Museum’s Dinosaur Digs program 
gets Reader’s Digest recommendation

Thomas Deiner, 6, from Los Angeles, learns about some sauropod bones at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry at Rabbit Valley.

If you take the kids out to scratch around in the dirt for dinosaur fossils on the western end of the Grand Valley sometime this year, don’t be surprised if a crowd joins you on your excursion. The Museum of Western Colorado recently received a Apatosaurus-sized boost in publicity from Reader’s Digest.

The nationally known magazine identified the museum’s Dinosaur Digs as one of its five “All-American Family Vacation Ideas” in its February issue.

Here’s how an excerpt from the magazine article reads: “Most kids (and adults) love dinosaurs, and to make their wildest dreams come true, head to Fruita, Colorado. The Museum of Western Colorado offers Dino Digs for children ages five and older. You can choose from one-, three-, and five-day expeditions. Kids work alongside professional paleontologists as they search for new bones and tracks at the 150-million-year-old dig site, which extends into Utah.”

Museum Executive Director Peter Booth said he’s “very gratified” about the sort of attention the program is receiving.

“It speaks volumes to the quality of a program that the museum staff and volunteers have put together,” he said.

Booth also credited the cooperation of the Bureau of Land Management, on whose lands the digs take place, and the partnership with the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.

“They regularly invite in writers to do stories about the various treasures that Mesa County, the Grand Valley, has, and that kind of cooperation helps lead to this kind of attention,” Booth said.

The Dinosaur Digs program has been around for more than a decade and has grown significantly in that time, Booth said. He noted that more than 80 percent of participants are from outside the Western Slope.

Booth said the museum has already noticed an increase in registrations for the program this year and suspects the article played a part in that.

The other family-friendly vacation ideas listed in Reader’s Digest were dog sledding in Jefferson, N.H.; an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio; a dude ranch in Augusta, Mont.; and surfing sand dunes in Florence, Ore.

The magazine said the five travel destinations “show new sides of the United States that shouldn’t be missed.”


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