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FULL 8/14 Fall Creek After Fire: Exploring the CZU Burn Zone with State Parks

The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has reopened after 18 months of recovery work in the wake of the CZU Lightning Complex fires — and we want to share it with you. Join us for a series of guided tours of the burn zone in partnership with California State Parks and the Mountain Parks Foundation. We’ll explore how the landscape has responded to fire, from redwood trees to wildflowers, and banana slugs to birds, as well as share how community members can help monitor the fire’s impacts.

Sunday, August 14, 2022
10 a.m. to noon
Location details shared upon registration. Free.

This program has reached capacity. Email events@santacruzmuseum.org to be added to a waitlist.

This series is part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project. We will spend time learning about iNaturalist during the walks so that participants may help us track how landscapes respond to fire. Get started using iNaturalist. Walks will be led by Dylan McManus, State Park PI Interpreter I, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Sign Up For Other Walk Dates

March 20, 2022

April 17, 2022

May 15, 2022

June 19, 2022

July 10, 2022

August 14, 2022


Watch the recording of our April 14 talk from Tim Hyland, A Landscape Built to Burn

Accessibility and COVID protocol

  • Participants should be prepared to walk up to 2 miles on moderate terrain.
  • Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Capacity is limited for this program. Please let us know if your plans change and you are no longer able to join.
  • Follow the latest guidelines for COVID safety at the time of the event.

FULL 7/10 Fall Creek After Fire: Exploring the CZU Burn Zone with State Parks

The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has reopened after 18 months of recovery work in the wake of the CZU Lightning Complex fires — and we want to share it with you. Join us for a series of guided tours of the burn zone in partnership with California State Parks and the Mountain Parks Foundation. We’ll explore how the landscape has responded to fire, from redwood trees to wildflowers, and banana slugs to birds, as well as share how community members can help monitor the fire’s impacts.

Sunday, July 10, 2022
10 a.m. to noon
Location details shared upon registration. Free.

This program has reached capacity. Email events@santacruzmuseum.org to be added to a waitlist.

This series is part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project. We will spend time learning about iNaturalist during the walks so that participants may help us track how landscapes respond to fire. Get started using iNaturalist. Walks will be led by Dylan McManus, State Park PI Interpreter I, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.


Sign Up For Other Walk Dates

March 20, 2022

April 17, 2022

May 15, 2022

June 19, 2022

July 10, 2022

August 14, 2022


Watch the recording of our April 14 talk from Tim Hyland, A Landscape Built to Burn

Accessibility and COVID protocol

  • Participants should be prepared to walk up to 2 miles on moderate terrain.
  • Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Capacity is limited for this program. Please let us know if your plans change and you are no longer able to join.
  • Follow the latest guidelines for COVID safety at the time of the event.

6/25 Summer Kick-Off Festival

Enjoy free admission to the Museum and outdoor festivities! Celebrate and learn with live animals from Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center, live music from Andy Z, food trucks, nature crafts, science activities, and more. It promises to be a day of nature-filled family fun — both out in the sunshine and within our Museum galleries.

Saturday, June 25, 2022
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Free! Drop by anytime.

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
1305 E. Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA

Supported by Santa Cruz Waves and the Seabright Neighborhood Association.

FULL 6/19 Fall Creek After Fire: Exploring the CZU Burn Zone with State Parks

The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has reopened after 18 months of recovery work in the wake of the CZU Lightning Complex fires — and we want to share it with you. Join us for a series of guided tours of the burn zone in partnership with California State Parks and the Mountain Parks Foundation. We’ll explore how the landscape has responded to fire, from redwood trees to wildflowers, and banana slugs to birds, as well as share how community members can help monitor the fire’s impacts.

Sunday, June 19, 2022
10 a.m. to noon
Location details shared upon registration. Free.

This program has reached capacity. Email events@santacruzmuseum.org to be added to a waitlist.

This series is part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project. We will spend time learning about iNaturalist during the walks so that participants may help us track how landscapes respond to fire. Get started using iNaturalist. Walks will be led by Dylan McManus, State Park PI Interpreter I, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.


Sign Up For Other Walk Dates

March 20, 2022

April 17, 2022

May 15, 2022

June 19, 2022

July 10, 2022

August 14, 2022


Watch the recording of our April 14 talk from Tim Hyland, A Landscape Built to Burn

Accessibility and COVID protocol

  • Participants should be prepared to walk up to 2 miles on moderate terrain.
  • Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Capacity is limited for this program. Please let us know if your plans change and you are no longer able to join.
  • Follow the latest guidelines for COVID safety at the time of the event.

6/17 Saturdays in the Soil

It’s time to get your hands dirty! Learn about local ecology, native plants, and sustainable gardening while coming together as a community to steward Tyrrell Park through the City’s Adopt-A-Park program.

Saturday, June 17| 10 a.m. to noon
Every third Saturday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Email volunteer@santacruzmuseum.org to RSVP

What to Expect

  • This native plant garden requires general landscaping, occasional watering, weeding, and replanting.
  • This program happens rain or shine, but we will cancel in the case of muddy conditions or inclement weather.
  • All ages are welcome; children under 14 require adult supervision.
  • Please follow latest state and local guidelines for covid safety at the time of the program.

6/15 Volunteer Orientation

Interested in building community and connecting with nature? Volunteer with the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History!  Join us for our summer Volunteer Orientation to get started. You’ll explore opportunities, learn about the Museum, and connect with fellow nature enthusiasts over snacks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
5:30-7 p.m. at the Museum
Register for more details

More about volunteering

Volunteers get access to special events, in-depth training and resources, and opportunities for growth and stewardship.

From supporting our school group visits, gardening, helping with special events, collecting data out in nature, engaging with the public at community events, or enhancing our collection records, there are plenty of ways to get involved and volunteer with the Museum. Check out all of our volunteer opportunities.

Youth under the age of 14 need a guardian present for all volunteerism. Youth who are at least 14 can volunteer independently with parental permission. Guardians are encouraged to attend the orientations.

Opportunities are available for volunteers of all abilities.

Help support our mission to help people connect with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world and join our community of volunteers!

6/11 Member Meet-Up: Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve

The Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve is an example of the unique Santa Cruz sandhills habitat and home to many of our local rare plants. It has also experienced multiple fire events since 2008, including 2020’s CZU Lightning Complex fires. June is one of the best month’s to see this incredible site in bloom.

Museum Members are invited to join our Public Programs Manager Marisa Gomez at the Reserve for our monthly Member Meet-Up series. We’ll hunt for rare plants, explore the impacts of fire on the landscape, and gather safely in community while exploring nature. We’ll also collect data as part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project.

Saturday, June 11, 2022
10 a.m. to noon

Member Benefit
Not yet a Member? Join today!

Accessibility

  • Exact meeting location details will be shared upon registration.
  • Space is limited and open to Members. We welcome you to join as a Member and attend this program.
  • Please wear sun protection, comfortable shoes, and bring any water or snacks you might need.
  • We will be walking on loose, sandy soil for up to two miles.
  • We will provide macro phone lenses to aid in your data collection for iNaturalist. Please consider downloading the app ahead of time (apple or android).
  • Please follow current state and local guidelines for COVID safety at the time of the event.

6/10 Remembering Castle Beach Member Preview (online)

Stroll back in time as you explore the history of Seabright Beach, once called Castle Beach, during this online exhibit preview for Museum Members in honor of the new exhibit, Remembering Castle Beach, opening June 11.

Executive Director Felicia Van Stolk and Collections Manager Kathleen Aston will take Members behind the scenes of the exhibit, sharing additional stories and a deeper look into the historic photographs, souvenirs, and artifacts that bring to life the heyday of the Scholl Marr Castle and look at how the nearby coastline has changed over time.

Not yet a Member? Join today!

Friday, June 10, 2022
6-7 p.m.

Free for Members

6/8 Nature Journal Studio

Nature journaling can help us view the natural world with new perspectives, learn about our surroundings, and see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

During monthly Nature Journal Studio sessions inside the Museum, Melinda Nakagawa will guide you through a topic as we practice skills in a group setting and share our learning with others. We will develop observation skills and awareness of nature, improve sketching skills, and practice strategies to bring the 3-dimensional world onto the page. Rather than an art class, nature journaling is about observation, curiosity, wonder, and honing these abilities.

While Nature Journal Studio is located in a primarily in indoor setting, focused on skills building and community, there are other opportunities for field experiences through Spark in Nature.

Wednesday, June 8 | 6:30-8 p.m.

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Free with Admission*

Sign-up for other Nature Journal Studio events.
*Free for Members and Youth under 18 | $4 General | $2 Students and Seniors

Accessibility and COVID protocol

  • All experience levels are welcome. Youth under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • You can attend one session or come each month.
  • Follow the latest guidelines for covid safety. Masks are required at all times.
  • Basic materials are provided, but feel free to bring your favorite nature journal tools.

About Melinda Nakagawa

Melinda Nakagawa is a biologist, naturalist, and educator with a passion and skill for connecting people to nature. She founded Spark in Nature to guide participants to cultivate a deeper relationship with the natural world, slowing down to nature’s pace and seeing rather than just looking at the world.

With an approach that bridges nature, art, and heart, she welcomes all people regardless of their skill level or background. Through her gentle guidance, hundreds of participants have awakened their spark of curiosity, sense of wonder, and connection to the natural world.

Melinda has partnered with local institutions such as the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History to lead educator trainings on nature journaling. She leads the Monterey Bay Nature Journal Club’s free online Sunday sessions.

She has an M.S. degree in Marine Science, and has also worked as a naturalist guide, floral designer, and wildlife rehabilitator. For the past two decades Melinda has kept nature journals and continues to learn more from nature with each journal she fills.

Nature journal examples by Melinda Nakagawa.

6/4 Family Fun with Sun Prints!

As we get closer to the summer solstice, the sun becomes higher in the sky for longer each day, making it the perfect time to play with sun prints! We’ll try out several sun print techniques using cyanotypes, shadows, and construction paper, and we’ll also play with other types of nature prints. Materials will be provided and all are welcome! Swing by Tyrrell Park outside the Museum anytime between 1-4 p.m. to make prints with our Education staff.

Saturday, June 4, 2022
1-4 p.m. (drop by anytime!)

Free | Donations appreciated

Location: Outside the Museum in Tyrrell Park
1305 E. Cliff Dr. Santa Cruz, CA