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Back to (Nature) School

Whether it’s camping, hiking, going to the beach, or attending camp, connecting with nature doesn’t have to end with summer. In fact, it’s incredibly helpful to our physical, mental, and social health to maintain our connection to nature and experience it often. We spoke with outdoor educators at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History about resources to help us feed our curiosity and connection with nature.

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Family circles of coast redwood trees, their bark gray from the 2020 CZU fire but covered in the bright green fuzz of new growth, stand tall against a bright blue sky in Big Basin State Park in 2022

Big Basin Returns

In July 2022, Big Basin re-opened its gates, and as we see our way past the two-year anniversary of the CZU fire, people are visiting once more. We talked to staff and interns about their experiences and spoke with our director of conservation about our work at the park and at a newly acquired nearby property that may well have a role in the park’s future.

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Birds and Birding in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Have you considered birding or birdwatching? Not sure how you start? We spoke to international expert birding guide Alvaro Jaramillo who shares his expertise with an introduction to birds and how to get started birding in the Santa Cruz mountains. Read on for beautiful birds, when and where to find them, and how to identify them.

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Accessibility Guide Bob Coomber 4 Wheel Bob By Ian Bornarth

Accessibility in the Santa Cruz Mountains

We are showcasing accessible trails in the Santa Cruz mountains, and we talked with Bob Coomber–the renowned hiker “4 Wheel Bob”, lifelong admirer of redwoods, and member of the State Parks Recreational Trails Commission–to discuss his experiences with accessibility and how he has overcome challenges to explore the outdoors far beyond where the paved trail ends.

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Asia Rainbow Eucalyptus By Dirk HR Spennemann

10 Trees Around the World

We’ve gathered 10 of the most interesting trees from around the world and parks where you might meet them. We hope these trees help nurture appreciation for all that they do for us, wildlife, and the planet. If you’re ready to share your appreciation for trees and want to help spread the love, join us for our Hug-a-Tree Challenge on Earth Day, April 22, 2022 where you can help establish a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the most photos of people hugging trees in one hour.

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Learn Redwoods And People Environmental Health

50 Trees in 50 States

We’ve created a list of 50 iconic trees from every state across the country along with a list of the top hikes in parks near you. If you are really excited about being in nature, join us for our first annual Hug-a-Tree Challenge on Earth Day, April 22, 2022 where you can join us as we attempt to establish a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the most photos of people hugging trees in one hour.

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A group of hikers looks up to an unseen redwood canopy in awe

Top 10 Redwood Trails 2022

If you’ve been yearning to reunite with coast redwoods or to see one for the first time, look no further. We’ve gathered trails that feature old-growth redwoods, mature second-growth redwood groves, rare dwarf redwoods, and even rarer ghost redwoods all right here in the Santa Cruz mountains. Here are our Top 10 Redwood Trails for 2022 with the best places to see redwoods now.

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Fairy Rings Redwood Canopy By Yuval Helfman Dreamstime

Redwood Fairy Rings and the Magic of Science

Do you believe in magic? Some say magic is just something science hasn’t figured out yet. But when it comes to coast redwood trees, the more science reveals about them, the more enchanting they seem. Looking beyond their incredible height and ages, to how they grow shows us the true magic of redwoods and reveals a heartwarming tale of family, interdependence, and awe.

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Fall Winter Hikes Santa Cruz Mountains

Fall and Winter Hikes 2021

If recent park closures have left you looking for new trails and places to enjoy the change of seasons this fall and winter, you’re in luck! Our staff are revealing their favorite places to go in the Santa Cruz mountains now. Happy trails to you and please recreate responsibly!

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