The new piece of equipment will help do noninvasive archeological work in the area. The total amount raised in the past three years is $24,000 and will allow the museum to purchase the equipment and have it up and running by this spring.
Besides the new equipment for the staff at the museum, the building is also seeing interior transitions.
"We are moving stuff around to have more office space and more space to work on our collections," said Linda Burkhart, museum director.
The basement of the building will see the majority of changes as items are shifted from one area to another.
A new exhibit will change the look of the museum this spring as well, as the team at Sanford works on a new DNA exhibit. The exhibit will be called "DNA: What makes you- you" and will give students and adults alike and inside look as to the genetic makeup. The new exhibit will bring as many as 2,000 students from around the area.
The museum staff is excited about plans they are drawing up to build and Ice Age exhibit in the museum. The Sanford Museum holds the third largest deposit of Ice Age remains in the state of Iowa, according to Burkhart. The museum would be using a donation from the Ray and Florence Erlandson Foundation to make it more interactive for kids and adults such as simulated real size bones of animals.
The Sanford Museum is also in the process of being reaccredited for the fourth time by the American Association of Museums.
With all the hustle and bustle the museum is seeing Burkhart decided to hire some part-time help to make everything run smoother. LaVonne Nielsen, Sandra Heid and Ellen Henderson are on staff to help greet people on the weekends, work the gift shop and answer the questions of the visitors passing through.
Those extra employees will also come in handy as the museum holds the monthly association programs. This March members will get a glimpse of spring as horticulturalist Todd Brockshus from Del's Garden Center in Spencer brings the community his knowledge on about perennials for sunny and shady areas of our homes. He will also be teaching about hardy shrub roses for the landscape and what types of plants are new to the public in 2009. After all of this there is also a short tour of some beautiful landscaping in Northwest Iowa. This is a program for everyone but also qualifies for Master Gardener continuing education hours.
In April the museum will be turning up the music with music artist and performing Joey Gulizia who has been a professional musician since childhood. A Musical Trip Around the World will have Gulizia playing selections for a number of different countries, including some American Jazz styles. He will include the sounds of steel drums, woodwind controller and percussion instruments in his performance. Along with being a performer, Gulizia has also been involved in music education for the past 30 years and has been recognized in the state of Nebraska with the "Excellence in Education" award and being inducted to the "Nebraska Music Hall of Fame."
The museum will take May and June off from special presentations but the wait will be well worth it in July as they bring in Peace Corp volunteer Mike Meloy. Meloy was a volunteer for the past two years in Moldova and will be sharing pictures and stories from his experiencing overseas along with the Moldovan culture and its history. He will also present the Peace Corps' origin and their many locations throughout the world as well as the information people need if they are interested in becoming involved with the Peace Corps.
In August there will be a Perseid Meteor Shower Party starting at 9 p.m. at the museum. Perseid meteors are fast and often bright and frequently leave persistent trains, according to the museum. Sanford Museum encourages everyone to come and join them for the event. They recommend you bring lawn chairs, bug spray and binoculars for an up close experience.
For all of those Antique Road Show enthusiasts the museum will have their Third Annual Trash or Treasure day on August 22 at 1p.m. Charles Schoenknecht and Ward Paul will again be the expert antique and art appraisers on hand to tell you if your treasures are antiques or not.
The museum will say goodbye to summer with a day on astronomy on September 19. The day will begin at the Sanford Museum with a variety of activities, including how to safely view the sun and will conclude with a trip to the Prairie Heritage Museum in O'Brien County to use a number of telescopes and binoculars to find constellations in the sky.
In October the museum will hold a night with David Olson as he describes the lives of the homeless children of Ukraine. Their story is one of despair and hopelessness as they seem forgotten in and under the streets of the cities. Then the museum will round out the year with Ann Lundberg as she explores the geologic development of Northwest Iowa. She will share what fascinating things we can learn from rocks and the landscape around us.
The Sanford Museum is open daily Monday through Friday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 P.M. For more information about the museum you can call them at 712-22-3922 or check out their website at sanfordmuseum.org.