About seven persons attended the Saturday, September 19 Coyote Point
Museum for Environmental Education field trip. Coyote Point is located
between the San Mateo Bridge and San Francisco International Airport on
the shore of San Francisco Bay. Highway 101 will take you right to the
road leading to the gate. There is a $5 per-car fee for day use, since
it is within a San Mateo County park.
This museum, although small, had quite a lot of things to see and
do especially for children ranging from toddlers to teens. This museum
specifically labeled itself an environmental museum and featured
mostly native species and exhibits pertinent to California and Bay Area
ecology. It wasn't boring (as I feared it migh be). The exhibits,
although rather plain, were informative and most applicable to
children, young adults and school groups. For a relatively small
facility this was an excellent community museum with a large pool of
excellent docents and volunteers.
The animals were very interesting and presented pretty well in somewhat
natural looking enclosures. They did the best they could considering
the limited space. The burrowing owls, the coyote, raccoons, blue
heron, honey bees and porcupine put on their respective shows for our
cameras. I expecially enjoyed the small European hedgehog probably the
cutest animal I've ever seen.
(Now I'm tempted to break California law and look into acquiring an
Once our group arrived, we dispersed throughout the facility and did
most of our shooting by ourselves. The place was big enough for a small
group to spread out and get lost in its many corners. I spent much more
time than I thought I would shooting the various animals. (Perhaps I
took a few too many exposures of the 16-year-old blue heron inside the
aviary.) I also attended one of the animal shows and watched the
charming young handlers give informative demonstrations on the
Madagascar hissing cockroach, a couple of the birds of prey and that
cute little hedgehog.
When I left, my shooting eye was hurting (like it does after every
gruelling shoot), so I figure I took many more pictures than I did at
the California Academy of Sciences the week before. They are both great
science museums, but this small museum packed a pretty big punch.
As I exited I was enthralled by the combination solar-powered hanging
garden, telephone and fish tank exhibit located just outside the front
entrance of the building. This interesting piece of green technology
used solar power to grow vegetables on an inclined vertical slab
(actually a filter) topped by solar panels. The solar array powers the
telephone and the pumps, which bring fish waste and water up into the
vegetable growing matrix/water filter to fertilize and water the
vegetables. It basically is a self-sustaining fish pond, vegetable
garden and phone booth used in remote locations or refugee camps in
Africa and other places with very little infrastructure. In short it
If you go to this museum, be sure and bring your children or grandchildren!
Admission is an affordable $7 for adults, or free the first Sunday of
the month. Teachers are admitted free with their valid teacher IDs.
In addition to the museum Coyote Point has a small swimming beach, a
very nice panoramic view of San Francisco Bay and the approach path of
the San Francisco Airport. When the winds are blowing the bay fills
with boats and you can photograph scads of wind surfers from the
beaches. There are also very nice picnic facilities in the groves of
Eucalyptus and numerous restaurants in nearby San Mateo.
© 2009 S.R. Hinrichs
||September 19, 2009
||October 20, 2009