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November 28, 2021

Lobster Feed Event Raises Cash to Promote Mountain Wonders

Carol Miller is 87 years old and still going strong in her work to promote the natural beauty of Santa Cruz County’s redwoods. The South Felton resident is a longtime volunteer of the Mountain Parks Foundation.

This organization, with a mission to inspire the next generation of stewards of Big Basin and Henry Cowell state parks, will hold its annual lobster feed fundraiser Saturday.

“You know, as a volunteer, they can’t fire you,” she joked, taking a break from reading a novel Sunday while sitting at an info booth outside the Henry Cowell gift shop. “You meet people from all over the world who come to see the redwoods.”

Projects funded by the foundation serve around two million visitors each year.

That includes hundreds of schoolchildren that take part in on-site curriculum-based educational experiences.

Saturday’s fundraiser, starting at 4:30pm, will serve up a 1.5-pound fresh Maine lobster, alongside steamed corn-on-the-cob, toasted garlic bread, crisp green salad, drinks and dessert. The Wild & Blue band has also been tapped to “add magic to the evening,” according to the group’s website.

As the sounds of a banjo being plucked filter through the vegetation from Roaring Camp, Miller notes that the rather subdued day of visitors is a change of pace compared to the concert they sometimes are privy to.

“It’s pretty quiet today,” she said, despite the frequent hikers passing by, pointing to the popularity of the community gem with an atmosphere similar to Yosemite.

Miller’s husband worked for 13 summers at Big Basin. She got involved in 1995.

There’ve been many changes over the years, she says.

“This here used to be an office,” she said, pointing behind her. “The museum (at Henry Cowell) was redone a few years ago.”

While at the booth, Miller shares information about the CZU Lightning Complex fires with park visitors.

One of the saddest things about the fire, she says, was it destroyed the museum the foundation had been working on.

“It was just set to open,” she said. “Gone.”

Miller says she looks forward to seeing the continual rebuilding of the parks’ programs, and says she’s heard the lobster feed tickets ($100 is the general admission price) have been selling quickly.

For information call 831-335-3174. 

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]


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