photo of blooming yellow and orange wildflowers with large barn in the background.
Spring wildflowers putting on a show at the Lost Coast Education Center (pictured in the background) and Native Plant Garden. Photo by Cheryl Lisin, Friends of the Lost Coast

By Friends of the Lost Coast

In late spring, you can hear the cheep, cheep, cheep of baby bluebirds in their nest box as you enter the Lost Coast Native Plant Garden. At the same time, your eyes are treated to bright swaths of orange; local poppies have self-sown abundantly. Also abundant are the aromas of sage, yarrow, grasses, soap plant, and the creek below. Coming back (full circle?) to your sense of hearing, you become aware of the sound of buzzing insects busily pollinating the wildflowers.

A visit to our native plant garden at the Lost Coast Education Center is a treat for the senses and a great place to learn about nature!

The public is invited to the Friends of the Lost Coast’s Open Garden Volunteer Work Days on the first Thursday and third Sunday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. For now, however, our Open Garden Volunteer Work Days are suspended due to COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place restrictions. Follow us on Facebook for updates on when we will re-open, then come by for a tour and even lend a hand alongside our fabulous crew of volunteers, engage in an educational activity, or go wading in Bridge Creek as it rushes by toward its confluence with the Mattole River.

The Lost Coast Education Center is located at the BLM’s King Range Office Campus, serving as our home-base and a gateway to learning, discovery, activities, and inspiration for and about the natural wonders of the King Range National Conservation Area.

The Lost Coast Education Center houses the Lost Coast Native Plant Garden, a native plant nursery, and old barn facilities now repurposed to host educational events like Family Activity Days and Summer Adventure Camp. The Lost Coast Education Center also hosts Sierra Club field trips and Nick’s Interns, providing opportunities for discovery and skill-building.

Soon, we are hoping to host Movie-Night and Barn Dance Fundraisers, as well as an After-School Intern Program. We plan to develop new interpretive stations and signs telling the story of the barns, bringing the living history back vividly into the present day.

We are working closely with the BLM to develop a forest restoration project at the King Range Office Campus that would thin overly dense Douglas-fir regeneration to promote fire safety; increase light infiltration and encourage native vegetation growth in the understory; enhance water quantity, availability, and storage; and increase carbon dioxide sequestration. This project offers a perfect learning opportunity that will involve before-and-after site tours and include bilingual interpretation.

With so much happening and on the horizon at the Lost Coast Education Center and Native Plant Garden, we decided to develop a master, comprehensive interpretive and education plan. This plan will allow us, our partners, and the foundations that support our work to have a complete overview of all the exciting programs and initiatives we will be able to offer, and how these activities support our overarching mission to inspire a passion for understanding and preservation of the environment—in particular, the natural wonders of the rare and unique Lost Coast.

The Lost Coast Education Center and Native Plant Garden was born out of a Cooperative Management Agreement between Friends of the Lost Coast and the BLM. The garden, native plant nursery, and many of our education and interpretive programs are facilitated thanks to generous grant funding contributions from the GraceUs Foundation and the Cereus Fund of Trees Foundation.

Want to learn more? Follow us on Facebook, and sign up for our periodic newsletter by visiting our website at, or you can email us at [email protected]. Even better, come out to one of our Open Garden Volunteer Days or one of our upcoming Family Activity Days and experience the Lost Coast Education Center and Native Plant Garden for yourself. Getting lost never felt so good!

For more information: [email protected].

Make a donation to Friends of the Lost Coast today!

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