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CBTA is a non-profit educational association dedicated to the interpretation of human and natural history at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, in cooperation with the California State Park System. All contributions are tax deductible.

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2015 Activities


Locke Vineyards Celebrates “Sequoia”  

Calaveras Big Trees Association is pleased to announce that on April 25, 2015 Locke Vineyards is hosting a special vertical pouring of select library vintages of their “Sequoia” wine.  $15 tasting fee (free to wine club members).

A portion of “Sequoia” bottle sales during the month of April and vertical tastings will be donated to Calaveras Big Trees Association.

Please stop by their tasting room which is located at:

202 Main Street in Murphys, CA – 209-890-3065

Enjoy some delightful wine and help the Park.  Such a Deal!


Saturday April 25-           “Bird Bones and Feathers” Presented by David Lukas


Have you ever found a bird feather or bone and wondered what you could learn from it? This talk will cover bird bones, feathers, and muscles and how they work together to help a bird fly and live in its environment.  Expect to learn a bit about both the inner and outer workings of birds.

David Lukas is a professional naturalist and the author of numerous books including “Sierra Nevada Birds” and “Sierra Nevada Natural History”. More information about his books and classes can be found at


Saturday, May 2, 2015 - Thinking like a Naturalist: Reclaiming the Art of Natural History” Presented by John Muir Laws


Learn how to get more out of every nature ramble. Developments in neuropsychology have opened doors in our understanding of the brain and cognition and how you can train yourself to see more and to be more curious about what you discover. Naturalist and illustrator John Muir Laws will demonstrate simple and fun techniques you can incorporate into your own recreational nature study or to share with others. A perfect experience for teachers, home school parents, and anyone interested in taking their birding and nature study to the next level.

Saturday  September 19 – “Disturbance and Succession in Sierra Nevada Ecosystems”      Presented by Dr. Tom Hofstra



How have our local plant and animal communities changed through time.  Dr. Hofstra is Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at Columbia College.



October 17 -  “Myths, Monsters, and Heroes: Amphibians and Reptiles of the Calaveras Region” Presented by Paul Ustachus

Dr. Ustach, Professor of Biology at San Joaquin Delta College, has previously presented seminars at this park on various local mammals.



All Seminars will be held in Jack Knight Hall at Calaveras Big Trees State Park from 10:00 am-12 noon  There is a day-use fee to enter the Park.  The seminars are free and open to the public.  Pack a lunch, bring the family and plan on spending the day among the Giant Sequoias.  For more information call Calaveras Big Trees Association at (209)795-1196 or visit our website at



Saturday, May 2, 2015 – Afternoon Workshop – 1 pm –    “Nature Journaling and Naturalist Skills” Presented by John Muir Laws

$25 per person + $10 Park day use fee

Bring an unlined journal or sketchbook and a pencil. You may want to bring a small set of your favorite drawing tools.

Keeping a nature journal is the most valuable thing you can do to improve your skills as a naturalist. Learn tips and techniques to help your keep your own journal of nature discoveries. Also learn how to develop observational skills and use simple tools to help you see more, investigate nature mysteries, and remember what you see.

About John Muir Laws

Naturalist, educator and artist John (Jack) Muir Laws is in love with the natural world and has lived his live sharing this passion with others. He is trained as a wildlife biologist and is a Research Associate of the California Academy of Sciences. Jack has taught nature education teacher since 1984 in California, Wyoming, and Alaska. He teaches the tools to help people develop as naturalists and stewards including, ways to improve your observation, memory and curiosity, conservation biology, natural history,  scientific illustration, and field sketching all while having fun and falling more deeply in love with the world.  In 2009, he received the Terwilliger Environmental Award for outstanding service in Environmental Education. He is a 2010 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society. He was the 2011 artist for International Migratory Bird Day. Laws has written and illustrated books about art and natural history including The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds (2012), Sierra Birds: a Hiker’s Guide (2004), The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada (2007), and The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area (2009). He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his “Naturalists Notebook” column.  He is the primary author and editor of the curriculum: Opening the world through Nature Journaling.

Please call Sue at the CBTA office 209-795-1196 to reserve your space for the workshop.


June 5, 6 and 7, 2015   Natural History Discovery Program – Presented by Dr. Nancy Muleady Mecham

Calaveras Big Trees Association and  Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham are proud to once again announce the “Natural History Discovery Program” to be presented June 5, 6 and 7, 2015.  Here is your chance to immerse yourself in the Natural History of the Sierra Nevada at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  Hikes of 2 miles, demonstrations, talks, and audio-visual programs will include the topics of astronomy; animal adaptations; Sierra geology and weather; dendrochronology; the mixed conifer forest, wildflowers, and birds; Giant Sequoias and fire ecology; people through time; and the history of the National Park Service and one Ranger’s story.  Join Fulbright Scholar and retired National Park Ranger Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham for this unique opportunity to learn so much about this very special place.

Click Here to download more information.  Please call CBTA 209-795-1196 with any questions.


Summer Concert in the Park – Cantamos

Saturday June 6, 2015 – 2 pm – 4 pm – featuring the local favorite, Cantamos

Please join us at Jack Knight Hall in Calaveras Big Trees State Park for amazing music, hors d’oeuvres.  We will be featuring Locke Vineyards wine.

Cantamos - Michela Macfarlane and Cantamos highlight their musical dexterity by moving from arias, traditional Latin songs and musicals, to contemporary favorites. Their music moves seamlessly from English to Italian, Spanish to French to Portuguese, and back again. Michela Macfarlane spent ten years steeped exclusively in baroque music. To expand her singing world she moved to the realms of jazz, pop, and Latin sounds. She is still true to her operatic roots, but has grown as a performer. Michela is backed by Ron Schaner on (Bass and vocal), Fred Treece (Guitar and vocal), Jerry Solberg (Keyboards and vocal) and Scott Leverone (Drums).

Tickets $30.  (Tickets purchased online include Park entrance fee).  If tickets purchased at the door, you will have to pay and additional $10 per car Park entrance fee.

Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Please call CBTA at 209-795-1196 for further information.


Other 2015 Dates to Save

May 23 – September 7 - (weekends and holidays) “Summer Sweetness” – Ice Cream and Popcorn sold at the Warming Hut

June 5, 6 and 7 – Natural History Discovery Program presented by Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham

August 15 - Family Day

October 3Fundraising Dinner Show - “KCBT – August 1945 – A Radio Show”

December 296th Annual Winter Wonderland Carnival



New Docent Orientation ClassesIf you have always wanted to volunteer at the Park – now is your chance to sign up for the New Docent Orientation classes scheduled for March 11 or April 9.  This training is mandatory for all new park volunteers.  Docents play an important role in caring for this very special park and we are always looking for new faces..  There are many different opportunities available, including trail patrol, leading tours, .  Please contact Wendy Harrison at (209) 795-7980 if you are interested. Click Here   to download the attached flyer for more information.

Camping All camping is first come first serve in the North Grove Campground.  Dry camping only.  Oak Hollow Campground is closed for the season.  The Dump Station is closed for the season.  The Parkway to the South Grove is closed for the season.

North Grove Guided ToursGuided walks of the North Grove are held Saturday at 1 pm.   The walk is 1.5 to 2 hours.  Meet at the Warming Hut.

Activities in the Park

The Warming Hut - Open weekends and holidays from Thanksgiving through late March  12 pm—4 pm

Call 209-795-1196 for more information

Join CBTA !

Support from members helps the Calaveras Big Trees Association fulfill its mission of delivering high quality educational and interpretative programs at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Since 1974, CBTA has been able to assist in enhancing the visitor’s exploration and enjoyment of Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Becoming a member of CBTA affords you unique benefits like seminars, workshops, trainings, special events, collaboration and so much more.  Other benefits include a 20% discount (beginning October 1st) in the Visitor Center store and the Big Tree Bulletin published three times a year.

But the greatest benefit of being a member of CBTA is knowing you are contributing to protecting Calaveras Big Trees State Park and helping others gain an understanding, awareness and appreciation of its natural, cultural and recreational resources.

CBTA was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 1974,  Therefore, your membership and contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

If you would like to join, please click here to read about the different levels of membership and then to complete the application online or click here to download an application.  Thank you all for all of your support.  We couldn’t do it without you!  Please call the office at 209-795-1196 if you have any questions.

Visitor Center Hours



Daily – 10 am – 4 pm


Support CBTA While You Shop

Now you can help Support Calaveras Big Trees Association as you Shop!

We now have several different programs that are easy to join that allow a percentage of your purchases to be directed to Calaveras Big Trees Association


The owners of Sierra Hills Market and Angels Food Market have generously made available the Escrip program to benefit local non-profit organizations through the use of the Escrip Community Card.  When you use your the card, CBTA has the ability to earn up to 5% of monthly purchases when you shop at either market.  How easy is that!  Just show your card or give the clerk your phone number and you help support CBTA.  Once you are enrolled, you can go online and find out about other benefits of the Escrip program.

To sign up simply down load the  form Escrip Form here, fill it out and take it with you the next time you shop at Sierra Hills or Angels Food Markets,  or you may sign up in the store.  Please indicate Calaveras Big Trees Association as your desired beneficiary.


S.H.A.R.E.S is an acronym for Supporting Humanities, Arts, Recreation,  Education and Sports and is Save imagesMart’s way of
giving back to the community.  Again, when you present this card at checkout, a percentage of your purchase is directed to CBTA.



If you shop at, you can now support CBTA by shopping at AmazonSmile.  Everything like Amazon Prime works just the same once you are

When first visiting AmazonSmile, you will  be prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations.  For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.

Click Here to get started.

However you choose to do it, it is a painless way to help CBTA continue its efforts to provide outstanding interpretive and educational programs at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  Thank you for your continued support.  Please call the office with any questions at 209-795-1196.