Monday, August 12, 2019

The 35 Year Wait is Over! The Ribbon-cutting for the Great Valley Museum Outdoor Nature Lab is Wednesday!

Ever since the origin of the Great Valley Museum decades ago, there has been a desire on the part of the faculty of Modesto Junior College and Great Valley Museum staff to have an outdoor education area that would complement the nature exhibits inside the museum. For decades the museum operated out of a former house across the street from the MJC East Campus, and other than a few plants alongside the building, there was no outdoor component to a museum visit. Big changes came with the passage of Measure E in our county that led to the construction of the Science Community Center with a vastly expanded Great Valley Museum that included a planetarium, Science on a Sphere, and other innovative exhibits. However, the Outdoor Nature Lab was one of the last of the Measure E projects to receive funding, and for several years the very existence of the lab was in question.

But that finally changed and two years ago we finally broke ground for the construction of the outdoor lab, after a wait of at least 35 years. There are a few finishing touches still to be added (interpretive signs, and believe it or not, a big dinosaur), but it is officially opening to the public this week. It's fair to say that it opened up to nature months ago...a pair of Killdeers raised a family during the early summer, and other animals are taking up residence. But the official opening is this week for we humans.
Please join us! The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 14, at 9:00AM. The GVM Outdoor Nature Lab is on the north side of the Science Community Center on MJC's West Campus. It's been a long journey and we can't wait to share it with you!

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