SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award

SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award title=
SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award
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Source: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History was honored on Sunday, September 29 with the award for Santa Barbara Commons/Public Open Space at the Santa Barbara Beautiful 55th Annual Awards Celebration, Pathways to Community, held at the Music Academy of the West.

The award recognizes the beauty and environmental stewardship of the Museum’s renovations along Puesta del Sol and its new ADA-compliant arrival corridor—both part of the $21 million Centennial Project completed in June 2018.

The Museum improved public access by building a pedestrian-safe, ADA-compliant and stroller-friendly arrival corridor, which guides visitors from the parking lot to the historic front entry via the Blue Whale courtyard and a walkway surrounded by geological and paleontological wonders. On the other side of the entrance, a new pedestrian path parallel to the historic Hazard Estate “stegosaurus” Scottish picket wall along Puesta del Sol provides safe access between the Museum and Mission Canyon Road, in homage to the original 1922 design.

Left to Right: Heidi Jones from Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, SBMNH President & CEO Luke J. Swetland, Susan Van Atta, SBMNH Groundskeeper Brent Flaaten, SBMNH Project Manager Barbara Barker, and Fernando Orta from Schipper Construction

“We’d like to thank Santa Barbara Beautiful for recognizing and celebrating the Museum’s transformative Centennial Project that created inviting spaces for the community. We wanted to preserve the Museum’s historic heritage while making the public spaces in front of the Museum environmentally responsible and accessible to all,” said Museum President & CEO Luke J. Swetland.

The Museum shares this award with an outstanding team of architects, contractors, and landscapers including Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, Schacht Aslani Architects, Frank Schipper Construction Company, Van Atta Associates, and Steve Hanson Landscaping, Inc.

Santa Barbara Beautiful’s 2019 award categories were adapted to meet the real and growing importance and impact of our climate and the need for environmental stewardship. For more information, visit

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Powered by Science. Inspired by Nature. Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The Museum seeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both, and prides itself on being naturally different. For more information, visit

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REX OF SB Oct 08, 2019 09:40 AM
SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award

One of the best-kept secrets in town is the Museum's Gladwin Planetarium. When my kids were younger, we'd go to the evening Planetarium presentations led by Ernie Underhay. Those shows were every bit as first-rate as those at the Griffith Observatory in LA. The Museum of Natural History is a local treasure on so many levels. I'm so glad that improvements to it have followed the Museum's original aesthetic, and there has been no rampant overbuilding. It's still the same museum that I remember from childhood, only now "mo' better."

Luvaduck Oct 07, 2019 09:25 AM
SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award

I think there is also one Sunday a month that doesn't charge admittance, and there are many schools who tour for free during school hours. Call the museum for information or to be passed to the right department to find out.

sbnature Oct 08, 2019 09:22 AM
SB Museum of Natural History Wins Santa Barbara Beautiful Award

Thanks for the shout out, Luvaduck! We strive to make our programs, exhibitions, and facilities accessible for everyone by removing barriers, delivering a welcoming and relevant experience, and providing opportunities for meaningful engagement. Our Free Admission Days are listed at and occur throughout fall, winter, and spring. Classes from schools where 50% or more of the student population receives free or reduced price meals are eligible for Museum Access Funds, which allow us to waive the fee for the educational programming we share here. However, all visiting school groups must book in advance with us, and there is a small booking fee, which allows us to organize our docents so visiting students receive the curriculum they need. Teachers can learn more at on our website. Finally, every student who attends with their school on a field trip receives a pass that allows their whole family to return with them for free! Additionally, scholarships are available for our Nature Adventures™ camps and classes, waiving up to 50% of the cost. To learn more about supporting us in making science and nature education accessible to all parts of our community, contact the Development Department at 806-682-4711 ext. 109.

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