Linda Bailey: Business Partner

Linda Bailey, Business PartnerLinda Bailey knows the real value of her neighborhood.

A leading real estate broker in Seabright, the Museum’s neighborhood in Santa Cruz, Linda believes strongly in reinvesting in the community where she lives and works. That’s why she joined the Museum’s Business Partnership Program, opting to donate a portion of the proceeds from each real estate transaction she closes in Seabright back to the Museum.

“This is such a jewel for our neighborhood—a wonderful place to bring your children, learn more about the nature around you, and gather with your friends and family members,” Linda said. “Seabright just wouldn’t be as special as it is without the Museum. I am happy to support their efforts, and urge my clients and friends to join as Members.”

Linda was the primary sponsor of the Museum’s Summer Kick-Off Festival in June and also supported our celebration in April of “Santa Cruz’s Seabright,” an Arcadia Publishing book about the neighborhood’s history. Proceeds from the book benefit the Museum. Linda works at Vanguard Realtors, which supported The Art of Nature exhibit, also in April.

Read more about Linda and the Business Partnership Program.

December 2017: Giving the Gift of Membership

Beachcombers studying a tidepool

Group of adults in the museumAs you set out to find the perfect gift for friends, colleagues and loved ones this holiday season, consider giving the gift of membership to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. While there are many benefits associated with membership, the real value is the sense of community and pride in the Museum that comes with being part of our family.

We are proud to have more than 625 Members, a number that has grown nearly 20 percent since 2016. Memberships help the Museum provide education programs for more than 10,500 K-12 students, as well as family events, camps, dynamic exhibits and preservation of our natural history collections.

All Museum Members enjoy free year-round admission, discounts on Museum programs and merchandise, and invitations to Members-only previews and special events. These include opening night celebrations for The Art of Nature annual scientific illustration exhibit and special temporary exhibits like the current Rocks and Waves featuring historic photographs of natural arches as curated by Frank Perry. We also offer great free programs for Members, such as the recent tidepooling excursion Education Manager Felicia Van Stolk led along the North Coast for Family level and above Members.

We have structured our membership menu to fit a variety of lifestyles and income levels—from $15 annual for Students and Seniors, to $35 for Individuals, $50 for Families, and $100 for Friends. The Friends level and above includes enrollment in the ASTC Passport Program that grants free admission to other participating science centers and museums nationwide.

The Museum also offers Club level memberships, from $250 to $1,000 annually, which include invitations to exclusive events, such as a personal curator walk-through with Frank Perry for Rocks and Waves, and a special From the Vaults: Laura’s Legacy event exploring our foundational collection coming this January.

If someone you know is inspired by the natural world, I hope you’ll consider visiting our membership page to gift them a Museum membership for 2018. We look forward to seeing them—and you—at the Museum very soon. Everyone here at the Museum wishes you the happiest of holidays!

Thank you,
Heather Moffat McCoy
Executive Director

Creating Connections Through Place-Based Learning

Group of students on an observation platformGroup of students on a nature walk in the hills

In advancing our mission, we strive to anchor all of our educational programs to nature. One great way is to lead the activities themselves in the natural world. Through place-based learning, our audiences are immersed in the content itself. Our school programs at Neary Lagoon and Pogonip are great examples. These terrific partnership programs with the City of Santa Cruz engage students in the natural world through real experiences in our own community’s open spaces. On these trips, important classroom concepts come alive for students, through direct and meaningful engagement in nature.

We also offer a variety of public programs anchored in nature, including our guided walks in local open spaces, our nature sketching classes and our DIY outdoor workshops. This month, we have several nature-based opportunities designed to build better understanding and appreciation of our local wonders.

On Nov. 11, Elise Knittle, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, will lead a walk called “History in the Rocks: A Guided Hike of UCSC.” Professor Knittle will help us explore the geology of the campus and greater Santa Cruz area — geology that tells a fascinating story about the landscape and its relationship to the ocean hundreds of millions of years ago.

Just a week later, on Nov. 18, Kate Jaffe, a natural history and wilderness self-reliance youth educator in Santa Cruz, will join fellow artist Kris Nardello in leading a Natural Dye Workshop in the Museum’s garden. The workshop will demonstrate how to use plants, minerals and other materials from nature to dye fabric and make beautiful garments.

And for Family-level and above Members, Education Director Felicia Van Stolk will lead a special tide pool walk at Bean Hollow in Pescadero this Saturday, Nov. 4. It will be a fun opportunity to learn about intertidal life in its natural habitat, right at the edge of the Bay.

I hope that you will join us for one — or all! — of these upcoming learning adventures. Each will provide an interesting new way to examine the world around us.

Thank you,

Heather Moffat McCoy
Executive Director

Maura Connolly: Volunteer Coordinator

Maura Connolly, Volunteer CoordinatorMaura Connolly is the newest member of the Museum team. She started in September 2017 as our Volunteer Coordinator.

A native of Boston, Maura attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina before joining AmeriCorps. Her first assignment was in Tennessee, performing education and outreach about recycling for a county government.

AmeriCorps led her next to California, where she spent a year working as the volunteer coordinator for the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and later two nonprofit organizations.

Maura likes working with volunteers because of their commitment to the community.

“I like that they are willing to show up and contribute to the community, and that this is how they choose to spend their time,” Maura said. “I love getting to know them as individuals and learn from their experience and knowledge.”

Maura said she is especially glad to be working in Santa Cruz because of the natural beauty surrounding it.

“It’s the reason I came to California—I wanted to be close to nature” she said. “I love the beach and am blessed to be among the redwoods. Living and working here have totally inspired me to share my new knowledge with our visitors and volunteers.”