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History & Mission

Our mission is to inspire appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural environment and wildlife through discovery and learning.

In October 2022, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and the Thornton W. Burgess Society/Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen united under the Museum's banner.

This coalition encompasses nature centers stretching from Sandwich to the outer Cape. We have preserved the unique identities of each organization, fostering a shared mission and unified vision. Our goal is to expand, enrich, and integrate programs across both our East Sandwich and Brewster

With a focus on achieving a balanced operating budget and ensuring financial stability for the future, the mission of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is to inspire appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of our natural environment and wildlife through discovery and learning. Additionally, the Museums will preserve and promote the legacies of naturalists and conservationists, Thornton W. Burgess and John Hay.

Co-founded by author John Hay in early 1954, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster offers a diverse array of year-round programs and exhibits aligned with the organizations' mission. Hay, renowned author of 18 books, is recognized as one of America's top nature writers, alongside Thornton W. Burgess, known for over 170 children's books including "Old Mother Westwind" and "The Adventures of Peter Cottontail." Burgess, a native of Sandwich, played a significant role in the early 20th-century conservation movement. Through platforms like his Radio Nature League program, he advocated for bird and wildlife sanctuaries, supported legislation protecting migratory birds, and advanced the work of esteemed scientists and researchers.

This merger ensures the continuation of successful programs and exhibits from both organizations, including the historic Green Briar Jam Kitchen. The Museum will offer a diverse array of engaging activities for children and adults, such as high-quality programs, classes, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films, walks, field trips, traditions, and interactive exhibits. Through these endeavors, we will highlight the multifaceted nature of the natural world and the reciprocal impacts between humans and nature.

Additionally, we are committed to nurturing citizen scientists and amateur naturalists, drawing inspiration from our esteemed authors and conservationists. Moreover, we will embrace the concept of biomimicry, seeking insights from nature's solutions to address challenges in the 21stCentury.