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December 10, 2023

News Briefs | Published Oct. 27, 2023

Annual Holiday Gift Shop opens Nov. 1

The Annual Holiday Gift Shop at Valley Churches United in Ben Lomond opens Nov. 1. The gift shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-4pm. 

Amazingly talented volunteers have created an exquisite display, making this year’s gift shop an exceptional holiday shopping experience. New toys, vintage items, Christmas decorations, puzzles, household items and much more can be found at very reasonable prices.

All proceeds from the gift shop support Valley Churches United’s nonprofit year-round food pantry. The Gift Shop is located in the heart of Ben Lomond at 9400 Highway 9.

For more information, call 831-336-8258.

Countywide anti-litter campaign places signs in high-traffic locations

Pitch in Santa Cruz County has announced the launch of a countywide, multi-jurisdictional public awareness campaign to reduce litter and keep debris out of Santa Cruz County’s public spaces, including forests, beaches and parks.

METRO Santa Cruz and the County of Santa Cruz have installed dozens of awareness signs at high-traffic locations throughout the county, such as METRO stops, parks and beach access points, including iconic locations such as The Hook, The Point, Moran Lake, Twin Lakes State Beach, Pinto Lake County Park, Quail Hollow County Park and Anna Jean Cummings County Park.

A total of 120 signs have been installed so far, and The Trash Talkers’ Pitch In Santa Cruz County Initiative is working with other local jurisdictions to expand the campaign countywide.

The broad-based coalition is focused on engaging local agencies and businesses to help raise awareness for litter prevention efforts while building a grassroots community effort to clean up county watersheds, beaches, riparian areas, transportation corridors, agricultural land, abandoned encampments and more.

“Without a doubt, Santa Cruz County is the most beautiful in California,” said Trash Talkers lead organizer Sally-Christine Rodgers. “Unfortunately, too often this beauty is marred by illegal dumping, debris, overflowing trash receptacles, litter and more. This not only impacts our environment and marine life, it impacts everyone’s quality of life. Pitch In is a community-wide effort to make sure Santa Cruz County is the cleanest in the state.”

The Pitch In signs are intended to remind visitors to local parks and beaches of the importance of proper litter disposal. To volunteer or learn more about Pitch In Santa Cruz County or the effort to reduce litter throughout the community, visit pitchinsantacruz.org.

Famous mastodon tooth on display at Museum of Natural History

A mastodon tooth that made world headlines in June is on display in a special exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, 1305 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.

“Underground: Unearthing Unseen Worlds” offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore a hidden ecosystem teeming with life, past and present. Since its very brief exhibition in June, the tooth has been undergoing conservation in collaboration with California State Parks.

“We’re excited to bring the tooth back on exhibit for a short period so that people can learn more about the conservation process and what it takes to care for fossil specimens,” said museum Collections Manager Kathleen Aston. 

Winter storms likely unearthed this important ice age specimen, and fossils, much like layers of the earth, help to tell the story of the planet’s long history. In addition to exploring deep time and geologic processes, this exhibit also examines the array of life that makes its home in the underground, from microscopic fungi to large mammals, according to the museum.

The exhibit continues through Nov. 12. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 4pm, and Saturday, Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

Learn more about the exhibit at tinyurl.com/4rtuz46h.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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