The Campaign to Save
Mt. Veeder, a Slice of Napa History,
Legacy of Outdoor Experiences for the
Children of Napa County
On December 23, 2016, the Napa Open Space District (NOSD) secured a one-year option to purchase The Cove, a 160 acre Girl Scout camp nestled into the forest at the top of Mt. Veeder. Without this option, financial realities would have forced the Girl Scouts of Northern California to sell the property for development in order to generate funds needed to maintain other properties they own.
Instead of losing this gem of Napa’s heritage, purchase by the Napa Open Space District will ensure The Cove is available in perpetuity for a wide variety of youth and other groups as a place to learn about and enjoy our natural world.
If you would like to help the
Napa Open Space District
save The Cove, click here
to go to our Donation page.
At an elevation of 2,677 feet, Mt. Veeder is the highest peak entirely within Napa County. The eastern side of the mountain resembles a crater from an extinct volcano (though it isn’t), forming the “cove” where a rustic girl scout camp is located. Once referred to as the Napa Redwoods, the area in and around The Cove was a major summer resort destination for nearly a century. The nearby Lokoya Lodge, Solid Comfort Resort and Mt. Veeder Resort were popular destinations for visitors from San Francisco and elsewhere, coming by ferry then stagecoach to find fresh air and natural beauty. The Cove itself was acquired by the Girl Scouts of Northern California in 1964, and has been used since then by both the Girl Scouts as well as many other organizations and groups.
Location of the Cove
The Cove forms the headwaters of perennial Wing Creek, which flows easterly first through the Enchanted Hills Camp operated by the Lighthouse for the Blind, then Amy’s Grove (a delightful 51 acre redwood grove at the confluence with Dry Creek owned by the Napa Open Space District).
The Cove is densely forested with mature orange-barked Madrone, Douglas Fir, several varieties of Oak, Knobcone Pine, Bay Laurel and much more–providing valuable habitat for bears, mountain lions, bobcats and foxes, just to name a few of the notable mammals.
And the views from Mt. Veeder are truly impressive, from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the east, Mt. Diablo to the south, San Francisco, Sutro Peak and Mt. Tamalpais to the southwest, and Burnell Peak and Sonoma Mountain to the west. From the summit one can look down on birds soaring on the updrafts, with the vineyards of Napa Valley at one’s feet.
The Cove currently includes seven group campsites, four sleeping shelters, an open meadow area for gatherings, a main campfire circle and several springs feeding a non-potable water system. Other than upgrading the water system to meet modern standards and provide improved firefighting capacity, making general repairs and improving management of forest health, the District’s vision for The Cove is for it to continue as it is—a special place where Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and a wide variety of other organizations and groups can leave their cell phones behind and experience the natural world.
If you would like to learn more about
The Cove, check out NBC Open Roads with
Doug McConnell by clicking here.
Under the terms of the option agreement between NOSD and the Girl Scouts of Northern California, the District has until December of 2017 to come up with the discounted purchase price of $700,000.
The purchase price is discounted because the Girl Scouts will continue to have the right to use The Cove at the same level as they have in recent years. When not used by the Girl Scouts, NOSD will make The Cove available to other non-profit organizations and community groups.
As with everything else it does, since it has no dedicated tax base, the Napa Open Space District needs to secure grants and gifts to complete the purchase of The Cove.