00 days
00 hr
00 min
00 sec

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Organization Mission

Connecting people with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world.

For more than 118 years, The Museum has highlighted our region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities from the shoreline of Monterey Bay to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We serve schools countywide at no charge, and also provide public programs for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

The Big Idea 2024:
The Earth Stewards Project

The Museum’s Earth Stewards Project (ESP) provides opportunities for high school students to fulfill community service learning in nature, to connect with adults invested in their success, to be of service, and to be outdoors.

Students’ perspectives are transformed as we guide them to explore options for careers in nature and science. They learn skills that foster environmental stewardship and lifelong learning. Teens also build relationships with regional environmental and land management organizations needing volunteers, interns, and employees.

In 2023, students served 18 locations countywide, building and maintaining trails, planting 28 species of plants, removing invasive species, removing trash from shorelines, adding mulch and more.

Past program participants express that ESP positively impacted their final years of primary education and has led to career paths, while their work benefits our communities and the planet.

I really enjoyed the program a lot, even though I joined it a bit late, it showed me new things that I have never done.

El Nido High School Student