The Dunes Center is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in historic downtown Guadalupe, CA. This beautiful natural history museum celebrates and expands appreciation for the region’s natural treasures and unique history. The museum features plant and animal specimens from the dunes, interactive activities for all ages, and short documentary films that enhance understanding and connection to the natural world. It is also home to the unearthed artifacts of the Cecil B. Demille’s 1923 silent epic, The Ten Commandments. An extensive research library and archive of important elements of historical relevance to the Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Complex is house within the museum. It is an important stop for any explorer of the dunes, whether it be for its biological or historical significance.
We provide nature education programs to thousands of children each year that reinforce the importance of conserving our local dunes ecosystem. Through in-class curriculum, after school programs, museum visits and field trips, students experience hands-on natural science topics such as mammals, birds, biodiversity, botany and much more. Art programs use local ecosystems as inspiration to think creatively and test the limits of children’s imaginations. Students who experience our program expand their minds, have their own curiosity stimulated and develop an appreciation for the world around them.
Our mission is to promote the conservation and restoration of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes ecosystem through education, research, and the support of cooperative stewardship.
We achieve these goals by offering free and low cost education programs to local students through schools, community organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of America and through our interpretive center in Guadalupe, CA located on Highway 1. Our programs all help to increase public knowledge about he Dunes Complex that stretches from Pismo Beach in the north to Point Sal in the south. We also foster cooperative stewardship through our role as the Dunes Collaborative Administrator. The Dunes Collaborative is a coalition of stakeholders and includes California Department of Parks and Recreation, Oceano District, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Center for Natural Lands Management, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, the Dunes Center, and local governments. The Collaborative projects include research in the dunes, restoration projects, education programs, and many other science and visitor service based programs.