Nature celebration at Sierra College Natural History Museum

Event set for May 4
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From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, the Sierra College Natural History Museum and California Native Plant Society will come together to celebrate nature.

The California Native Plant Society will host its annual native plant sale. Admission to the sale is free. The museum will host lectures, tours and activities as part of its “In Celebration of Nature” event. Admission to museum events is $5 for adults and $3 for children.


California Native Plant Society Plant Sale and Wildflower Show

Open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 (sale opens to CNPS members at 8:30 a.m. Attendees can become members at the event.).

The Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will host its annual plant sale. Known for having one of the widest selection of California native plants, the plant sale will include Cornflower Farms from Elk Grove, High Ranch Nursery and Sierra View Nursery from Loomis, Floral Native Nursery from Chico, Native Springs Nursery from Durham, grower Steve Doty from El Dorado Hills and many other nurseries from around the state. A list of plants can be found on the Redbud Chapter Website at The sale will also include wildflower seeds, books, posters and cards, an informational booth with educational displays and a tea tasting featuring teas made from various native plants. The wildflower show will display more than 150 types of flowering plants.


Museum events

“In Celebration of Nature” will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Lectures (times to be determined)

Karin Kaufman, co-author of “Living Wild,” will lecture on “Landscaping with Native Plants” Kaufman is a landscape architect who creates environmentally friendly designs that incorporate the use of renewable and recycled materials and storm-water management techniques.

Nancy Graham, owner of Far West Bulb Farm, will present a lecture on “California Bulb Plants,” or Chet Blackburn, president of the California Native Plant Society, will give a lecture entitled “An I-5 Safari.” This talk will take an imaginary safari through the Great Central Valley following the path of Interstate 5 before the arrival of Europeans 200 years ago.

Joe Medeiros, professor emeritus of biology and editor-in-chief of the Sierra College Press, will give a talk entitled “Biodiversity – Not Just for Tree-Huggers.” This talk will be a tour of biological diversity and the kingdoms of life. Who they are and what good are they? The talk will include an illustrated selection of the major groups of life and why they are important to us and all the creatures of the Earth.

Jim Wilson, retired Sierra College staffer and an original Natural History staff member, will present a lecture on the native plant diversity of California.


Activities (all activities will occur throughout the day, unless otherwise specified)

Tours of the Rock Walk, led by Sierra College Professor Dick Hilton, will be available at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Nature trail tours will also be available led by Joe Medeiros or Jim Wilson, who helped install the nature trail, at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

The Natural History Museum will host art show and sale. This photographic exhibit, “Out the Backdoor, Images from California,” features artwork from Sierra College faculty and staff. Photographs will be available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will support the Natural History Museum.

Kenneth Myatt will present demonstrations of how to make pigments and binder into pastels that can be used for drawing all from materials that can be found locally. These pigments have been used for cave paintings through to the present. Participants will then be able to use these pigments to make their own drawings. Demonstrations will be scheduled throughout the day.

See a display of “Nature of the Past” by viewing the extensive fossil collection.

Ever wonder what you can find in a stream? Join docents as they peer into the world of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Come face to face with a voracious predator under 1-inch long. See some of the organisms that can tell scientists if a stream is healthy or not.

Learn about the parts of a flower. Dissect a flower and see what makes it the perfect vessel for attracting a pollinator.

Figure out what trees made different sections of wood. Prizes will be available while they last.

Make leaf rubbings of the different plants provided to create a leaf journal, or create a leaf bookmark.

Scientists often use tracks and scat to identify the animals that have passed by an area. See if you can figure out who made these tracks and scat. If you can identify them correctly, you will be able to make a plaster cast of that track.