School Program

Providing Plenty

The Natural Resources of San Mateo County

How did natural resources contribute to the growth of San Mateo County?


Visit a tule house, learn about mission outposts, and see a lumberjack’s tools as you discover Nature’s Bounty. The tour depicts the experiences of the different people who have been a part of the county’s history.

Students discover how the Ohlone, Spanish, Mexican, and American used the natural resources they found in the county to support their daily lives and to build San Francisco.

Two students view a display at Providing Plenty school program at the San Mateo County History Museum

Discover the natural resources on a Spanish mission farm.

Ohlone Activities

After the tour, students “live” the Ohlone lifestyle as they try some of the following activities:

  • Preparing an acorn meal
  • Using a pump drill to make shell beads
  • Twining cordage
  • Playing Ohlone games
  • Allergy Alert: Nuts and furs are used during program
Young girl with a pump drill at Providing Plenty school program at the San Mateo County History Museum


  • Students will be able to identify natural resources of the area used by the Ohlone, Spanish and Mexicans.
  • Students will be identify the changing use of natural resources as inhabitants moved from the Ohlone hunter‐gather lifestyle to the Spanish agrarian lifestyle.
  • Students will be able to identify the importance of natural resources to the rancho economy.
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  • Geared to third and fourth graders.
  • History-Social Science Content Standards: 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5.
  • 2024-2025 Fee: $115 per class.  There is an additional charge of $6 per student for every student over 30.
  • Fees apply to ONE CLASS PER PROGRAM
  • A double program is charged for two programs.