Guadalupe Students visit The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

i Jun 18th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center


The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden is a living museum that contains gardens of several plant communities found in California. For more information about this amazing botanic garden you can visit their website here (the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden). Students participating in the Dunes Center’s Afterschool Botany program had the opportunity yo pay the garden a visit. Our group first made its way through the Manzanita Section which was full of fire resistant manzanita species. After a brief relaxing lunch in the nearby Home Demonstration Garden area, our group headed north into the Meadow Section. Here, students learned the important roles that meadows play in storing and filtering water from snow melt. They also learned that meadows host a diverse range of plant and flower species that attract reptiles, birds, and mammals. (more…)

Dunes in Bloom: Black Sage

i May 13th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

black sage banner

Common Name(s): Black Sage

Scientific Name: Salvia mellifera

Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)

Plant Type: Perennial Evergreen Shrub

Size: 3-6’ Tall and various sizes in width

Black sage is Native to Southern California and Mexico and grows between sea level and 1200 meters. Visit the Dunes Center to see this wonderful native plant in person! (more…)

Dunes in Flight: the Belted Kingfisher

i Apr 10th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

Dunes in Flight Belted Kingfisher Banner

The Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is our choice for this month’s “Dunes in Flight.” Kingfishers can be found throughout North America and have even been found in far off exotic regions like the Galapagos Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. Although they are widespread, they are not a particularly common sight. Lucky birders will most likely observe this species near bodies of fresh and brackish waters. There is a good chance of spotting this species at Oso Flaco Lake. (more…)

Coming Up at the Dunes Center: Building Bird Boxes for Western Bluebirds

i Mar 4th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

Western Bluebird Bird Box Building Banner

Building Bird Boxes for the Western Bluebird (more…)

Dunes in Flight: the Great Blue Heron

i Jan 23rd l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center


great blue heron 300x700

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is our bird of choice for this month’s “Dunes in Flight.” This heron’s range is extensive across North America, and several individuals may be spotted throughout the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex on any given day, particularly near bodies of water. They appear blue-gray with a wide black stripe over the eye. Primary flight feathers are a deep blue, while the forewing is pale or gray. Its wingspan is about 6 feet, and despite being up to 4 feet tall, it is a relatively lightweight bird at around 5 lbs.


Volunteer Spotlight: Kiersten Demmond

i Jan 22nd l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

Kiersten Demmond Photo for Jan 2015 Volunteer Spotligh

Kiersten Demmond is an exceptional member of the Dunes Center’s educational team. Kiersten is a Liberal Studies and Studio Art student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and has been working specifically on the Dunes Center’s Creative Writing program, teaching students about natural science, different mediums of art, and integrating the two disciplines in her lessons. In her spare time, Kiersten enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, and exploring new mediums of art. Kiersten has been able to pursue subjects she is passionate about through the Dunes Center’s environmental education internship.