From The World Of Parks And Rec
By Doug Comer
I really have a hard time believing that it is almost February. It seems just a week ago I was stuffing myself with holiday cookies and enjoying the seafood feast on Christmas Eve and later doing it all again with ham and turkey on Christmas Day. What a great way to round out the year….by making myself rounder.
I try to convince myself that I was just getting my body enough energy for what is to come in February -the month-long process of getting dinosaurs from the tar pits, the desert and all other parts of the world and assembling them here for the Walking with the Dinosaurs 2017 enrichment program.
It has been a tedious task getting all things in place but now it is finally starting to take shape. The vision that Director Mike Book has is far outside the box and having the imagination to bring something to life in today’s age is his specialty as he boasts about what to look forward to in this year’s exhibit.
“It is getting really difficult to make things better than some of the exhibits in the past. But, I feel that we have something that is going to give us the ‘WOW’ effect when people come to visit for not only our enrichment field days, but also on our public evenings and weekends.”
This year, noted more as the “best of” will have some fossils from the past as well as some new features that will allow more photo opportunities. We have Sue the t-rex skull that dwarfs the heads we have had in the past as well as a new look to our Great White shark that will make you look like a pro fisherman,” as Book explains.
“We will have a few displays where families can come and get a picture taken with the featured items. We have a dinosaur skull of a t-rex and we brought back our shark from a year ago. However, this time he is hanging off the pier for you to take a photo holding a fishing pole as if you tamed the beast of the seas yourself. Those are just two of an endless amount of pictures that people can take during their visit to the complex.”
While some dinosaur events charge admission and raves about the animatronics and activities around the dinosaurs, we focus more on the museum and the historic side of dinosaurs and the eras where they roamed. We provide a Carnegie-Mellon or Smithsonian resemblance, however we are not hours away and the cost is free to all.
“We have museum quality fossils and fleshed-out dinosaurs that will capture the minds of all people and of course, plenty of literature for you to read about,” said Book. “It is going to be a really cool event. As it has taken shape, even the staff stands there looking at some of the fossils with our mouths open. For the children who come to our field days, they will be amazed at how much there is to see, let alone learn about some of the pieces.”
The exhibit, which opens with our daily field day enrichments on January 31st, will feature around five full-size dinosaur fossils as well as a few fleshed-out dinosaurs and hundreds of bones and fossils to see and read about as well as handle.
Walking with Dinosaurs can be found at the Harrison County Recreation Complex located on route 19 south of Clarksburg across from Sunny Croft Golf Course. The family nights and weekends are Thursdays and Fridays from 4-8 PM while the weekends at Noon to 6:00 PM. For more information, please contact the HCPR.