From the World of Parks and Recreation
By Doug Comer

Our Dinosaur Exhibit Walking with Dinosaurs “A Walk through Time” enters its third week and the attendance has shown strong numbers so far. With the great weather and the attendance from our field days, we have kept staff busy to say the least. With that being said, we are adding to the exposure of the program through our Sleeping with Dinosaur program which starts this week.

“Our sleeping with dinos was created a few years back and was well received by the public as reservations filled quickly once we released the dates,” said Director Mike Book. “It is just another branch of what we do so that the public has all opportunities to take advantage of the dinosaur exhibit. We fill up quickly with reservations and those who do get the chance to attend really enjoy their evening.”

With only three dates for reserving an evening with the dinosaurs, spots are limited and they do fill up quickly. But, there are still some spots available for families to attend. Donna Stuart, enrichment coordinator, ensures that all who make it to the evening will have not only a fun time but learn a little bit in the process.

“Our goal is to find an inexpensive means for families to do something together. We have an introduction about what the evening entails and just go right into it. They get a tour of the facility and the exhibit and later the kids can put on their paleontologists hats and go digging for dinosaurs in our dig room. Later, we do some arts and crafts and enjoy some snacks while watching a movie on our big screen. It is a great evening for all who attends,” said Stuart.

Besides the main room, there is a room that has a couple fossils found in West Virginia.

An 8-foot Sloth fossil towers over the entrance into room C and there is a few fact finding notes about the history of the state’s fossil. To add to the room, there are numerous fossils from the Ice Age era, including Saber Tooth Cat teeth and other various bones. Also, in the room there is a touch station, which has real fossils that kids and adults can touch and handle. There is an explanation of each fossil as to what it is and the story behind it.  Coprolite can be touched, scratched and sniffed if you choose to. To me, it smells like strawberries, but I will leave that to you to decide.

Probably the biggest attraction to the room is the 3-D puzzles that kids can build.  This year we have two available to challenge the mind and needless to say it takes a crew to erect the structures. The puzzles were a donation from a museum in Kansas City and Book admits that the puzzles are a huge draw to the visitors as he explains.

“We are very fortunate to get these structures. And from the beginning they have been a big hit with the kids as well as parents. We received eight of these puzzles and believe me they are a challenge. On our weekends, the families that attend almost always hit the puzzle section and make it a team building challenge to put the thing together. We could not be more thrilled with the feedback about the puzzles.”

Those who show interest in sleeping with dinosaurs, please contact the Recreation Complex at 304-423-7800.  The dates available are this Friday, February 24th as well as March 10th and 24th. For more information, please contact the office.