EVENTS

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Guided Elephant Seal Walks, Now through March 31

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups. These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Vehicle Day use fee is $10. Cost: $7 per person + $3.99 reservation fee. For more information, call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227, or visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo. For reservations, please call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445. For a full calendar of upcoming events go to That’s My Park.


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Valley Women’s Club Annual Meeting, Mar 24, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Congress Member Anna Eshoo will be a featured speaker, along with State Senator Bill Monning, State Assembly Member Mark Stone and County Supervisor Bruce McPherson. The Annual Meeting is a potluck lunch social, featuring delightful food and friendship that also includes a look at the VWC’s current issues of concern.
Come hear from our elected officials, meet the AmeriCorps Team, and find out more about the VWC! The event is free and open to the public. At the Highlands Park Senior Center, 8500 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond. Please bring a food dish to share; beverages are provided. For childcare you must reserve by March 15th: call (831) 429-9641.


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Sustainable Coastal Communities: Challenges and Opportunities, March 26, 7 pm

The four-part dinner and discussion series focused on sustainable coastal communities, aims to call attention to the current state of our coastal ecosystems and what opportunities exist to conserve them. Each dinner focuses on a sustainability topic and features an expert on the evening’s theme, as well as a purveyor. Together, they frame the theme and speak about the opportunities for maintaining these ecosystems both locally and globally.  The March 26 dinner focuses on fisheries and welcomes Biologist John Field with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center to lead the discussion along with Ian Cole and Charles Lambert of Ocean2table, a community supported fishery in Santa Cruz. At Soif, 105 Walnut Ave.


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Santa Cruz Climate Action Network Meeting: Food Waste Workshop with Lesley O’Malley, Mar 28, 6:30 pm

Food waste is the #3 factor contributing to global warming. Learn more about this and what you can do! Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center St.


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Imagining The Farmers Market Commons, March 29, 7 – 8:30 pm

Join architect Mark Lakeman in imagining a permanent home for the beloved Farmers Market at its current location in Downtown Santa Cruz. How can that space become an improved Town Commons?  Mark Lakeman is co-founder of the City Repair Project in Portland. He has participated in the creation of over 300 new community-generated public spaces in Portland. Mark not only understands how good design contributes to building community, he understands how the community is essential to shaping the design. Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz. Tickets


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City Repair Santa Cruz Workshop, March 30, 9 am – 5 pm

Workshop leader Mark Lakeman is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. Join Mark and Santa Cruz Permaculture for an engaging workshop about urban placemaking, designing thriving, livable communities, and case studies of successful large-scale projects from places like Portland, Oregon, where Mr. Lakeman is the co-founder of the City Repair Project, and Communitecture, an architectural firm focused on community and regenerative design.
Questions addressed include: How and where do communities grow? How can growth happen while preserving the integrity of neighborhood life?
 How can placemaking address and involve those who are experiencing homelessness and houselessness in our community?
What are other added benefits we can integrate into placemaking in our cities, such as sustainable design that sequesters carbon, recharges groundwater, provides permanently affordable housing, and sustainable transportation?
 At Louden Nelson, 301 Center St.


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The Art of Nature, Opening March 30

The 30th annual exhibit of The Art of Nature, showcases Bay Area artists who bring science to life through the fine art of scientific illustration. The Art of Nature highlights the creative efforts of over 30 artists whose work illustrates science in a variety of media and a wide range of subjects, including insects, plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, and geology. From watercolor fungi to highly detailed, digital prints of buzzing bees and colorful crustaceans, this year’s show will feature wondrous organisms from almost all branches of life. See the opening for the general public on March 30, or come see the artists demonstrate their work in person on First Friday, April 5, when we grant free admission to the Museum of Natural History, 1305 East Cliff Drive.


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Free, docent-led tour of the UCSC Farm, April 7, 2 – 3:30 pm (and the first Sunday of the month through Nov)

During their tours, visitors can see first-hand how to build fertile soil and control pests, recycle yard and kitchen waste, conserve water, and encourage biodiversity. You’ll also learn about the latest research and education projects taking place at the sites. No reservations necessary; meet at the Hay Barn, adjacent to the Farm (directions). Free parking is available on weekends.


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6th Annual Climate Conference, April 11, 6:30 – 9 pm

To spark conversation and thought leadership on how research in the natural and social sciences can lead to just climate change solutions and preserve the overall environmental health and wellbeing of our planet. This year’s theme is “Climate Justice: Linking Science to Just Action” and will feature a strong focus on why and how participants can take effective action to address climate justice.
Moderated panel discussion followed by interactive speaker sessions on a variety of climate science and action topics. Sponsored by UCSC. At the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave.  Register: Here


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Arboretum Spring Plant Sale, April 13, Noon – 4 pm for the public

Run, don’t walk, to the Arboretum’s ever-popular Spring Plant Sale! Gardeners in the know can find hundreds of varieties of plants that are well-suited to the central California Coast. Featured plants are from California, Australia, and South Africa. Visit the Arboretum’s website, one week prior to the sale for a list of available plants. Curators and knowledgeable volunteers will help you choose extraordinary plants during the sale. The California Native Plant Society is also on hand with their plant selections. Yes, two giant sales in one!  New this year, Rare Plant Silent Auction, more info to be TBA. Close to Western Drive on High Street, Santa Cruz


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Coastal Wildflower Day, April 13, 10 am – 3 pm

The sixth annual Coastal Wildflower Day celebrates the native wildflowers of the San Mateo coast with activities for the whole family. Discover the beauty and special features that help plants thrive in a windy, sandy, salty environment. Events and activities include live music, dance performances, food truck, artwork, games and educational activities for youth, guided nature walks, resources to help you grow your own native plants, and a native plant sale. Event is held at Francis State Beach located at 95 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. Event free; parking is $10. Hike or bike to park for free! Heavy rain cancels. For more info and a schedule of events please visit www.CoastalWildflowerDay.org,  email HMBParksVolunteer@parks.ca.gov. call (650) 726-8814.


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Meadow Stewardship: The Very Special Coastal Prairie Ecosystems of our Region, April 18, 7 – 8:30 pm

Prairies are integral to California’s much cherished coastal landscapes. These beautiful grasslands are species rich with wildflowers and wildlife, many of which require active human stewardship in order to thrive. Dr. Grey Hayes will lead the audience on a virtual tour of California’s many types of coastal prairies. We’ll explore ancient through more recent history to understand how future generations might be able to continue to experience these grasslands. Grey will also describe the many efforts to steward these habitats in yards, parks, and even on working ranches. Dr. Grey Hayes has been caring for, restoring, studying, teaching about, and learning about Santa Cruz County’s North Coast for 30 years. Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, 1305 East Cliff Dr.


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Earth Day Santa Cruz, April 20, 11 am – 4 pm

Earth Day Santa Cruz is an annual event to raise environmental awareness; address concerns; showcase solutions; and present balanced modes of living for the wellbeing of each individual, the community, and the planet. It is a day to celebrate our natural resources and to network with the community for profit and nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies who come to share their environmental message, cause, or product. This day is to educate, motivate and activate everyone that attends. Earth Day Santa Cruz is an exciting community event offering educational information, activities for kids including an arts and crafts tent, live music and a focus on green businesses. San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz


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Climate Change Documentary: Paris to Pittsburgh, April 25, 6:30 p.m.

Temple Beth El’s Social Action Committee and the Green Team, together with the Cabrillo College Student Sustainability Council, are sponsoring a screening of Paris to Pittsburgh, a new National Geographic documentary about climate change. From coastal cities to the heartland, Americans are demanding and developing climate change solutions. As the weather becomes more deadly and destructive, they aren’t waiting for Washington to act. Learn about their incredible stories in Paris to Pittsburgh and be inspired to create change in our community.  Following the screening, former California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, 2nd District County Supervisor Zach Friend, and Director of Regeneración- Pájaro Valley Climate Action Nancy Faulstich will discuss the film and climate change actions in our state and county. For more info contact Michele and Bob Kibrick at kibrick@cruzio.com or go to FaceBook page.  Cabrillo College, Forum Lecture Hall, Room 450.  FREE


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Moss Landing Marine Laboratory Open House, April 27 & 28, 9 am – 5 pm

Come out and join us for insight into life at the marine station and get an interactive peek at what each lab is working on during this two-day event! Taking place all weekend, this special occasion is a family favorite with educational attractions and activities geared for all ages, yummy food and student-designed merchandise. As always, admission and parking are FREE! We can’t wait to see you there! Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Rd


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Exploring the San Lorenzo River Series Tour: LandScapes and Activism, April 27, 10 am – noon

Recently the #10yearchallenge has everyone sharing their photos from ten years ago and today. But how many of us are up for the #50yearchallenge? Well the San Lorenzo River is and local historian Carey Casey is capturing it in his new book LandScapes: Activism that Shaped Santa Cruz County. Learn about the history of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz from 1955 to 2005 and how transformations of the river landscape impacted the local ecology and human history. Check out old photos of the levees and surrounding downtown. During the tour, we will walk the Santa Cruz Riverwalk taking frequent breaks to take in the modern landscape and discuss how it came to be. Meet at the Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz. Sponsored by Coastal Watershed Council


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Open Streets Watsonville, June 2. Apply to Participate by May 3rd

Open Streets Watsonville will once again transform Union and Brennan Streets into a car-free, pop-up street park, and we want your business or organization to join us! This incredible event will once again close a portion of downtown Watsonville to cars so that community members can bike, walk, dance and play in the street free from traffic, as well as interact with outreach booths from dozens of local businesses and nonprofits. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity for your organization to interact with thousands of Watsonville residents! For more details and to apply, click HERE. Or email the Director.


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Natural History of Trails, May 9, 7 – 9 pm

How does a trail builder view the landscape? How does a land manager view the landscape? And what about the rivers, trees, mountains, and wildlife? What is our impact, as trail users, builders and maintainers, on their view of the landscape? Come find out and broaden your perspective at Mountain Bikers Of Santa Cruz‘s Natural History of Trails Lecture at the Santa Cruz Museum for Natural History as a part of their Naturalist Night series. 1305 East Cliff Drive


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41st Annual Cabrillo Horticulture Spring 
Mother’s Day Plant Sale, May 11, 9 am – 2 pm & May 12, 10 am – 2 pm

The largest annual college plant sale in Central California!
Over 1,000 different organic vegetable starts, perennial edible crops, annuals, bedding plants, culinary & medicinal herbs, cut flowers, natives, perennials, salvias, succulents and vines. Cabrillo Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center, 
6500 Soquel Drive (top of campus)
 Aptos, 
Click for Map 
or call (831) 479-6241