December 3, 2023
The San Diego Pure Historical past Museum. Photograph by Richard Benton

How time flies.

In 1874, the San Diego census recorded about 3,000 folks — just a bit bigger than the enrollment of San Diego Excessive Faculty at the moment.

That was simply 15 years after Charles Darwin printed On the  Origin of Species, and the phone hadn’t been invented but. In October of that 12 months, a gaggle of newbie naturalists got here collectively to type the San Diego Society of Pure Historical past to be a major supply of scientific tradition: discover new species, talk about technical improvements, serve a rising neighborhood longing for data, and make actual contributions to the research of this area. 

Practically 150 years later, the group now referred to as the San Diego Pure Historical past Museum — or The  Nat for brief — continues to be doing simply that. It’s now the oldest scientific establishment in Southern California and one of many longest-enduring science organizations within the western United States.

The Nat has grown from a small society of pure historical past lovers and collectors to a giant museum with greater than 8 million specimens, an lively analysis and conservation arm, spectacular packages, and award-winning exhibitions. 

In 2024, the Museum will have a good time its sesquicentennial — 150 years of learning, defending, and bringing folks nearer to nature. 

“As we plan for our 2024 occasions and celebrations, we wish to acknowledge that we’re greater than a  constructing with exhibitions,” defined Judy Gradwohl, the Christy Walton President and CEO. “We serve  the neighborhood in some ways — by way of conservation, analysis, schooling, and way more.”  

“Over time, our packages have modified however our ardour stays the identical — we wish everybody to like nature as a lot as we achieve this we will shield it for future generations. We hope the neighborhood is  excited to become involved and be a part of the most important 12 months in our historical past.” 

Nature lovers could have a lot to have a good time, because the Museum is engaged on a full calendar of occasions to commemorate this milestone. Some packages and particular presents will debut in January, with a bigger emphasis on the second half of the 12 months. Right here’s only a peek at what’s in retailer:  

Yr-Spherical Particular Affords  

Free Birthday Admission—On the event of The Nat’s a hundred and fiftieth birthday, guests will obtain free  Museum admission on one date of their alternative throughout their birthday month.  ● Merch-a-Month—The Museum will roll out one limited-edition product each month, beginning with an exquisite nature-themed artwork print designed particularly for The Nat by nationally acknowledged writer and illustrator Rachel Ignotofksy.  

Exhibitions and Occasions (Memorial Day weekend by way of late 2024)

Nature Backyard—A brand new, native plant backyard will bloom to life in early summer season 2024,  surrounding the constructing with dwelling shows that present habitat for pollinators and different wildlife. This free amenity for all Balboa Park guests is the Museum’s birthday current again to the neighborhood. 

150th Anniversary Exhibit—In October, a brand new exhibition will showcase vital moments within the group’s, and San Diego’s, historical past—significantly targeted on how nature lovers have labored tirelessly to guard the wildlife and habitats that make this area so particular.  

A brand new large display screen movie—The Museum is commissioning a particular movie for its anniversary 12 months.  Debuting in late 2024, a brand-new, 40-minute film will showcase a 12 months within the lifetime of San  Diego’s spectacular natural world.  

Planning is underway for particular Nat Talks, history-infused docent excursions, a neighborhood mural that includes nature images submitted by the general public, and events for everybody from longtime patrons to new audiences. The constructing is getting spruced up too, with up to date furnishings a brand new mural by artist Eva Struble within the Atrium, and a brand new retailer and cafe slated to open in spring 2024.  

For many who wish to keep within the learn about occasions and actions, the Museum is inviting folks to go to its web site, join e mail updates, or observe them on Instagram, Fb, or TikTok.