Waco Mammoth Site to Open Dec. 5

November 23, 2009

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The City of Waco, Baylor University and the Waco Mammoth Foundation are proud to announce the grand opening of the Waco Mammoth Site.

A public ribbon-cutting with U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5. No on-site parking will be available Dec. 5. A free shuttle will be provided from Waco Water Park, 900 Lake Shore Dr.

Normal operating hours begin Tuesday, Dec. 8. The Waco Mammoth Site, located at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Rd., will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The site is closed Sunday and Monday.

The first remains of Waco's Columbian mammoths were discovered in 1978. According to the National Park Service, the site contains the first recorded evidence of a nursery herd of Pleistocene Columbian mammoths found in the United States. Congressional legislation is currently pending to create the Waco Mammoth National Monument and to include the site as a unit of the National Park Service.

For the past 30 years, Baylor University faculty, staff, students and volunteers worked countless hours to excavate and protect the remains. The university's Mayborn Museum Complex continues to curate the excavated material and oversee scientific research at the site. Twenty-four mammoths have been discovered, and the likelihood of additional fossils exists.

The creation of the Waco Mammoth Site has been a collaborative effort between the City of Waco, Baylor University and the Waco Mammoth Foundation. The foundation, which is a non-profit organization comprised of local citizens, raised an estimated $3.4 million for the Phase 1 developments. Edwards secured a $200,000 Save America's Treasures grant, while the City of Waco and Baylor University each donated $100,000. Fundraising for future development at the site is currently taking place.

Nestled along the Bosque River, the Waco Mammoth Site sits in more than 100 acres of wooded parkland. The site features a stunning, climate-controlled dig shelter and a suspended walkway that provides visitors with an overhead view of several specimens, including a large bull mammoth and a camel that lived in Central Texas approximately 68,000 years ago. The site also includes a scenic trail winding through sprawling oak and mesquite trees, along with a welcome center and gift shop. The City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department is managing the site.

For information, visit the Waco Mammoth web site or call the Parks and Recreation office at 254-750-5980.

Jill Scoggins, Baylor University, 254-710-1964
Jonathan Cook, City of Waco, 254-709-4873