WALK A GIANT STAIRCASE tells the story of Jug Handle Ecological Staircase on California’s northern coast, an area that literally rose out of the sea in five “steps” over 500,000 years. The film shows how water, wind, and upheavals of the earth’s crust sculpted the steps, each 100,000 years older and 100 feet higher than the step below it. The succession of diverse plant and animal communities along the staircase makes it a living model of the intricate, evolving relationships that life creates to survive and thrive. Audiences will “climb” the staircase from the tide pools to the grassland to the pine/fir forest to the redwood forest, and finally to the pygmy forest, home of some of the oldest soils on earth.

Weaving through the land’s story is the story of a group of ordinary citizens with extraordinary vision who worked tirelessly to save this ecological treasure, unique in the northern hemisphere, from destruction and to ensure its future as a state reserve. These visionaries also began a nature education center at a century-old farmhouse adjacent to the staircase so others, especially children, might experience the magic that is Jug Handle.

Full of the beauty and wisdom of the staircase and the joy of its people, WALK A GIANT STAIRCASE tells both a timeless tale and one especially inspiring for our era.

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