Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Want to Have Fun!

-from the Curator

New ideas were brainstormed onto paper for the Idea Wall
Almost 15 museum members and community friends came out today for our Open Public Meeting to brainstorm strategic plans and ideas for the museum's future. There was a lot of wonderful brainstorming and ideas have been added to our Idea Walls- one for general programs and indoor exhibits and another wall for outdoor programs and exhibits. Ideas ranged from hikes and off-road trips into the desert with experts to live web-cameras to show the view and watch animals.  Designing walking trails and signs on the museum property ranked high on everyone's list with some great ideas for what to do on the trails.
Voting with stickers for favorite ideas

The staff will spend the next few weeks organizing the ideas on the wall and adding pictures and as visitors come in they will be offered several stickers to vote on their favorite ideas.  The ideas "liked" by the most people will be where we start!

Voting for the Outdoor Idea Wall

Alongside thinking about exhibits, programs and events to have in the future, IVDM Director Neal Hitch also reserved an idea page for one important idea: "I Want to Have Fun!"  "Don't think about things you think a museum 'should' do" he challenged the group.  "Think about things you'd want to do. What would be fun?"

What would you add? Email or comment, we'll add to the Idea Walls as ideas come in! Remember, it's your museum, so have fun!

"I Want to Have Fun!"

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Public Meeting: Saturday January 23 - Strategic Planning

-from the Curator

This Saturday, January 23 from 10am-12pm we will have an open Public Meeting at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum and we hope you will all come out and join us!  We are looking for community input on the future Strategic Plan of the IVDM and your ideas and votes count! Stop by and be a part of planning the museum's future.

This fall, the Imperial Valley Desert Museum began working on a new Strategic Plan. Though we have met with some successes, it is important that we have a direction for the next five years. And it is important that this direction is community driven!

 We began planning activities in November at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum Society annual meeting. Most strategic plans begin with a SWOT, a discussion of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  As discussed at this meeting, the strengths of the IVDM are its location, situated directly off of Interstate 8 in the heart of the Yuha Desert and at the intersection of the major southern entrance into the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The museum has developed major new displays with interactive hands-on components . Youth programming, especially field trips, are exceptional. The museum has developed several signature events, like “stargazing” and “dinner with an expert” that have been well attended and well received. New events, such as Octobercraft Day, have been very successful.

            During the meeting, and for the next few weeks, we also collected initial thoughts about what people see as important for the museum.  We asked about potential uses of new property around the museum: Suggestions included hiking trails, truck and jeep displays, and interpretive programs about drought tolerant/native plants.
            The second question asked concerned the most important thing the museum will do in the coming years.  The focus for the next year was clear: creating a 6th grade hiking field trip, continuing to develop 4th grade field trips, creating more ties to communities in Imperial County, and moving programs into communities in East County.  The would also like to see a Youth Hike program be developed in conjunction with the Jacumba Hikers.

            Over the Next 5 years suggestions include developing internship programs with local colleges and an increasing the use of our collections for research by local students. One very interesting comment was the suggestion to develop a “Skype with a Scientist program.” There is a model for this type of program being done at science centers around the country.    

Other ideas? Come talk to us Saturday, January 23!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year in the Desert

It has been a busy weekend in Ocotillo over New Years. Actually, busier than I think it has been in the last four years. Maybe its the cheap gas, but lots of people out wheeling about.

Today, Jim stopped by to get a BLM trail map. He has been camping near Plaster City and was looking to do some Jeeping in the Yuha.

He and his wife must have liked the new exhibit, at the end of the day they brought every one from their campsite back.

"We had no idea they had something like this in the Valley!" was one comment.

Pass that along to your County Supervisor!