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Whittier Fire devastates The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Whittier Fire devastates The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre

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The Whittier Fire has burned The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre, school officials reported Sunday.

A post on the Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre Facebook Page Sunday confirmed the news:

For everyone who has been following the progress of the Whittier fire, all staff of the Outdoor School have been safely evacuated.

We have, however, lost our dear animal friends in the nature center and many of the staff on site have lost most of their belongings. Please send your thoughts and prayers to those in these sad times.

The outdoor school is a place that values the balance of nature and life, and while this fire is utterly devastating, those that hold true to the magic and wonder that this place has instilled in our youth will continue to inspire for years to come. We teach respect, inspire wonder.

The camp is located at 2580 Highway 154. Only two buildings are still standing. It is a residential science camp program that caters to 5th and 6th graders throughout California. Thousands of Central Coast families have sent their children to camp there.

The Outdoor School's website says it has been the Central Coast’s premier outdoor education center since 1952., offering a residential program for 5th and 6th grade students, field trips for students from kindergarten to university, teacher in-services, and more. The school educates over 4,000 5h and 6th graders each year to facilitate the development of community and environmental stewardship through a direct, hands-on experience with nature.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to support the staff.

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