From the World of Parks and Rec
By Doug Comer

We have had a wonderful season, but it is time to put the dinosaurs away for yet another year. Aptly named, A Walk Through Time, our “best of” exhibit met everyone’s expectations as numbers were up and smiles were wide for not only the people that visited, but also our staff.

“This has been a great exhibit for all of us,” said Director Mike Book. “The scheduled field days, family days, as well as our sleeping with dinosaurs all received great reviews. We produced a ton of information about the pieces and all the staff did a great job of relaying that info to the kids on field days, as well as those who came during the night and weekend family days.”

Sleeping with Dinosaurs reached capacity for all three dates as families were able to enjoy an evening of hands-on activities, including arts and crafts as well as dino puzzles. And after a little tour of the facility, the kids had a little treat and got to enjoy one of our dinosaur themed movies before going to bed.

“We kept the numbers low to make sure that the evening is exactly how they planned it to be,” said Book. “Our evening staff provided the same format as our field days. They had a dinosaur dig, built puzzles, participated in arts and crafts and had a hands-on learning session in our big room. And we provided some movie entertainment as well as a snack and breakfast in the morning to cap off a great evening for the families.”

With this being the last weekend for the dinosaurs, we expect to find some new faces as well as some old familiar faces stopping by for one last visit. It has been a pleasant surprise that many families took advantage of the free admission and made numerous visits to the recreation complex. Also, we have had small groups from various organizations come to check out the surroundings.

“It is great to see bigger groups of people stop by to look around and ask questions about the exhibit. We have had Boy Scout groups, as well families, visiting from out of town come to our place. We love looking at the sign-in book and seeing folks from all over the state come and see what we have to offer,” said Book.

Normally, on some days, our staff has fossils in our pockets and makes sure that all kids leave with something. For me, I have Bison teeth from the Ice Age era that I pass out to the kids and they use the tooth as a necklace or the beginning of a fossil collection; the age of the teeth are around 20,000 years old. Also, we have a fossil table that includes shell-like fossils found throughout the state and those range from 380-400 million years old. And if it was not for the support of the people, as well as the County Commission, exhibits like these would never happen as Book explains.

“We are primarily supported by the Vital Service Levy as well as the Commission. And if the Levy does not go through, then activities like this do not happen. We have a lot invested in programs like these and it takes a ton of planning and coordinating to make it work, as well as the trust from the Commission.  We are quite lucky that we can offer activities and exhibits of this caliber to the public.”

So, if you are looking to see the dinosaurs for a last time, or if you have not made the trip yet, you have this weekend to enjoy some sunshine at our park adjacent from the building and to take a walk with the dinosaurs.  Thanks for a great season and they will soon be coming back to visit.