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The Madera Tribune

Children enjoy visiting fossil center

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webmaster | 03/09/12

Blake Bufford, manager of the Fossil Discovery Center in Fairmead, lets us in on a science lesson fora group of eagerlearners.

The Fossil Discovery Center is a gem in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley. You would have to drive to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles or to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to find something similar. It is scientific in that it preserves and displays local fossils from pre-historic animals that are more than 500,000 years old. It is educational in that it is open to the public as well as schools, colleges and universities.

Unfortunately it is still a secret to most people. It takes lots of advertising and lots of time to become well known, and the people at the Fossil Discovery Center are trying hard to get the word out. Fortunately, there are more than 2,000 grade school students who do know about it. Last spring the Fossil Discovery Center hosted dozens of grade schools with their busloads of excited children.

When the school bus arrives the droves of chattering children spill out and are formed into two to four groups. After a brief welcome and introduction, they are taken inside for a tour of the fossils and displays that depict the extinct animals that used to live in the area. These animals include Columbian mammoths, camels, and giant ground sloths...


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