By Sydney Alexandra Morrone
It was cold to the bone, and foggy as could be on Sunday, Oct. 20 when Explore North Coast and Kayak Zak’s held a fundraiser to benefit Stone Lagoon Campground.
Across the lagoon from the Stone Lagoon Visitors Center is home to one of Humboldt counties hidden gems: the Stone Lagoon Campground. This campground is a hike-in/ kayak-in campground and has been closed for the last two years because California State Parks is unable to fund the upkeep of the site.
Kayak Zak’s teamed up with the Humboldt State University Recreation Department to put on a fundraiser in hopes of earning enough money to reopen the campground so it could be accessible to the community once again.
The fundraiser had activities such as kayaking across the lagoon to the closed campground, for people to see. Monahan, Martin & Sleep, a band consisting of entirely state parks workers played to support the benefit as well. Many local businesses, such as Arcata Pizza and Deli, Arcata Scoop, Beachcomber Café, and Global Village, all donated raffle prizes. An anonymous source wanted to help out so much he or she donated two separate vacations– an eight-day trip to Mexico, and a seven-day trip to Hawaii. These items were offered through a silent auction, which also featured a necklace and earring set donated by Baroni, as well as a kayaking life vest, donated by Kōkatat.
Marna Powell, the founder of Kayak Zak’s, was happy with the turnout.
“People keep coming up to me and telling me how important this campground is to them,” Powell explained. “I keep hearing stories about people who have gotten engaged there, and even created babies there!”
The community seems to support the reopening. The bare minimum of funds to raise was $3,500. However without having counted the donations yet, it is expected to have exceeded that number.
“Our goal was $3,700, next was $5,000,” Powell said. “But I think we definitely got $3,700 between all the raffle, silent auction and handed-in check donations.”
Amanda Kachevas, a Humboldt State recreation student who helped organize the fundraiser, said she thought the fundraiser went smoothly.
“It [the fundraiser] is fun,” Kachevas said. “There are a lot of really cool people. And there are lots of avid kayakers and bird watchers. This fundraiser has brought many people with different hobbies, together, for the love of the same location.”
The raffle prizes was definitely the highlight of the event, Caylin King, a student from HSU, said.
“It was a super fun event with a huge turnout of people,” King exclaimed. “It was able to earn a bunch of money. And hopefully we will be able to camp at the campground soon!”
All the money collected will be given to California State Parks, specifically for this location, to put in new fire pits and make a new toilet. Any excess money will be used to keep the location clean and useable, it will not go toward any other locations.