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Monthly Archives: August 2017

County Museum opens new Hall of Biodiversity

New Exhibit Highlights Environmental Impacts

San Bernardino County is home to deserts, mountain ranges, lakes, and creeks that are ecological hotspots for life. A new series of exhibits is being installed in the upper level of the San Bernardino County Museum. The Hall of Biodiversity will open on Aug. 26.

“The Hall of Biodiversity gives visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s rich biodiversity through interactive exhibits, displays, and specimens from our extraordinary mammal collection,” said David Myers, the museum’s curator of visitor experience. “Along the way, visitors will make their own discoveries by viewing plants and insects up close under digital microscopes, find out what they can do to keep animal populations healthy by becoming citizen scientists, and learn the fascinating stories of why bison roam Catalina Island and how the California condor was brought back from the brink of extinction.”

Exhibits include large mammals selected from the collections that relate directly to inland southern California. Some are locally extinct; some are endangered, some are flourishing, and still others have been introduced in historic times. Reflecting the biodiversity for which the hall is named, exhibits of small mammals, arthropods, and birds have also been created.

“Human behavior has the power to impact the environment, so we want visitors to come away from the Hall of Biodiversity understanding why biodiversity is important in our region, what we have done in the past to shape our environment, and feel empowered to make a positive impact in their own communities,” said Myers.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s Hall of Biodiversity and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Brilliant Behavioral Health programs earn top honors

Veronica Kelley, Department of Behavioral Health Director and NACo President Brian Desloge

A Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) program that encourages and empowers clients to conduct trainings and provide support to their peers was one of a hundred nationwide county programs selected by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as a 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work. This distinction was awarded to select programs who received a 2017 NACo Achievement Award and illustrated the top innovations in county government, including increased quality of life for its residents.

In total, DBH received two of the 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work distinctions; one for its Group Facilitator Training and another for Connections. DBH’s Group Facilitator Training provides engaging workshops to empower clients with leadership skills, enhanced self-esteem and the opportunity to become class facilitators themselves. Connections serves as a centralized resource hub for behavioral health clients, connecting them with additional supportive services within DBH and the community, supporting holistic health care.

The San Bernardino County Public Defender and San Bernardino County Probation Department also each received a 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work distinction for their programs developed in collaboration with DBH.  Public Defender’s Everyone SWIMS (Self Sufficient, Well-Being, In House, Mental Health, Services) program addresses the unnecessary hospitalization and incarceration of individuals with psychological distress and mental disorders, while Probation’s Custody to Community program provides supportive services to mentally ill and medically fragile offenders through coordination of services during the re-entry process from State and local custody to the community, effectively reducing homelessness and recidivism rates.

Each of the 100 Brilliant Ideas entries were selected from the top 2017 NACo Achievement Awards and according to NACo President Bryan Desloge, “can serve as examples for counties across the country.” Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. This year, DBH was awarded a total of six Achievement Awards ranging in category from children and youth, public safety, human services and volunteerism.

“DBH strives to be innovators in the field of behavioral health by designing services that reflect local needs and nationwide trends,” said DBH Director Veronica Kelley. “This award encourages our resolve to provide progressive and effective behavioral health care to the San Bernardino County community.”

DBH, through these recognitions, is supporting the Countywide Vision by providing behavioral health services that promote wellness, recovery and resilience in the community. Information on the Countywide Vision and on DBH can be found at

Toddlers can play, learn at new Victor Valley Museum exhibit

CuriousCity opens Wednesday, Aug. 23

The High Desert’s youngest residents will soon have a museum space designed just for them. “CuriousCity,” a new immersive environment built especially around the needs of children 5 and under, will open Wednesday, Aug. 23 at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.

CuriousCity is a hands-on environment that encourages pretend play in a kid-sized small town. Motor skills, learning, and social interactions are encouraged in an atmosphere of fun, imagination, and make-believe. Building structures, games, puzzles, art and reading activities contribute to the development of age-level skills. As a space separate from the museum’s other exhibits, younger children can safely play without the tumult that can occur when the room is shared with older children.

“This focus on the 0-5 age group is a new and important addition, and a needed resource to nurture a healthy community in this region. Our hope is that families visit often, and that it becomes a spot where parents can meet and share parenting experiences while interacting with their children.” said Melissa Russo, museum director.

The Opening Day of CuriousCity on Aug. 23 runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include activities and resource tables for families with young children. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. a dedication and official opening are scheduled.

“CuriousCity provides an opportunity for fun and learning – and for families to create great memories,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Robert A. Lovingood said. “The Victor Valley Museum highlights local history, mining, Native American artifacts, natural history and now we have a special place just for children 5 and under. So there’s something for everyone.”

CuriousCity and the County Museum’s other exciting events and exhibits reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.”

The new exhibit is included with regular museum admission. Families with Museum memberships enjoy free admission for a full year, along with a host of other benefits. Membership at the Premium level includes free admission to other children’s museums across the United States. CuriousCity is supported by Southern California Edison, Bank of America, Johnnie Ann Ralph, the San Bernardino County Museum Association, Friends of the Victor Valley Museum, and San Bernardino County Library.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student. Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum, including CuriousCity, is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Join us for a Neverland Event at the Highland Library

The San Bernardino County Library invites you to join us at the Highland Sam J. Racadio Library & Environmental Learning Center as we never grow up, and let our imaginations run wild at this Neverland Event.  Enjoy an amazing experience as you get the chance to meet and greet our Neverland friends Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and Pirate Jake.  Don’t forget your camera.  Enjoy a variety of fun-filled crafts, a balloon artist, and more.

This event is another opportunity to celebrate and support the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read. The Neverland Event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m.  Be certain to bring your library card, as every 15 items checked out during the event earns you a ticket for a drawing with a chance to win awesome incentives.  All activities are free and open to all ages.

The Highland Sam J. Racadio Library & Environmental Learning Center is at 7863 Central Ave. in Highland.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

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