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santa barbara museum

Nearly complete: Museum backyard and Nature Club House with elevated boardwalk for increased accessibility shown.

Located just beyond the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Pavilion, the renovated and ADA-accessible museum backyard nature play area nestled in the oak woodland along Mission Creek, will open to visitors Sept. 22, daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free with paid museum admission.

The backyard has several different and engaging features:

Nature Club House: A naturalist-staffed cabin featuring touchable objects and live animal and insect interactions that also includes an ADA-accessible restroom; Boardwalk: A beautiful new elevated walkway that winds through forest and creek, making nature is accessible to all; Bio Builders Zone: Guests can build forts and create inspirational nature art, using natural materials; Create Zone: Guests are invited to explore, make mud pies, and get a little messy and in touch with the earth; Waterway: A new and much improved creek in the woods offering relaxation, exploration, and play for guests of all ages; Play Stage: Put on a show, see a live animal, or check out a museum production;

Excavate a Fossil: Guests can check out paleontologist tools from a naturalist, and help the museum reveal real fossils hidden in the rocks; Sensory Garden:  Guests can enjoy a sensory experience with local plants; Eyes in the Sky Aviary: Home to seven rehabilitated raptors – Max the great horned owl, Ivan the red-tailed hawk, Kisa the peregrine falcon, Athena the barn owl, Puku the western screech owl, and Kachina and Kanati the American kestrels. Eyes in the Sky is Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s key wildlife education program featuring birds of prey that can no longer survive in the wild.

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This report was compiled by Lisa André. You can reach her at Follow her on Twitter @LAndréSYVNews