As we move into December it is appropriate to look at progress to date and also to look to the future. Visitors to the Fossil Discovery Center have increased as more people have learned of it, and we have experienced numerous times when a first visit was followed by people bringing their grandchildren and other youth to partake in the sights and activities that await them.
During the first year of being open, the student field trip attendance was 3,755 and for the second year 5,252. That’s a lot of science education and fun in which the students are formed into small groups and moved through the various areas of interest while the teachers and parents observe and gather information for follow up classroom discussions. Our docents are well informed and students questions and demonstrations of prior knowledge are welcomed and questions answered. The mock dig is a favorite where, following instructions on procedures, the students unearth model skulls and look for clues of the life style of the specimens.
For the first year total attendance at the center was 11,472 and for the second year 14,298. I hope that you, the reader, were one of the visitors. The signs along the freeway have brought in people traveling through from our country and many others. This provides the Center staff the opportunity to educate them regarding the unique site they are visiting and to advertise the visitor opportunities, products and services that Madera County has to offer. Often travelers from afar are most pleased to find what crops are being harvested currently, plus the many other places in the county where they can pause and participate in foods, products and sights.
T-shirts have been popular items in the centrer store, and the center has a new supply on display in case you are looking for a local and unique Christmas gift for someone. Models and appropriate books, jewelry and other items are also available for visitors...