NEWBERRY SPRINGS — Pastor Charles and Gwen Patrick have a vision. They want to transform the lives of children who are living in “hostile and toxic” environments through their “Foundation for Future Generations” project.
The couple’s vision includes expanding their Newberry Springs property into a full campsite, complete with a conference center and boarding school where the lives of children can be “transformed from the inside out.”
“The goal is to place these children into a godly environment where they can learn subjects like horticulture, biology, animal husbandry, architecture, aquaponics, astronomy and construction skills,” Charles Patrick, 68, said. “We want them to have the opportunity to learn with project-based curriculum in a place where the thinking process is stimulated.”
As educators who worked in Los Angeles, Compton and Inglewood, Gwen Patrick told the Daily Press their 17.5-acre property is located on Silver Valley Road, about four miles north of the Baghdad Cafe near Interstate 15.
“The expansion of our campsite is almost complete,” Gwen Patrick said. “Phase two includes building a 10,000-square-foot conference center that would accommodate 500 students and phase three includes building a boarding school.”
Currently, the couple’s property includes two lakes, two houses, a swimming pool, animal pens and other smaller structures.
Since purchasing the property in 2012, the Patricks said they’ve hosted several groups from all over the nation and globe who want to have a “rugged camping experience.” They’ve also hosted annual summer camps for children that include lunch, activities, fun and learning.
“We even hosted a Hollywood film school who shot a movie here,” Gwen Patrick said. “We may be in the middle of the desert, but there’s life happening out here.”
Charles Patrick, who revealed the price tag of the completed project as $24 million, said he hopes to partner with several like-minded organizations and individuals who can help them get the financial ball rolling for the center.
The National Audubon Society already is partnering with the couple to expand the property’s well-fed koi lake, which has become a nesting area for nearly 1,000 tri-colored blackbirds.
A representative from the society began working with the Patricks to expand the lake into two, one for birds/koi and the other for fishing and water activities. Gwen Patrick said her first experience with a Audubon representative was quite humorous.
“We’re from the inner city and not used to people walking up to our door — especially a guy from the Audubon Society with a pair of binoculars,” Gwen Patrick said. “He said he was tracking a rare bird that kept coming into our backyard. He almost fell in the lake when he discovered there was an entire colony living back there.”
Charles Patrick said the expanded lake has catfish and he expects to stock it with trout and other varieties of fish.
The National Resource Conservation Service recently awarded the Patricks a $10,000 matching grant as they work to build green houses on the property.
The Patricks said they welcome volunteers to help build the “Dream in Newberry Springs” as they help children build a “godly and academic foundation” for life.
“We’re excited about what God has already done and what He’s doing here in Newberry Springs,” Charles Patrick said. “We’re ready to change the lives of future generations.”
The Patricks' property is located at 46979 Silver Valley Road in Newberry Springs. For more information or to donate, visit www.fffg.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.