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A sandy single-track trail disappears into low flowering plants with the tops of pines peeking up in the distance, by Orenda Randuch

Santa Cruz Sandhills

Among redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains you can find a habitat so rare it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world: the Santa Cruz sandhills. Species uniquely adapted to its soil cling to their disappearing habitat long interwoven with redwoods. And you could be their best hope for survival. Explore the ancient rarities of sandhills and redwoods through the lens of photographer Orenda Randuch and learn more about the species and how you can help.

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Lupine blossoms, deep royal blue on the bottom and white on top, amidst spring green grasses, fill the frame, by Orenda Randuch

Beyond the Bloom: Superblooms in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Our resident biologist and natural resource manager Beatrix Jiménez-Helsley takes us on a photo essay into the rarer side of the superbloom and why its waning in some habitats and just getting started in others—a phenomenon that just may be the saving grace for redwoods and the species that rely on them as our climate continues to change.

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Wildflowers After Wildfire

The Santa Cruz Mountains are a rich and dynamic place with diverse habitats and landscapes rising from the shores to the ridges. In this guide you can explore three key plant communities – Santa Cruz Sandhills, Chaparral, and Redwood Forest – and the special flowers, plants, and trees to look for as fire-scarred landscapes reset and rebound. Photo by James Maughn.

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