LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In a town that's always changing, it's nice we can all take a step back and appreciate the natural world of where we live.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is celebrating 30 years on Las Vegas Boulevard and continues to allow visitors to learn while taking a step back in time.
"We started as a really small museum by several volunteers back in 1991. We are an accredited museum where only 6% of museums nationally are. We have 40,000 square feet of exhibit space from dinosaurs to Africa," said Kate Porter, co-executive director at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
You'll feel like a world traveler during your visit discovering dinosaurs, marine life and ancient Egypt.
"We really enjoy taking people on a trip through the wonders of the world. We also have prehistoric mammals and dinosaurs, ancient Egypt along with a working paleontology lab," Porter said
And of course, Nevada is proudly on display at the museum -- as visitors of all ages can get to know and experience our desert landscape including some items that have been buried for some time.
"Our wild Nevada exhibit features items that can be seen within 100 miles of the museum. One of the important parts of the museum is our paleontology lab. We are a state and federal repository for the state of Nevada. And we have been able to bring home Nevada's fossils that had been previously in storage," Porter said.
The natural history museum has been a part of the Las Vegas community for three decades thanks to volunteers and its strong connection with the community.
"Everything you see on display has been created by the community through fundraising and donations. We have been very fortunate to have the different community foundations to make the exhibits possible through grant donations and individual donors who just love this museum<" Porter said.
And not only can visitors view the different artifacts and exhibits but the museum prides itself in being able to teach those who visit.
"We focus on lifelong learning here. We have learning projects and rooms that focus on families. We have A/C for the summer and a heated space in the winter. And we have hands-on activities where everyone can participate in to really love and inspire with the natural world and ourselves," Porter said.
A team of 20 helps bring the museum and its exhibits to life along with several volunteers who have been behind the museum since its start.
"It's a variety of folks who have donated to the museum over the years. Our original founder just retired this past July after we marked our 30th anniversary. And she was one of the original volunteers who started the museum," Porter said. "We are small but mighty and very volunteer-based. We have about 20 staff members to make all of this happen and looking forward to doing all of this for another 30 years and beyond."
Las Vegas Boulevard is full of entertainment and lights but its history is not forgotten on the boulevard.
"We are very proud to be down here in the Cultural Corridor. We have really strong relationships with the Neon Museum and the Historic Mormon Fort next door. We are literally the history of Las Vegas right here," Porter said.