Sandhills Exploration

sandhills tour hikeSanta Cruz Sandhills Exploration is an outdoor, experiential program for seventh graders that covers both scientific and historical concepts in an active, hands-on format led by trained docents of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History’s Docent Program. This program investigates the unique characteristics of the Santa Cruz Sandhills habitat, including geologic history, biological significance, and the effects of human use over time.


The program includes a classroom presentation by Museum staff, use of an educational kit, and a guided program at the Randall Morgan Sandhills Preserve in Scotts Valley.



New Schools: Suggested donation: $5/student
Returning Schools: $5/student
Free bus transportation available thanks to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

The program is funded in part with funds from the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Education Grant Program.



Students will:

  • Be able to define and recognize the unique characteristics Santa Cruz Sandhills habitat.
  • Understand how human impacts, both positive and negative, have had a great effect on the Santa Cruz Sandhills habitat.
  • Identify the 7 endemic species of the Santa Cruz Sandhills.
  • Identify common fossils of the Santa Cruz Sandhills.
  • Understand how paleontologists use fossils to piece together geologic history


sandhills program restorationLife Sciences

Grade 7: 3.1, 3.3, 3,5

Earth and Life History

Grade 7: 4.a, c, d, e, f


The Sandhills Exploration Program is offered during the school year.
Program reservations can be made starting in late August.

Book tours for the spring by calling (831) 420-6115 x13 or contacting: