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Staff Photo by Katie Lucia
The Desert Discovery Center, at 813 Barstow Rd., is shown above Tuesday on its first day open after being closed seven months for renovations.

Desert Discovery Center re-opens

Staff Writer

BARSTOW • The Desert Discovery Center opened its doors Tuesday after completing the first stage of a five-year renovation project.

The center was closed seven months to replace the heating and air conditioning system and update other building infrastructure, said Jane Laraman-Brockhurst, co-director of the Desert Discovery Center. When visitors visit the newly re-opened center at 831 Barstow Rd., they will likely notice the updated reception area, which was opened up after the room behind it was taken out, she said.

In addition to the reception and air system, the center updated its roofing and updated basic building infrastructure, she said. All renovations cost about $200,000 and were built with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification, said Rose Beardshear, with the Bureau of Land Management.

This renovation was the first of a five-year project, which will eventually add new exhibits, trails and an amphitheater to the museum. The next step is to complete a plan under the direction of Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, an arm of the National Parks Foundation.

With the help of the RTCAP, it should be easier for the project to receive funding as it’s more legitimate and not just some pipe dream, Laraman-Brockhurst said.

In preparation for its re-opening, the center set up a new youth programs display, showing photos of projects and environmental art produced by area school children. Additionally, the center’s store will be more geared toward local artisan work, offering local art work for sale.

To celebrate its re-opening, the center will be hosting the annual Earth Day event Saturday where they will feature many recycling, art, and learning activities, Laraman-Brockhurst said.

The Earth Day celebration will feature a “Shred Fest” where locals are encouraged to bring a box of waste paper to receiving a free raffle ticket in the drawing to win an iPod. Those who bring other recyclables can also receive a free raffle ticket. 0 Raffle tickets will also be sold for $1 each or $5 for six. In addition to the “Shred Fest,” the event goes from 10:30  a.m.-2:30 p.m. and will feature desert animals presentations, gardening, solar cooking demonstration, kids painting, paper making, plant sale and more.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or

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