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Our Future is in Jeopardy

It is with great sadness that I announce an eviction notice from the California Conservation Corps (CCC). The letter advised PNC that due to a pending construction project at the CCC center the nature center would have to cease all operations and remove all property and material from the site by April 15, 2019 for a period of two to three years and no guarantee of being able to return to the site.

On October 25, PNC Board of Directors Chair Mary Weeks and myself met with Amy Cameron, Chief Deputy Director 916-341-3223 amy.comeron@ccc.ca.gov, Jose Phillips Deputy Director, 916 201-6986 jose.phillips@ccc.ca.gov and Dawne Bortolazzo, Chief Administrative Division 916-341-3147 dawne.bortolazzo@ccc.ca.gov of the CCC  to discuss why PNC was being asked to leave the site. A location PNC has occupied for 27 years, when the construction activity is not with in the foot print of the nature center and that PNC is willing to accept the inconvenience of limited access and intermittent disruptions to water and power service. We highlighted the common mission of the two organizations, our efforts in supporting Governor Browns’ initiative on reducing human impacts of climate change, establishing more public/private partnerships and our commitment of supporting he CCC members with environmental education and volunteering opportunities.

Our efforts fell on deaf ears; their response was that they felt it would be “unsafe” for the center to continue operations during construction. They stated it was “their” property and we would have to leave. We countered each of their “reasons” with logical replies with no movement on the part of the CCC’s. When asked about our returning to the site after construction they replied that due to the pending election and possible change in leadership in the Natural Resources Agency and the CCC department they could not commit to our return.

It was clear to me from the lack of empathy of our situation and the CCC’s failure to provide adequate answers to our questions; it is the intent of the CCC to move into the facilities of PNC and benefit from the 27 years of improvements made to the area by volunteers and other supporters of Placer Nature Center. Although the CCC staff did not confirm this notion they gave very little argument to its validity.

Now for the future, where do we go and what do we do: the board has created three committees to help guide our next steps.

Resistance Committee: Working to determine if PNC has any legal recourse and or avenues to prevent or extend the move.                  Contact Linda Lepley at lindacl@placernaturecenter.org

Relocation/Collaborators Committee: Searching for possible new locations and or partners for PNC. Contact  Mary Weeks- maryweeks@att.net

Media and Outreach Committee: Utilizing social and conventional media to advertise the situation and request support. Contact Dave Matthews- dmatthews@placernaturecenter.org

If you are interested in assisting any of the above committees please reach out directly to the contact.

You may also wish to contact the CCC management and or Director Bruce Saito 916-341-3223 bruce.saito@ccc.ca.gov offering your opinion as to the decision of CCC to evict PNC. An eviction from a home of over 27 years, serving over 160,000 people, most of which were children, hundreds of CCC members and a strong community presence providing award winning leadership in outdoor and environmental education. Perhaps asking why the state is pushing out the non-profit that teaches kids about the importance of nature in our ever increasing digital world and why the CCC’s are terminating a long standing mutually beneficial partnership lasting over 27 years.

While this development was sudden, unexpected and disheartening the board, staff and volunteers of the Placer Nature Center are confident in the future of the organization and the continuation of community based environmental education to the citizens of Placer and Nevada Counties. With your energy and support the legacy will continue.

 

Thank you

     Wanted

Enthusiastic, environmentally aware, education focused and community orientated  people to join the                   Board of Directors of Placer Nature Center.                                     Contact Dave Matthews for more details- dmatthews@placernaturecenter.org

 

                        Check out the latest news from PNC                            Sept.-Oct. 2018 PNC newsletter 

         PNC is an outdoor classroom located on 60 acres in the beautiful Sierra Foothills. A place where children can find their place in the natural world as they develop science literacy.

A place where people of all ages can explore their link with the        out-of-doors and use the environment and our exhibits for educational growth.

A resource center for educators to learn methods and find material for teaching about natural systems.

A place for discovering our natural and cultural history and exploring how nature is linked with the arts, literature, history, and science.

A 501.c3 not-for-profit corporation inspiring stewardship of the earth through environmental education.

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                      3700 Christian Valley Rd.                                     Auburn, CA  95602

Providing Environmental Education since 1991