While still functional, the campfire center is in need of enhancements to improve the experience of the visitors and the efficiency of the staff. It’s time to renovate the facility to create better access for those with disabilities and to upgrade the system with new technology.

The program on the evening I visited, “Carnivores, Herbivores and Omnivores,” was presented by Interpreter Naturalist Angie Lozano. She started the fire early so that it would be hot enough to toast the marshmallows when people started to arrive. The presentation began as soon as the twilight diminished enough to see the screen. As you can see in the center picture below, setup for the projector isn’t optimal.

While still in the design phase, the project entails building a new 14’-wide concrete stage with a perimeter curb. The curved access provides for wheelchair accessibility while a planter area will absorb the rain run-off from the hard surface.

A new 106” x 59” screen will provide a 16 x 9 format that is common for new technology, and it will be protected with shutters and a covered roof. The back of the screen will include an area to store wood for the campfire as well as a new electrical box enclosure.

The majority of the seating will remain, but the first and third rows will be reconfigured to provide wheelchair space. Much of the existing electrical conduit will be reused along with the benches, path lighting and planting areas.

The campfire programs will continue uninterrupted this summer (2016) and construction will begin in the fall of 2017. Most of the funding is in place for the structural components, but we still need to raise the funds for the audio/video components. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you may do so on our secure website here and be sure to designate it for Half Moon Bay.

As a side note, the planted area around the campfire center was restored with native plants by the volunteers and the resources of the Native Plant Nursery at Half Moon Bay State Beach. The plants in this area are coyote bush, lizard tail, yarrow, and yellow bush lupine.