Museum considers plans to develop new attraction
Watsonville – The Agricultural History Project (AHP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the history of agriculture on California’s Central Coast, will be asking for the public’s input over the next several months as part of a feasibility study to determine whether to add a living history farm experience near its center and museum at 2601 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.
“We’ve had this idea for nearly 30 years, so now we’d like to gauge the level of community interest and support for a living history farm,” said John Kegebein, chief executive officer of AHP.
In the first phase, AHP will hold six discussion groups to gain feedback from representatives of the agricultural community, education, tourism and other interests. Then, over the summer, a wider public opinion survey will be conducted online through the AHP website.
“We will want to know what benefits people might gain from this type of experience, for example, as a family or school activity, and what types of things they would like, such as small farm animals or farming demonstrations. When the survey is posted on our website, we want to hear what people have to say.”
Kegebein said it was the original intent of the AHP to create a living history farm when it was established in 1986 to help educate people about farm life and animals, and the history of agriculture in the Central Coast region.
Today, AHP features a museum and an extensive collection of vintage tractors, coaches, farm equipment, tools, archival photographs and displays that tell the story of the region’s agricultural heritage.
“We think an interactive living history farm experience would provide a fuller understanding of how earlier generations produced food for their table and their local communities,” Kegebein said. “But it will take local and regional support, and that’s what we hope to learn more about in this study.”
The feasibility study, funded by a grant from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, is being conducted by Jennifer Pettley Marketing Communications.
The Agricultural History Project is open every Second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and other days by appointment. For more information, visit www.aghistoryproject.org or call (831) 724-5898.