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Increase camper night by becoming a leaf spotter

Increase camper night by becoming a leaf spotter

Campground owners can increase camper nights by becoming leaf spotters.AUBURN, Calif. — Three years ago, CaliforniaFallColor.com, a weekly blog, began to coordinate the color changes throughout California each fall. Volunteer spotters are staged throughout California and report color changes to this seasonal blog. 

Each week, beginning in August through Thanksgiving, founder John Poimiroo, contacts California’s major newspapers and radio station with the latest color sightings. The Weather Channel even follows hiss posts. Travelers watch the weekly blog reports and make their plans to tour California’s Fall colors. Campground owners can put their facilities front and center by becoming a color spotter, the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds reported today.

Poimiroo lists what it takes to become a color spotter. E-mail the following to editor@californiafallcolor.com:

  • Name of person reporting
  • Location of report
  • Date of report (please current reports and photos only)
  • Description of foliage (common names are fine – aspen, birch, bigleaf maple, etc. – but make sure you’re accurate)
  • Percent change of the forest (not of an individual specimen)
    • 0 – 15 percent – Very little showing, some liming
    • 15 – 30 percent – lime to yellow, but still mostly green
    • 30 – 50 percent – some green, but mostly lime, yellow, orange or red
    • 50 -75 percent – Approaching Peak – lots of yellow, orange, red, still some green and lime
    • 75 – 100 percent – Peaking – Almost entirely changed color
    • Past peak – wind has blown leaves from most of the foliage

“All foliage is good. Not just native trees, but vineyards, orchards and nut trees. The attraction is lots of foliage of the same species changing in one place at the same time,” said Poimiroo. “If you’re reporting landscaped trees (not native), say what specie, such as Chinese pistache, gingko, liquidambar, sycamore, etc. List places with lots of trees, not just one great tree, as people plan to visit areas with great foliage.”

Campgrounds that aren’t quite ready to become a color spotter can help by re-posting or re-tweeting the weekly color reports. They can generate flyers or a webpage for local hikes and drives where color spotting is premium.

“RV parks can plant boulevards of colorful deciduous trees leading into and along the edges of RV parks. They include gingkos, Chinese pistache, liquidambar, black oak, aspen, bigleaf maple, eastern red sugar maple,” he explained. They should plant not just one tree, but many of the same species. That’s what leaf peepers want to see — big displays of fall color. 

“Campgrounds can also promote harvest festivals and fall events that celebrate seasonal color such as pumpkin festivals, wine harvest, harvest festivals, Halloween events, even early Christmas events, since our fall color is so long lasting,” said Poimiroo.

Tim Fesko, of Meadowcliff RV Resort, has been color spotting for a while. His best advice is to keep a camera handy. He also sends Poimiroo any vacation or camping specials that he offers during the fall, and the website promotes Meadowcliff’s specials along with his color sightings. Check out the blog listed under Colorful Events from Oct. 4 to see.

SOURCE: California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds press release

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report and can be reached at greg@rvdailyreport.com.

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