Double Your Support to Promote a Cycle of Conservation

People of all ages learn about the wonders of nature by engaging their senses. Textbooks and lectures might work well for subjects like math, but redwood science is best understood when smelled and touched. That’s one of the reasons plans are underway to renovate and improve the Nature Museum and Research Center at Big Basin.

“We wanted to give our park visitors something to take with them as they venture into the park,” says Elizabeth Hammack, State Parks Interpreter III and museum renovation project manager. “Folks will be able to immerse themselves into the exhibits. A scene will unfold in the exhibit turning ordinary visitors into keen wildlife observers.”

Elizabeth explains that this project, already being designed, encourages visitors to assume the identity of a native park species and explore the interactive exhibits, learning about their being’s habitat, food sources, natural predators, and current chances for survival. Through this experience, visitors will discover which conditions threaten the creature’s survival, the science supporting its persistence, and what they can do to ensure its prolonged existence. The museum will also include a new Citizen Science Lab where visitors will learn about scientists who have studied and protected Big Basin for over a century along with the current science revealing new knowledge about the redwoods, wildlife, and the plants of the park. Visitors will also have an opportunity to share their own park experiences. A Wi-Fi hotspot will attract many seeking to use their personal electronic devices and will also provide them with additional interpretive information.

“Everything about this museum is geared toward inspiring visitors to care more deeply about the ecosystem of the park,” says Brenda Holmes, Mountain Parks Foundation executive director. “That way they’ll naturally want to help protect their ancient redwood forest treasures.”

But transforming park visitors into stewards of the environment won’t happen unless donors like you make it possible. The good news is that the project is already 66% funded. More good news is that every dollar donated to the project, up to $25,0000, will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to a generous matching grant from the Dean Witter Foundation.

In the spirit of this country’s very first conservationists who helped protect Big Basin in 1902, this opportunity offers a wonderful way for you to help ensure your park’s survival for years to come.