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ENCHANTED HILLS UPDATE
We are now celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind, but the future of Enchanted Hills is beginning now. And you can be part of it, providing opportunities for blind kids to explore nature, meet a community of peers and discover their unlimited potential.
This past summer, due to COVID-19, campers attended virtual camp sessions from the safety of their homes. We took this opportunity to accelerate the rebuilding of Enchanted Hills after the 2017 Northern California wildfires destroyed half of the structures at camp. We now have a master plan for multiphased construction with the improved Enchanted Hills unveiled in its entirety in 2023. The phased approach allows us to continue operating camp programming during the construction. We are excited about reopening camp for year-round blindness programs as soon as the COVID crisis is resolved.
The new bathhouse by the pool is complete! Now that the white canvas bungalows house campers in central camp, it became vital to replace the pool bathhouse, decimated in the 2017 inferno, to provide showers, guide dog shade area and other facilities for the primary camper residences. An accessible multi-sport court for beep basketball, goalball (a blind-specific sport something like soccer with a bell inside the ball) and other sports will eventually join the horse barn and game shed to invigorate the central part of the camp.
Remarkably, the bathhouse is made of lumber milled from the giant redwoods damaged in the wildfires. Recycling on a huge scale. We are proud of our resourcefulness in using ultra-locally sourced timber. This is one of the many elements of the environmental design of the new Enchanted Hills.
Next, we will begin a massive project to bury the water and electric lines, boring deep in places to go under Wing Canyon creek. In addition to increasing our capacity, this will provide fire protection with many new hydrants and sprinklers.
Our next steps are to build new cabins and the Forest Commons. This will create a gathering space with an indoor & outdoor kitchen, dining area and program space, deep in the most beautiful part of the camp, in the shade of the Redwoods.
Want an insider’s view into the master plan and the vision for Enchanted Hills future? Reach out to join a socially distanced tour of Enchanted Hills, hear more about the unique design details, and find out about naming opportunities to Paul Blaney at PBlaney@lighthouse-sf.org or call 415-694-7313.