In photo (from left to right): Woody Smeck, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks superintendent; Suzanne Bianco, project leader, director of Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kay Hutmacher, project landscape architect, Sierra Designs Inc.; Terry Ommen, Tulare County historian; Kevin McCusker, California Water Service community affairs specialist.
It all started 82 years ago when, in 1936, Guy Hopping of Three Rivers, then-superintendent of General Grant National Park (renamed and enlarged four years later to become Kings Canyon National Park), joined with Visalia postmaster Nathan Levy to plant two three-year-old Sequoiadendron giganteum trees. Those trees, which were grown from seeds the size of a grain of oatmeal, came from the Grant Grove area.
Today, one of those trees remains: a giant sequoia that, although still in its infancy, is taller than a four-story building. The 82-year-old tree is now the focal point of a new public display in Visalia that was dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, April 28, and provides exhibits about the Big Trees and other information on the region.
This outdoor learning space is located adjacent to the Downtown Visalia Post Office at the corner Acequia Avenue and Locust Street.