New Outdoor Education Space Proposed in Andrew Molera SP by VWS

New Outdoor Education Space Proposed in Andrew Molera State Park

The Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) is working with the State Coastal Conservancy California and State Parks to create a new group campground and support facilities for families to experience the beauty of Big Sur in Andrew Molera State Park, separate from the existing public campground. This proposed campground and accompanying facilities will be called Space for Meaningful Outdoor Recreation and Education or S’MORE. The project is in early development with work toward a coastal development permit, and including county and local review, underway. If approved, construction would likely occur in 2024/25. 

Since 1992 VWS has had a concession contract with State Parks to operate their outdoor education programs in Andrew Molera State Park. Today within Andrew Molera Park, VWS operates a visitor center, a field office for their wildlife biologists working to restore the California condor to the wild and a bi-lingual outdoor education program for youth and families in central California. VWS engages over 2,000 youth annually from throughout Monterey County with targeted outreach to increase equitable access for historically underrepresented communities in areas including the Salinas Valley and North Monterey County region. These bi-lingual outdoor education programs focus on families who face transportation, economic, or accessibility barriers to accessing the coast, providing everything needed for a positive experience. 

The S’MORE project site is located along the Big Sur River corridor and consists of grassland surrounded by oaks and sycamores. There are currently no formal tent sites or other campground amenities other than several fire rings, although the area has electricity and potable water. The proposed S’MORE site improvements will provide a picnic pavilion with a rustic kitchen, accessible parking, and a small amphitheater, and will enable VWS to expand programming and enhance experiences in nature for those most in need.

Interested in learning more or have thoughts to share? Please contact Kelly Sorenson, or visit

6 thoughts on “New Outdoor Education Space Proposed in Andrew Molera SP by VWS

  1. Video is long on promotion and short on specifics. What kind of surveys of the site and surrounding have been done, and how do we access them. Specifically, what is being lost and what is being gained. This kind of habitat is very scarce, and it’s only wise to know rather than to be impressed.

  2. Looks like they will develop the area that the horse ride concession used to use. In response to W’s concern, it doesn’t look like anything will be lost – that small meadow is not virgin land. Families camping can’t be worse for the land than quartering horses, seems to me, and the Ventana mission to educate is laudable. My concern is purely selfish – more folks being drawn to Molera and Big Sur which seems barely able to cope with the masses already. It used to be a lonelier place to wander.

  3. Any once-wild area has the potential for “rewilding,” so the common argument that because the land has already been “screwed” it should be judged on its degraded state persists. Which meets the standard of sound logic? Maybe its “virginity” can’t be restored, but it needn’t be forced to continue to wear the cosmetic preferred by its dominators.

  4. I hear the concerns that “W” raises. Just look at what has happened at Soberanes. Good intentions by State Parks but increased congestion, problems and safety concerns by creating more “destination locations” which the Big Sur Land Use Plan policies discourage.

  5. I thought one of the Molera Family requirements for State Parks was not to develop it further, anyone know the background history on this?

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