Celebrating and Teaching the Digging Sciences

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

San Bernardino County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation

Year: 2023

“Diggin’ It!” is an event in which participants are educated on and engage in simulated archaeological and paleontological fieldwork. Participants learn about how to responsibly get involved in fieldwork, fill out simplified permit applications, excavate objects in a mock dig, and submit their finds to a repository for curation. Along the way, additional learning opportunities regarding archaeology, paleontology, fieldwork and its ethics, and how to get further involved in fieldwork are provided to visitors. “Diggin’ It!” aims to teach visitors principles of good stewardship regarding archaeological and paleontological resources, fostering interest and engagement while discouraging collecting illegally or irresponsibly.

“Diggin’ It!” resulted in triple the usual attendance to the Victor Valley Museum on the day it was held. The foundations laid by its success have led to continued increased attendance at subsequent events held at the Victor Valley Museum, such as Old West Days and Arthropalooza. Visitors came away from the event satisfied and with a greater understanding of the significant cultural and fossil resources found in their backyards. The event also deepened ties with partner organizations such as the National Park Service and Cal State San Bernardino.

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