Traveling Treasures Exhibit Continues Journey to Payson

Objects range from 400 million years ago to contemporary and represent every county in the state.

Monday, September 19, 2011

From beautifully crafted wood and cordage snares made by the Fremont people to capture small mammals used 1800 to 700 years before present to a tiny Northern water shrew that can run across the surface of the water by trapping air bubbles in the stiff hairs on its feet, the new Traveling Treasures exhibit—County Collage: Experience Utah’s Natural History—showcases the fascinating natural history found in every county of the state.

The exhibit, with dozens of objects on display, will be in the lobby of the Zions Bank in Payson (80 East 100 North) through the month of April. It is open to the public and it is free to view.

Traveling Treasures is sponsored by the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah and Zions Bank, and is entering its 14th year of the partnership.  The exhibit, which changes its theme every two years, has traveled to 143 communities, traveled approximately 19,000 miles, and has reached more than 400,000 of Utah residents through the exhibit and related free family events.

“Utah is an ideal place for scientists to study natural history,” said Sarah George, executive director of the Museum.  “It is one of the few states that has rock exposures from every period of geologic time, offers remnants of life from ancient lakes and oceans, and areas where new dinosaur species are being discovered every year….and it’s all right here in our state.  We hope this new exhibit offers a collage of fascinating natural history stories for residents to discover and enjoy,” said George.

A variscite specimen highlights the rich and diverse mineral deposits that found throughout Utah County. Variscite, ranging from pastel green to vibrant emerald, is a rare aluminum phosphate mineral.  Also known as “Utahlite” and “Lucinite,” variscite occurs in two well-known Utah locations near Fairfield and Lucin.

“As Utah’s oldest bank, we are pleased to support the museum and be a part of this statewide outreach to communities throughout Utah,” said Emilio Aguayo, manager of the Payson branch of Zions Bank. “This exhibit is a great opportunity for our customers and the general public to experience the diversity our state has to offer right here in our lobby,” said Aguayo.

This exhibit is in its second year, and it visited: Magna, West Jordan, Layton, Ogden, Kaysville, Bountiful, Syracuse, Riverton and Daybreak thus far this year. It will also go to Cedar City and Hurricane before the end of the year.