The mission of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is to inspire appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural environment through discovery and learning.
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History integrates the three strands of its organizational identity - as museum of natural history, nature education center, and steward of conservation land.
As a small museum of natural history, we will preserve, exhibit, and interpret our own collections of natural history artifacts and display relevant traveling and loan exhibits. We may also collaborate with local and regional organizations on co-sponsored exhibits.
As a nature education center, we will engage children and adults in high-quality programs, classes, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films, walks, field trips, traditions and interactive exhibits that reveal the many facets of the natural world and the reciprocal impacts that humans and nature exert on each other. As befits a nature education center, we will explore our potential as a center for citizen scientists and amateur naturalists, and as a forum for informed discussion of important issues related to the natural world, especially on Cape Cod.
As a steward of 400-plus acres of museum-owned land in Stony Brook Valley and Brewster conservation land adjacent to the museum, including Wing's Island, the salt marsh, and the beach along Cape Cod Bay between Quivett and Paine's Creeks, we will monitor and protect the land and focus our programming on its varied habitats - our outdoor classroom and teaching tool. Programs may also take place elsewhere on Cape Cod and in New England when appropriate.
On February 20, 1954, Kathryn Berrien, Ruth Francis Clark along with Admont Clark, Ann Thatcher, Harry Holl, John Hay and Scott Corbett met around a table and after a long brainstorming session came up with the name – Cape Cod Junior Museum and they adopted this statement of purpose:
“to encourage and enable the children of Cape Cod, and also their parents and teachers, to study the plant, animal, and marine life which abounds so profusely in this region…opening the eyes of children to their relationship with the natural world around them.”
The Museum first met at the Brewster Town Hall, then relocated to a tent on an 80-acre site on a salt marsh on Cape Cod Bay, purchased by the founders. In the early 1960s, a small building replaced the tent. Today, the Museum is housed in a 17,000 square foot building. Three hundred acres of town conservation land now border the Museum's original site.
The Museum offers collections-based exhibits, including whales and birds; live marine exhibits, educational programs for adults and children, and many off-site nature tours. Our grounds have three nature trails and a wildflower garden.