absolutely positive it won’t be related to mathematics or science. Ben can most likely be found at Buford Middle School where he leads YoungLife or enoing on the Lawn (you can easily recognize him by his long, luscious locks and probably patriotic t-shirt).  This year, his personal goals include hiking Humpback more times than any other UVA student and not blowing his already limited budget on Chipotle—Good luck Ben!! During his first year at UVA, he embarked on the ASB trip to the Grand Canyon, where he fell in love with practicing poor hygiene (rip showers) for the sake of our National Parks and he can’t wait to do it again!

Claire (ccs4pp) is a 2nd year from Fredericksburg, VA. She is also undecided on what she wants to study but odds are she ends up studying psychology. Claire secretly believes that she is a bear in human form and can often be found wandering the outdoors looking for her companions. Claire’s favorite time of the year is when peppermint milkshakes come back to Chick-fil-a and her favorite place in the world is the Oregon coast. Claire spent her last spring break wandering the trails of Zion, Utah, and has decided to bring her outdoors expertise to the National Parks of California.


Site Leader Testimonials:

Anyone who knows me knows that I came back from my ASB trip unable to stop talking about all the awesome experiences we shared, whether it be learning more about the impact we have on the environment around us, the campfire conversations, or the absurd about of s’mores I enjoyed.  Most of all, I realized how blind we are to the negative environmental impacts we have here in our own communities, and ASB not only opened my eyes to this, but motivated me to try to fix this problem here at UVA! — Claire

Getting a chance to travel out west and see natural wonders is always a fantastic experience but when you throw in the opportunity to better those same wonders, it makes the week unforgettable. Not only did our entire trip get to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, we made a tangible difference in making it safer and the forest healthier. It was an incredibly fulfilling experience to know that we were making this wonder even better than it was before. I cannot wait to see more areas of the country and serve even more of the countries wonders. — Ben