We’re pleased to announce that the Shasta County Board of Education voted 7-0 last week to contribute $1.8 million toward efforts to rebuild Whiskeytown Environmental School. The school was heavily damaged during the Carr Fire. “It’s exciting to have a unanimous vote for this community treasure,” said Board President Kathy Barry.

The contribution will fund construction of a new Safety/Administration building at the front of the campus, providing enhanced security and greater accessibility to emergency resources for staff, teachers, and students. SCOE has operated Whiskeytown Environmental School as a residential outdoor science school starting in 1970. Prior to the Carr Fire, it served about 4,500 students per year in a combination of residential programs, field labs, and summer camps.

In 2018, the Carr Fire devastated the area around WES and severely damaged buildings, including all cabins and trails. This made it necessary to discontinue the popular overnight camps that have been a rite of passage for fifth- and sixth-graders for generations. Community members, organizations, and the National Park Service are partnering to rebuild WES through the nonprofit WES Community.

“WES Community is grateful for the board’s foresight vote to allocate $1.8 million toward building a new Safety/Administration building at WES. This is a huge step toward creating a safe and more accessible campus to serve thousands of Shasta County students over the next 50 years,” said Melinda Kashuba, PhD, President of WES Community. “We are thrilled to be  making huge progress in our Grow Back Stronger campaign and eager to welcome students back to WES for overnight programming as soon as possible.”

Learn more about the Grow Back Stronger Campaign to rebuild and reopen WES at

Kerri Schuette, SCOE Communications Director, 530.225.0244
Melinda Kashuba, WES Community Board President, 530.440.5584