A blue and hot pink graphic stands in the middle of an urban garden

Roy A. Anderson Blackbird Exhibit & Garden

When visiting the Science Center, your science exploration begins as soon as you arrive. Surrounding the parking structure, you'll find gardens and exhibits that invite you to take a closer look at the ecosystems found around Southern California.

  • Saguaro desert


    Desert plants have adaptations that help them live without much water. Many are adapted to survive desert heat too. Explore the desert areas of the garden to discover their amazing adaptations!

  • The Los Angeles skyline, with palm trees in the foreground


    When people move into cities, they often bring plants with them. Find out how people change a landscape, but can also make choices to use native plants in gardens to help preserve California's amazing biodiversity.

  • Dark green and brown shrubs cover rolling mountainsides in this California chaparral landscape, under a pale blue, cloudless sky.


    Learn about these special plant community that surround Los Angeles, and discover how plants and animals in the shrublands have special adaptations that help them survive—and even thrive—after fire.

  • Rolling hills covered with different species of grasses


    Grasslands aren't just grass. They hold a huge diversity of plant species and provide homes for lots of animals too.

  • A lone oak tree covered in tiny green leaves stands next to a tan, gravelly path, with a green, shrub-covered hill behind it. A bright blue sky accented with large, fluffy white clouds fills the background.

    Oak woodlands

    Find out how oak trees and acorns provide food and shelter for lots of animals, and yet still manage to grow new generations.

  • Two people walk along a shady forest path in the Santa Monica Mountains.


    Forests support layers of life, from the nutrient-absorbing roots of trees up to their leafy canopies. Plants that need less light thrive in the trees' shade. Forests make good homes for animals and fungi too.

  • A close-up of the head and torso of a western fence lizard, showing a pattern of dark and light brown scales.


    Our garden has some very special residents—western fence lizards! See if you can spot one on your next visit!

  • Two coyotes wander in short, dry, yellow grass, with shrubs and clumps of trees in the background.

    Naturalist's stop

    Get some tips on how to discover what kinds of animals and plants are around you on your next hike.

  • A silvery titanium A-12 Blackbird jet perches over a winding garden path outside the California Science Center.

    A-12 Blackbird

    Examine a totally unique 'bird that roosts in the garden—the A-12 Blackbird trainer, the only one of its kind in the world.