Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Woodleaf seeks funds for move

October 1, 2007

The Woodleaf Outdoor School has kicked off its fundraising drive to get the school moved to a new location before its lease expires in 20 months.

Woodleaf, an outdoor education program for youngsters, is in the middle of its search for a new home after the Younglife organization decided to expand its Christian youth camp program and declined to renew the outdoor school’s lease. Now the school is in negotiations for several locations and is looking for donors to make the move possible.

“We’re starting to get our ducks lined up in a row,” said George Stratman, Woodleaf’s outdoor education director.

The school, which has been at its Yuba foothills location for 38 years, got the news in April that the Colorado-based Christian organization wouldn’t renew its lease. It must move by May 2009.

Stratman has worked at Woodleaf for four years and another 18 years in general outdoor-education positions elsewhere.

His daughter, who is in the fifth grade, will be one of the last students to attend the outdoor school at its current location next year.

However, since she’s the director’s daughter, this won’t be her first trip to Woodleaf.

“She’s definitely a huge Woodleaf fan,” Stratman said.

May 2009 won’t be the end of Woodleaf, program officials have stressed. Stratman is quick to point out that just because the school is moving, doesn’t mean it’s dead or even wounded.

“Our program is alive and well,” he said. “We have a long, rich history behind us and we hope to have a long, rich future ahead of us.”

Donations can be sent to the Woodleaf Foundation, c/o Woodleaf Outdoor School, 970 Klamath Lane, Yuba City, CA 95993. For large donations, contact Gennis Zeller at (530) 822-2950.

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