For the first time in more than 30 years, White Sands National Monument has all new museum exhibits in the park’s visitor center.
On August 3rd, the monument celebrated this accomplishment by hosting several special events, including a ribbon cutting, junior ranger programs, and an evening concert by Native American flutist Randy Granger.
The new state of the art exhibits tell the story of the geology of the world’s largest gypsum dune field, the unique plants and animals that have adapted to it, and how humans have used White Sands throughout history. An all new high definition orientation film, entitled “A Land in Motion,” ties it all together with stunning cinematography.
The exhibits – three years in the making – were funded through revenue from the park’s entrance fees and concession franchise fees. Included in the new exhibits are interactive features for both children and adults. Kids can make tracks of kit fox and other animals in a sandbox, delve deeper into recent scientific discoveries through a touch screen computer, or explore the Tularosa Basin through a tactile three dimensional map. The exhibits are fully bilingual with English and Spanish text and are accessible for visitors with disabilities.
Laura Joss, Intermountain Region’s deputy regional director, the mayor of Alamogordo and chamber ambassadors, representatives from Senators Udall and Bingaman’s offices, and members of the Mescalero Apache tribe joined community members and park staff for this celebration.
“New Mexico is a beautiful state with breathtaking scenery from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rio Grande, but White Sand National Monument shows why New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment,” wrote Sentor Udall. “The new exhibits will help all who visit connect with and understand what this special place has to offer.”