Santa Cruz sand hills

Last weekend I had the opportunity to join a tour, sponsored by the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum, of some of the sand hill habitat in Scotts Valley. This was part of the museums Connect with Nature series and there are still three more weeks.

Before volunteering at the museum I didn’t know much about the sand hills. I think many residents of the county don’t know about them at all. They used to encompass over 6000 acres in mid-county, but have been greatly reduced due to quarrying and development. They aren’t dunes, but rather sand from an ancient sea bed that was uplifted when the mountains were formed. They contain several unique species of plants and animals, some only found in this one location. And there are other species which are normally found at higher mountain elevations or on the coast.

It’s worth getting to know about the Sand Hills at the SAND website.

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