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New Cuyamaca Visitor Center Opens

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

California State Parks announced today that the new visitor’s center at Cuyamaca
Rancho State Park, with new exhibits, displays, sights and sounds, will be opening with a
formal dedication set for 1:00 p.m. Saturday July 8. The public is invited. The event is free, no
day-use fee will be required, and after the brief dedication ceremony visitors will have the
opportunity to experience the new exhibits.

“This is a product of over twelve years of planning and efforts” said Cuyamaca
Superintendent Laura Itogawa, noting that the planning was well underway before the fire.
Located east of highway 79 between Paso Picacho and Green Valley, the visitor’s
center is near the site of the old Dyar House. The Dyar house had served as the Park
Headquarters and Museum for many years; however, it was destroyed by the October 2003
Cedar Fire.

The new exhibits at the center will offer such things as a close-up view of a mountain
lion and several other seldom seen forest critters, along with a look into the different ecological
communities on the mountain. One major exhibit tells the story of the CCC, the Civilian
Conservation Corps, which developed the park in the 1940s.

“This is really the first time we have told this important story” said Itogawa, “It is long
overdue and we think the public will enjoy knowing more about this fascinating piece of
history.”

A variety of authentic Native American artifacts are displayed as well as a replica of the
Stonewall mine. Richly textured exhibits and subtle sound effects are designed to immerse
visitors in the experience. A well-stocked nature store is conveniently located next door to the
exhibit area and knowledgeable park volunteers will be present to help visitors find books and
maps or even plan a hike.

The project was funded through Proposition 40, the $2.6 billion dollar “California Clean
Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002.” Voters
passed this bond act by a 56.8 percent margin on March 5, 2002. For more information please
call 760.765.3020.

by Brian Cahill, CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation, in Sights, Sounds, and Critters Ready to Go!

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