My wife and I spent Saturday afternoon at the Waco Mammoth Site as it opened to the public for the first time. It’s quite an experience to walk down the wooded path from the site’s Welcome Center to the building which houses the open dig site and then look down from the catwalk onto the exposed remains of animals that walked the earth nearly 70,000 years ago.
Until recently, Baylor was the primary custodian of the site, managing the dig and protecting the exposed bones still in the ground. Over the years, Baylor faculty, staff and students have been involved in various aspects of exploring the site. With the opening of the Waco Mammoth Site, the University will continue to handle things from an academic standpoint while the City of Waco manages the site as a park. That partnership will continue until the site becomes part of the National Park System (it has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and now awaits a vote in the Senate); at that time, the NPS, Baylor and Waco will work out a new management model.
For more information, the new issue of Baylor Magazine includes a feature detailing the 30-year history of the Waco Mammoth Site, including its push to become part of the NPS. (The magazine also includes longer looks at a couple of stories we’ve covered here before — an alum’s push to honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, and a Baylor study of clergy sexual misconduct that found the problem far more prevalent than previously realized. And don’t miss the Online Extra, an essay by chemistry professor Dr. David Pennington on why he loves teaching at Baylor.)
Sic ’em, Waco Mammoth Site and everyone involved!