Humboldt Coastal Nature Center
The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center is unique in our region. Its location makes it a public gateway to over 1000 acres of coastal lands, and its facilities and programming make it the only center on California’s North Coast where people of all ages and abilities experience and learn about all the diverse habitats of the Humboldt Bay area. The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center’s exhibits, trails and programs combine experiential education, conservation-minded recreational access, and hands-on restoration activities to increase public understanding of local coastal environments and to inspire community-driven stewardship of these fragile resources.
The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center is an undertaking of Friends of the Dunes, a local not-for-profit that conserves the natural diversity of coastal environments through community-supported education and stewardship programs. Friends of the Dunes purchased the unique structure known locally as the “Stamps House” and the first 38 acres from the Stamps family in 2007. Now totaling 113 acres, the property bridges the gap between adjacent public tracts, linking coastal lands managed for resource conservation and public access.
Friends of the Dunes began renovation of the building into a public Nature Center in 2010, thanks to support from community donors, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board. In July of 2011, the first phase of renovations was completed and the Nature Center building was opened to the public. The Nature Center is in the process of becoming LEED-certified and will include interpretive information on green building and design practices.
Trails and restrooms are open during daylight hours. Initially, the interpretive center will be open to the public 10am-4pm on Saturdays, and during weekdays when staff is present (generally Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm). Hours may be subject to change and visitors are encouraged to call or check the website in advance of a visit. The newly renovated facility includes:
- New Nature Center that preserve the original structure’s architectural elements;
- Public restrooms that incorporate green building features such as low-flow water fixtures, solar hot water and radiant heat, passive venting, natural lighting, and finishes made of recycled materials;
- Public spaces for exhibits and programs focused on conserving coastal habitats;
- Accessible parking;
- Living Roof planting with native dune plants.
The Nature Center continues to be a work in progress and its continued development depends of community support. Future plans for the site include the creation of a resource library, interactive exhibit galleries, gift shop, renovated cupola, kitchen, and two ADA accessible trails.