I want to put in a plug for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History , for those of you in Santa Cruz or visiting here. It’s a tiny museum, but amazingly full. The current exhibit is called: Bones:An Inside Look at Nature. It shows how bones are adapted for the various ways of life of different animals. There is also a large fossil from an ancient whale, which was discovered recently in the cliffs along East Cliff Drive (right down the street from us) during the cliff stabilization project. Soon there will be docent-led tours of the exhibit available for school groups.
In the last three months, I trained as a museum docent and have been leading school tours about the Ohlone Indians. Ohlone are a group of tribes with related languages who lived along the Central California coast not that long ago. (And some of their descendants still do). They were here for 6,000 to 10,000 years, but within twenty five years of the first Spanish land expedition in 1769, their way of life was nearly gone. It boggles my mind how fast things have changed in only the past 250 years, relative to the previous thousands.
Other docent-led tours available through the Museum include tours about the animals of this area and tours of the Neary Lagoon nature preserve. Soon to come will be tours of the Scotts Valley sand hills, where several species of plants and animals are found that exist only in that area.
The Museum, often known to kids as the “whale museum” because of the life-sized sculpture of a gray whale in front, is a wonderful resource in our community.