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Feb 22nd
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Home National & State Parks Other NPs New Visitor Center, Exhibit Hall Opens at Dinosaur National Monument

New Visitor Center, Exhibit Hall Opens at Dinosaur National Monument

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A new visitor center and exhibit hall at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado showcasing thousands of dinosaur bones opened Oct. 4, 2011, and is expected to thrill visitors to the historic site where dinosaurs once roamed over today's West.

The new Quarry Visitor Center replaces an old visitor center that was shut down in 2006 due to the structural instability.

dinosaurvisitorcenterThe closure kept visitors from viewing the Carnegie Quarry, a 150-foot by-50-foot rock wall that contains approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones dating back 149 million years.

As a result, visitation at the site declined from slightly more than 300,000 persons in 2005 to just under 200,000 persons in 2010.

"The opening of the new visitor center and exhibit hall will again make Dinosaur National Monument a destination for tourists and allow the public to see the famous rock wall and its extraordinary fossils for the first time in five years," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

The dedication of the new visitor center and the opening of the new exhibit hall mark the 96th anniversary of the establishment of Dinosaur National Monument by President Woodrow Wilson on Oct. 4, 1915.

For those who visited the monument in the past and remember driving up a hill to a building that was both the fossil quarry and visitor center in one building, that is no longer the case. The buildings are now a half-mile apart.

The hall, built over the site of the world-famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry, provides close viewing of almost 1,500 dinosaur bones from the Jurassic Period, all exposed on the cliff face where they were deposited about 149 million years ago. The new exhibit hall will also feature information and displays about the Jurassic environment and its inhabitants.

"October 4 is the 96th anniversary of the creation of the original 80-acre Dinosaur National Monument," Park Superintendent Mary Risser said. "This will be the first time that the public will be able to see the dinosaur fossils in more than five years. What an exciting way to mark Dinosaur's founder's day. The National Park Service and Uintah County invite the public to join us in this celebration."

The Dinosaur National Monument was designed to protect "deposits of Dinosaurian and other gigantic reptilian remains" of the Jurassic era. President Franklin Roosevelt expanded the monument to more than 200,000 acres in 1938 to preserve and protect the canyons of the Green and Yampa rivers.

The Quarry Visitor Center includes new exhibits to introduce visitors to the historical and cultural history of the monument and an auditorium that will feature educational movies. The exhibit hall also features exhibits and displays on the Jurassic period and its dinosaurs.

"I especially hope that parents will bring their children here to stir in them the sense of awe that so many of us experience when we gaze at this unique landscape and its fossil and cultural history forged over millions of years," Salazar said. "Places like Dinosaur National Monument can inspire a new generation of archeologists, anthropologists, and conservationists to safeguard our natural and cultural heritage across the nation."

For more information about Dinosaur National Monument visit the Website at
www.nps.gov/dino/ .

National & State Parks