AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Don Harrington Discovery Center’s new permanent exhibit lets visitors travel back in time. The exhibit was made in dedication to Billy Diggs, a family member and local community member who recently passed.
“Discover Through Time” transports visitors through the history of biomes and ecosystems that the High Plains has been in the past, and will be open to the public this Sunday. Sophia Britto, DHDC’s marketing coordinator, said the exhibit is presented by the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation.
“A lot of people don’t realize that millions of years ago, the High Plains as we know as the Great Plains here today, used to be underwater. It was part of the inland sea and it was completely covered with salt water. It also used to be a giant spruce forest,” she said.
Britto hopes every visitor can learn something new about the Panhandle from the exhibit.
“A lot of people who have lived in the High Plains their entire lives had no idea about the ancient history that is behind it. And we really wanted to showcase that and make this new permanent exhibit a place where generations of families could come in and learn something new,” she said.
According to Britto, new animals will be featured in the exhibit.
“We have quite a few fish. A lionfish, a starfish, and a baby shark which is super cute. We also have moon jellyfish and an axolotl. We are really excited to open up our aviary. It’s a two-story aviary and it has a ton of different bird species,” she said.
The second floor is also home to a treehouse reading nook. Britto said the second story completion was supported by the Education Credit Union Foundation.
“We have a lot of educational books for people to sit back and read when they would like to. It’s next to the second story of the aviary as well, so while you are reading you can hear the birds singing to you and it’s really just a nice experience. It also has a balcony overlooking the rest of the west wing which is really cool,” she said.
Along with the aviary and the reading nook, there is also a meeting space on the second story of the exhibit. Britto said DHDC is excited to have that space where they will be able to host events in the future.