16055 Sanborn Road
Saratoga, CA 95070
Open All Year
by appointment only
Nestled within Sanborn County Park in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, YSI's Sanborn Science and Nature Center has been open to the public since 1982. Aubrey Creek flows year-round through this magnificent redwood setting. The waterway hosts many types of habitats found within the surrounding landscape: redwood forest, chaparral, oak woodland, and riparian. The famous San Andreas Fault also runs directly through the Park, behind the historic Dyer House, which YSI calls home.
Constructed as a family retreat, the H.P. Dyer House is a registered historic landmark with a rich Santa Clara Valley history, which YSI leases from Santa Clara County Parks. It was built circa 1915 for retired engineer and sugar manufacturing executive Harold Parker Dyer. The sale of a 500-acre portion of the Dyer Family estate in the 1960s to the County of Santa Clara was the foundation of Sanborn County Park, which now occupies over 3,688 acres.
YSI Science and Nature Center exhibits include animal mounts that populate the Santa Cruz Mountain Range, earthquake and geology displays, and an organic garden, featuring both regional plants and those used by Native Americans. The Historic Dyer house, organic garden and surrounding redwood park provide the perfect contextual setting and a "sense of place" for some of YSI's most popular school programs, including Ohlone Indians (grades 3-6), Pioneer Organic Garden (grades K-6), Five Senses Nature Walk (grades Pre-K—2), and Discovery Nature Walk (grades 3-8).
Additional family programming is held throughout the year, including Family Science Safaris. A popular highlight of the Sanborn Science and Nature Center is YSI's annual "Insect Fair Week" held each May. A special week of Insect Fair programs for school classes features the YSI "Insect Zoo," along with a public Insect Fair for families on Saturday. Please see our School and Group Program and Science Safari web pages for more information on Sanborn programs.