Nancy Lenz, champion of Pilkington Creek, is a veteran volunteer with the Museum.
After retiring to Santa Cruz from Berkeley in 1990, Nancy became connected with the Museum, which is near her home in Seabright. For several years, she did Museum publicity as a volunteer before spending countless hours in the gardens encircling the Museum.
Nancy has learned the names and Ohlone uses of plants such as beach strawberry, pink flowering currant and Indian soaproot that surround our historic building. Volunteers under her watch have recorded 1,200 hours since 2010 working on Pilkington Creek, which flanks the east side of Tyrrell Park, to remove non-native plants.
While the creek and gardens around the building are much improved, there is much more planting Nancy would like to do. “Live each day like it was your last, and garden like you’re going to live forever,” she said, quoting William Kent.
During the last several years, Nancy also has been a docent for the Ohlone Program, which teaches students about native peoples. “I like to see the kids light up and I like that moment when you realize you’re getting to the child sitting quietly in the back of the room,” she said. “That is really worthwhile.”
Anyone interested in supporting the efforts to restore Pilkington Creek, to work in the garden around the Museum or to co-lead our Ohlone Programs, please contact the Museum’s Volunteer Program Manager Chris Sulots at email@example.com.