Providing you are curious about the local history and nature of the Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz in particular, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is a right place for you. This museum has been existed for over a hundred of years focusing on the collection of information about the flora and fauna of the region as well as the human communities residing in the area between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay. Since this is an excellent place to learn more about the region, let’s look at the exhibitions and programmes currently available at the museum.
Permanent exhibitions at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
There are several exhibitions displayed at the Museum of Natural History on a permanent basis. Some of them are highlighting the natural ecosystems of Santa Cruz as well as the diversity of creatures which can be found in this area, whereas the central exhibit is dedicated to the native tribe of Santa Cruz known as the Ohlone people residing in this region before the period of the Mission.
Native Peoples of Santa Cruz
If you are interested in the culture and lifestyle of the endogenous people of North America, you will be definitely interested in the Native Peoples of Santa Cruz exhibition.
The team of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History have managed to collect some important artifacts of the Ohlone people as well as other items related to their lives which was actually not an easy task to complete since this community of native Americans had a semi-nomadic lifestyle. As a result, a very few items were left after them.
Today, the exhibition presents examples of the beadwork and basketry of the people of the Ohlone tribe as well as other items and the images illustrating their life and traditions. Note that the artifacts created by the Ohlone people are rather rare, so, you will hardly find another museum displaying such a collection.
Children will be certainly interested in trying grinding acorns with the real pestles and mortar available in the museum. These elements of the exhibition have their own meaning since acorns were a major source of food for the Ohlone people.
The Santa Cruz Naturalist Exhibit
The Santa Cruz Naturalist Exhibit is a very peculiar exhibition since the majority of its items are located in a special touch pool simulating the ecosystem of Santa Cruz. Here, you can learn a lot about many of the residents of the rocky shores of Santa Cruz. Many shore birds and marine creatures are also displayed.
Take the shells you have found on the beaches of Santa Cruz with you and you will be able to identify them with the help of numerous examples of shells available at the exhibition.
Exhibits of the Santa Cruz ecosystems
On the premises of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, one can find multiple exhibits of the wild life of Santa Cruz. Here, you can meet many residents of Santa Cruz including mammals, insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
For instance, one of the greatest items displayed at this exhibition is a working hive of honeybees allowing the visitors of the museums to get the insights of the life of these amazing industrious insects. Other crucial species presented to the public at the museum are banana slugs, monarchs, a golden eagle, owls, hawks, calls, nests, song birds, hummingbirds and California quails.
There are also coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, mountain lions and bobcats. Don’t forget to visit brush rabbits and jack rabbits.
Temporary exhibitions at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
You also have a chance to see temporary exhibitions at the museum that are changed regularly. You should check the programme of the museum often in order to keep a track of the even held here.
At the moment, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is displaying a unique exhibition dedicated to science, nature, flora and fauna as well as to the visual art. The Art of Nature is an exclusive exhibit of the works of the artists working as scientific illustrators depicting our world in all its details. The list of the artists presenting their works at the exhibition is very long, including the following creators: Yvonne Byers, Andrea Dingeldein, Ashley Ersepke, Vance Lawry, Victoria Galitzine, Becca Hoskins, Ben Witzke, Terra Dawson, Tina Curiel, Julia Beery, Krista Anandakuttan, Janina Arianna Larenas, Jean Witzke, Jeanne Rosen Sofen and many others.
Don’t forget to check the gift shop of the museum which will be offering stickers, cards and prints created by the artists participating in the exhibition.