Entitlements in progress

Artistree created a master plan for this forest ecology research center dedicated to ecological stewardship, community resilience, and outdoor education. The center will include 25 treehouses, communal kitchen and meeting facility, staff housing, a small retreat center complex for visiting faculty or group bookings, and a network of trails and elevated skywalk suspended through the forest.

Deepwoods is a 230-acre property located in Scotts Valley, CA. consisting of three legal parcels, the first and lower parcel is home to a 2nd and 3rd generation redwood forest (zoning TP). The two upper parcels (zoning SU) consist of primarily coast live oak and sandhill habitat. Historically the property was called “Help Woods Camp” and later changed to “Deep Woods Campy for Girls” in the 60s when Gene Wilfert bought the upper two parcels.

Artistree's work includes:


As part of the development process, Artistree managed and worked with multiple experts to create a robust entitlement package for this site, including:

  • traffic analysis
  • biotics studies
  • soil and hydrology studies
  • septic evaluation
  • forestry analysis.


Deepwoods is a rare property with both a second generation redwood forest on the lower parcel and oak woodlands on the upper parcel with a spring-fed creek running through the lower half of the property. Because of the importance of the natural resources, Artistree created a Resource Management Plan to ensure that our plans for the site worked with these resources and protected them for future generations.

Site improvements

During the entitlement process, Artistree oversaw the improvement of the site including:

  • Installation of a public drinking water well
  • Road and access improvements
  • Septic perc tests

Proposed Plan includes

  • Lodging =  25 treehouses
  • Welcome Center
  • Skywalk
  • June's Cabin communal kitchen
  • Wildlife preserve - biodiversity corridor 

Development includes:

  • Laundry & staff residences 2420 GSF
  • June’s Cabin Event space 2200 GSF
  • Spyglass Treehouse x10 630 GSF
  • Compass Treetents x21 100 GSF
  • Campsite Bathrooms 1445 GSF
  • Retreat Villa x4 2430 GSF
  • Welcome Center 640 GSF
  • Maintenance Barn 2400 GSF
  • Site-wide Bike Parking 2000 GSF

Project Objectives

  • Be a learning center and demonstration site for forest ecology stewardship
  • Be a community gathering space for meetings that foster connection, well-being and resilience
  • Create an ecological preserve and conservation bank with hiking trails
  • Improve fire egress to Weston Rd and McKenzie Creek Rd
  • Improve timber stand and create fire mitigation (shaded fuel breaks)
  • Tell the rich history of Santa Cruz county, the Ohlone people and the costal redwood forests
  • Create a built environment in service to the ecological and cultural “sense of place”

Next Project


Operating Sold