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Children’s Museum breaks ground on new outdoor play area 

Breaking Ground

Tom Martin, one of the original founders of the museum, passed away exactly ten years ago on April 2, the same day that the museum broke ground on their latest expansion: an outdoor play area. Unfortunately, Martin never saw the joy the museum brings the children in the community, as he passed away before it’s completion in 2007.

“It’s wonderful that on the day we are mourning the loss of my dad exactly 10 years ago, that we are continuing to honor his legacy and passion for the children’s museum by starting the construction of our new outdoor learning exhibit,” said Laura Martin Sherlock, Martin’s daughter and a museum board member. “I know he is extremely proud of what we have accomplished at the museum in the last 10 years and also very proud of the community support the children’s museum has received.”

The museum is currently working on plans for it’s new outside play area and will be designing and building a custom firetruck treehouse in Martin’s honor. This anchor exhibit will allow children to climb, play, and use their imaginations. The area will also be fenced to provide a safe spot for outside play, relaxation and even lunch on the museum’s new picnic tables, all under the new shade structure.

“We are celebrating Tom’s passion for children and for the community by breaking ground today on this new play area,” said Executive Director of the museum Jennifer Smith. Smith said, “We are also dedicated to conservation, and while we love our beautiful lawn, we know it’s not the right choice. We are replacing all of the museum’s turf area with landscaping that requires little or no irrigation.”

The fundraising effort is underway for this new project and a private donor has already committed to a matching fund of up to $15,000 for the tree house, meaning every donation made to the treehouse will be doubled by this fund. Overall, the project will cost about $65,000.

The museum will be recognizing each donation over $125 with a custom handprint tile or a commemorative brick and will give away a free museum membership to a family in need in the community. Sponsorships of individual areas and exhibits are also available. For more information on the project or donation options, please contact Jennifer Smith at or (805) 238-7432, or visit

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