Generous donors fund project that benefits farm animals and park visitors

Aug. 25, 2022—SANTA CRUZ, CA — Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks today announced that the historic doors on the horse barn at Wilder Ranch State Park are restored and secure thanks to generous donors and hard work by State Parks staff.

The two doors were in varied states of disrepair before being restored with redwood salvaged from Big Basin Redwoods State Park. They were rehung on the 1890s-era barn, providing security for the livestock that call Wilder Ranch home and enhancing the historical accuracy of the structure.

“The restoration of the barn doors is a wonderful example of groups coming together to find a creative solution to a longstanding challenge,” Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Executive Director Bonny Hawley said. “The farm animals at Wilder Ranch and park visitors alike will benefit from the dedication and attention to detail shown in this project.”

Bill Holland, State Park Maintenance Worker II, took the lead on the project. The left-side barn door was hung, but no longer moved and the hinges were damaged. The right-side barn door hadn’t been mounted for a quarter-century and had been sitting idly in the horse barn at the park for about 15 years.

Holland and other staff members removed the rotten wood from both doors, repaired the damages, then replaced about 20 percent of the wood. The restoration process required State Parks staff to use redwood lumber — the same material the barn doors were made from — and reproduce the original woodworking style. Holland learned how to beautifully replicate the tongue-and-groove detail.

The redwood was sourced from Big Basin Redwoods State Park. State Parks staff milled lumber from trees that had fallen from the CZU Fire to repair both doors.

Additional materials for the project were paid for by donors to Friends, including Wilder Ranch docents and supporters of the Wilder Ranch Farm Animal Program. Goats, cows, sheep, chickens and cats live at the Wilder Dairy Cultural Preserve at the park.

About Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks 

Established in 1976, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events. Friends currently operates a robust online ParkStore offering nature- and history-themed merchandise for sale to benefit local parks and beaches. Friends also operates ParkStores at Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff and Wilder Ranch. Learn more or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.