Campus: CSU Chico -- October 23, 2002
CSU Chico Natural History Museum to Receive $3
Million from Proposition 40
Governor Gray Davis announced Monday that he has allocated $3 million
of Proposition 40 funds to the campaign to build the Northern California
Natural History Museum at California State University, Chico.
"Our communities grow stronger when we preserve our natural and
cultural heritage," Governor Davis said. "Nowhere is that
more true or important as in the North State-one of the most environmentally
precious regions of California."
"We are very grateful to Governor Davis and the state for this
funding," said Judy Sitton, president of the Northern California
Natural History Museum 's Board of Directors, "but most importantly,
we are very encouraged by the state's recognition of the urgent need
for a museum where the children of Northern California can learn about
their priceless heritage of natural beauty and natural resources."
CSU, Chico President Manuel Esteban said, "We are proud that this
unique partnership between the university and the community of Northern
California has won the state support it richly deserves. We look forward
to lending our campus resources to the goal of educating the children
of Northern California about their natural heritage, and to inspiring
them to continue their education at the college level, wherever they
choose to attend."
Proposition 40-the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks,
and Coastal Protection Act passed last spring-includes projects promoting
conservation of California's natural and cultural resources in its scope.
Seven North State projects, including the Northern California Natural
History Museum, will receive Prop. 40 funds, the governor said, for
a total of $17.9 million.
Museum Executive Director Raymond Barnett, professor of biological sciences
at CSU, Chico, noted that the Proposition 40 funding brings the campaign
two-thirds of the way to its $9 million goal, and promises to inspire
additional donors to step forward to complete the task soon.
"With six counties in Northern California sending kids to college
at half the statewide rate, it's clear that our hard-working K-12 teachers
need a major regionwide resource to help inspire their kids and open
up the world of scientific exploration of the region that is their home,"
Barnett said. "With our central location, our campus connection
and our plans for state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, we can make
Governor Davis' Secretary of Resources, Mary Nichols, has also endorsed
the museum, writing that "Public education celebrating the value
of our natural resources is an essential component in garnering continued
support for the conservation efforts of the Resources Agency."
"The Proposition 40 funding certainly continues our fund-raising
momentum," Board President Sitton said. "We are confident
that we'll soon reach our $9 million goal, as more people learn about
the need for a museum focusing on Northern California's heritage. With
such a facility, we can contribute to educating our region's children,
and motivate them to continue their schooling at the college level and
beyond. This also invites children to learn more about the sciences."
Those interested in exploring donations to the museum can contact museum
Major Gifts Director Jessee Allread at 530-894-2848.
To be located on campus land adjacent to the Bidwell Mansion off Chico's
historic Esplanade, the 15,000-square-foot museum will emphasize a spacious,
visitor-friendly atmosphere, a fully-equipped classroom including lab
and computer facilities, a gallery for constantly-changing traveling
exhibits and permanent exhibits exploring "The Worlds of Northern
California" (the coast, valley, foothills and high mountains) and
"The Ages of Northern California" (the Mesozoic dinosaurs,
the Pleistocene mammoths and saber-toothed cats). Interactive features
and walk-through immersion habitat dioramas will engage visitors and
promote a fun, active learning and recreational experience.
The museum's Board of Directors is currently composed of 23 prominent
Northern California citizens, drawn from many parts of the region, from
Roseville to Little River to Oroville to Chico. The board has been actively
raising funds for nearly two years for the project. CSU, Chico President
Esteban has made the museum one of his top fund-raising projects, in
addition to committing the campus site for the museum.
CONTACT: Joe Wills, 530-898-4143