Santa Maria Natural History Museum marks 23rd Earth Day celebration | Local News

Over 100 people turned out for the Santa Maria Natural History Museum‘s 23rd annual Earth Day celebration Sunday to raise awareness for ecological causes and learn about what they can do for the environment at home.

Held outside the Natural History Museum, 412 S. McClelland St., attendees participated in arts and crafts, feasted on tacos and interacted with zoo animals. 

“It took so much hard work from so many people,” said Judy Garrett, museum board president. “It’s true what they say, ‘it takes a village,’ and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of our volunteers.”

One of the event’s biggest features was Zoo to You, a live-animal education program run by the Conservation Ambassadors, a Paso Robles nonprofit and rescue zoo. The display featured presentations that involved porcupines, birds and even an 86-pound python named Julias Squeesar.

“It was wonderful. Some of the kids were so interested in the animals,” Garrett said.

The free event was themed “Transforming Your Yard,” and featured a presentation from biologist David Kisner focused on zero-scaping and other techniques to reduce your yard’s impact on the environment.

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The event included an award presentation for Susan Tuttle for her work as a naturalist with the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department at Los Flores Ranch. Santa Maria City Councilwoman Gloria Soto also conducted a demonstration on how to compost.

“She did a wonderful job explaining it,” Garrett said. “I think people got a lot out of it.”

Also at the museum were arts and crafts stations, where children made bird feeders out of pine cones, among other crafts. La Oaxaquena food truck sold tacos out front.

It was the 23rd year of the museum’s Earth Day celebrations, only missing 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Santa Maria Natural History Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

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