The California Living Museum: A Living Education for Nature Conservation in Bakersfield, CA

California Living Museum (CALM) is a unique outdoor museum located in Bakersfield, California, serving as a living education center for nature conservation. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Kern River basin, CALM is home to over 80 species of native California animals, many of which are endangered or threatened.

As a leading local conservation advocate, CALM is dedicated to providing the public with an immersive learning experience on the diversity of California's ecosystems and the importance of protecting them. CALM's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship in the community by creating an interactive environment that educates and encourages public participation in ecosystem conservation.

The History of California Living Museum

The California Living Museum, originally known as the California Zoo, opened its doors to the public in 1983 with a mission to educate the public about California's ecosystems. In 1988, the museum was renamed the Bakersfield Zoo, but its focus remained on providing an educational experience that showcased the diversity of California's flora and fauna.

In 1993, the Bakersfield Zoo was restructured and became CALM, with a renewed focus on education and conservation. Since then, the museum has continued to grow and evolve into a unique facility that combines a zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum.

The Exhibits at California Living Museum

CALM's exhibits cover a vast range of California's ecosystems, including the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Central Valley, and the Pacific Ocean. Visitors are encouraged to explore the various habitats and observe the animals and plants that call them home.

Some of the most popular exhibits at CALM include the Desert Tortoise Habitat, the Bird of Prey Exhibit, the Forest Aviary, and the Reptile House. Visitors can also observe animals that are native to California, such as the California Gray Fox, the American Badger, and the Mountain Lion.

Conservation Efforts at California Living Museum

CALM's commitment to conservation extends beyond just educating the public. The museum is home to a breeding program for many endangered and threatened California species, including the California Condor and the San Joaquin Kit Fox.

CALM's staff also works extensively with other organizations to help conserve California's ecosystems. The museum has partnered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and several other conservation organizations to protect endangered species, restore habitats, and educate the public about nature conservation.

According to Nathan Arnold, the Director of CALM, \"Our programs are designed to cultivate an appreciation for the natural world, inspiring visitors to take an active role in conservation efforts and preservation of wildlife habitat.\"

Visiting California Living Museum

CALM is open all year round, with varying hours depending on the season. Admission prices for adults are $10, for children (ages 3-12) and seniors (age 65 and above) are $7, and children under 3 get in for free. CALM also offers group rates for schools and other organizations.

Visitors to CALM are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring sunscreen and water. The museum also provides guided tours for groups of 10 or more, which should be scheduled in advance.


The California Living Museum is a unique attraction in Bakersfield that offers a fun and educational experience for all ages. With its commitment to conservation and the protection of California's ecosystems, CALM is more than just a zoo or a botanical garden - it is a living education center that inspires visitors to become stewards of the environment. If you are planning a visit to Bakersfield, California, be sure to put CALM on your itinerary.

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