Kids at Camp

Nonprofit serving and inspiring youth

RENO, Nev. – Sierra Nevada Journeys announces the purchase of the 515-acre camp, Grizzly Creek Ranch, securing a permanent home for inspiring and serving youth in this region.

For the past 12 years, Sierra Nevada Journeys, an outdoor science education nonprofit, has been helping more than 190,000 youth explore nature through science and fuel their own special connections with the natural world. Most of the students that participate in Sierra Nevada Journeys’ programs come from high-need communities across Northern Nevada and Northern California.

“We are deeply grateful to our donors, program partners, volunteers and employees for investing in our mission and the youth we serve,” says Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO Sierra Nevada Journeys. “We raised $5.57 million with the generous support of our dedicated 56 donors.”

“Through all the ups and downs of 2020, we have stayed focused on our mission by helping to meet the extraordinary needs of our community, teachers and students. This year, Sierra Nevada Journeys was able to pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic and still deliver support and respite to those who needed it most. For example, 50 percent of the participants at Family Camp this past fall were scholarship families who were at risk of experiencing more isolation than other families during COVID. We actively worked with community partners like the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and Amplify Life to provide families with safe outdoor activities that build support, confidence and new skills to bounce back from life’s challenges,” added Dunkelberger.

Unique Ecosystem

Grizzly Creek Ranch has a unique ecosystem creating the ideal setting for using the outdoors as the classroom. Located on Big Grizzly Creek, the watershed, including a 3/4-acre pond and its surrounding vegetation, is home to more than 100 bird species. “We chose to support Sierra Nevada Journeys’ endeavor to purchase the camp as they will preserve Grizzly Creek Ranch for its best and highest use. Using the exceptional land and water resources at Grizzly Creek Ranch as their outdoor classroom, they will be providing youth, especially those from disadvantaged communities, the opportunity to become the next generation of environmental scientists and land stewards,” says Lynn Campbell, North Central Area Representative, Sierra Nevada Conservancy (Ret.).

For additional information about Sierra Nevada Journeys visit sierranevadajourneys.org or to learn more about the purchase of Grizzly Creek Ranch go to sierranevadajourneys.org/aha.

About Grizzly Creek Ranch

In addition to the 515 acres of land, there are 26 buildings at camp with a lodge, 16 cabins, four yurts, an administration building, two outdoor amphitheaters and an outdoor pool. Located 50 minutes north of Reno and 2 hours east of Sacramento, in Plumas National Forest, its facilities are modern and can accommodate 240 campers.

Grizzly Creek Ranch was originally built in 2003 by Sierra Health Foundation – a private philanthropy investing in partnerships and programs that improve health and quality of life – as a camp for youth with disabilities. In 2010, Sierra Health Foundation partnered with Sierra Nevada Journeys to launch experiential education at Grizzly Creek Ranch. For the past 10 years, Sierra Nevada Journeys has been operating Grizzly Creek Ranch, bringing fifth and sixth graders to camp for outdoor school, and hosting a variety of community partners for leadership and youth development programs.

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom and virtual-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement. Fifty percent of the 35,000 children that annually participate in our programs come from low-income communities and more than 60 percent are youth of color. Also, 15 percent of the children who attend our programs, are living with a disability.