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Trevor’s Travels: San Bernardino County Museum has a lot that’s new

By in Press Enterprise on October 23, 2017

By Trevor Summons

There have been lots of changes at the San Bernardino County Museum since I was last there.

To begin with, there is a new museum director, Melissa Russo, whom I was lucky to be able to meet during a recent visit. She has been there for about 18 months and she showed me around.

“We’re always trying to find ways for the public to participate,” she said.

At the time we were looking at the new location of some of the museum’s mammals. Hitherto they had been down on a basement floor, but today they are upstairs in the new Hall of Biodiversity.

Perhaps even more importantly, the new site is without any glass. It certainly brings the animals to life. One cougar stared out at me and I couldn’t help noticing its huge paws.

Within the same hall is the museum’s well-known collection of birds. I once found the mysterious Mountain Chickadee there. It had been shouting at me from its treetops for years and I could never locate it up there. But it turned out to be a bird I knew quite well when it flew down to my level. At those times, it was quite silent. So the mystery was solved.

We walked along to the new exhibition called “Beauty and the Beast.” This is a showing of remarkable photographs of all the wildflowers in California and the potential effects of climate change upon them. Glass cases also display dried and pressed flowers from the region.

Russo explained some of the other changes that have been going on: “We have six separate curators now,” she said. “All of them have been with us for less than two years.”

Undoubtedly, these new people have brought a lot of the freshness that is apparent.

We walked down the sloping pathway to the ground floor once again and I […]    

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