Sierra Service Project is well known throughout Del Norte County for the home repair and community service work done by our volunteers. With only 28,000 residents, we have had a big impact in this beautiful and very rural area over the past five years. We work with residents and organizations in the coastal towns of Smith River, Fort Dick, and Crescent City as well as, at times, inland in Hiouchi and Gasquet. Because Del Norte County’s poverty rate is more than 20 percent and is one of the poorest counties in the State, we work with the entire community, including some families who are tribal members.
This site will host Combined groups during Weeks 1 – 3, Middle School only groups Week 4, and High School only groups Weeks 5 – 6.
Service Work in Del Norte County
In Del Norte County, two thirds of our work is with homeowners, and one third with community based organizations. The type of work includes building wheelchair ramps, porches, stairs, awnings, and other general home repairs. No construction experience is needed, and you’ll be amazed at all of the work that your youth teams complete! Most projects take longer to complete than your week at SSP so you may see the beginning, middle or end of a project.
In 2017 youth completed 24 projects for homeowners and community organizations:
- 2 wheelchair ramps
- 3 sets of stairs
- 2 wood sheds
- 2 exterior paint projects
- 2 awnings
- 2 porches
- 3 fences
- Beach clean ups with Recology
- Invasive plant removal with Tolowa Dunes Stewards and California State Parks
- Community garden work with Family Resource Center of the Redwoods and Del Norte County Community Health Center Garden
- Recology Del Norte
- California State Parks
- Building Healthy Communities Del Norte County and Adjacent Tribal Lands
- Family Resource Center of the Redwoods
- Del Norte County Community Health Center Garden
- Rural Human Services
Each week the full group volunteers with Tolowa Dunes Stewards on Adventure Wednesday removing invasive European beach grass which threatens the livelihood of native plants and animals. Youth learn about biodiversity and the importance of habitat for bees and other pollinators for the food system.
The day begins with a a one mile hike to the Tolowa Dunes State Park. Teams are encouraged to dig up the longest root (think 6 feet long!) and to make the largest pile of grass. The day is complete with lunch on the beach before heading to the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park for the afternoon to swim in the Smith River, hike to Stout Grove, and BBQ.
Learn About Del Norte County
Download the detailed SSP Smith River Study Guide to help your group learn about the community and get more out of your SSP experience. We suggest that you download the study guide, share with your group and discuss the materials during a planning meeting.
Follow local news: Del Norte Triplicate
- See SSP on the front page.
Smith River Location
Host Facilities in Smith River
We are graciously hosted by the Smith River United Methodist Church and Smith River Elementary School which are across the street from each other. We will eat meals at the church and will shower a few blocks away at the Smith River Baptist Church.
Directions to Smith River
To get to Smith River, consult Google maps or a similar mapping service to find the best route for your group.
Smith River United Methodist Church
121 Beckstead Street
Smith River, CA 95567
Smith River Climate
The average high during the summer is 65°F and low is 50°F. The area is beautiful and at times the days (and nights) can be chilly! Make sure to bring lots of layers and winter clothes – this is not your typical California summer location! Coats, sweatshirts, long pants and hats are recommended. For current weather conditions, visit the school’s Weather Bug website.
2018 Smith River Dates
Combined Middle and High School Sessions
The fee for combined sessions in Smith River is $375 per youth and adult volunteer.
- Week 1: July 1 – 7
- Week 2: July 8 – July 14
- Week 3: July 15 – July 21
Middle School Session
The fee for the middle school session in Smith River is $325 per youth and adult volunteer.
- Week 4: July 22 – July 27
High School Sessions
The fee for high school sessions in Smith River is $375 per youth and adult volunteer.
- Week 5: July 29 – August 4
- Week 6: August 5 – August 11