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Friends of Roynon Museum salute its founder as collection prepares to relocate

Out with the old and in with the new. From left: David Huxley, Guide JMDC, Sherry Bauer, Education Director Roynon Museum, Keith Roynon, Founder Roynon Museum, Maribel Vargas, Museum and Gift Shop Coordinator JMDC, Ginny Odom, Education Coordinator JMDC, Wes Andree Executive Director JMDC, Jeannie Nutter, Director Roynon Museum, Judy Roynon, Founder Roynon Museum So happy and excited that Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center will be preserving the legacy of the Roynon Collection.

Saturday night a group of friends of the Roynon Museum, which closed last month, saluted its founder, Keith Roynon. He handed the torch to the Riverside-based collection, the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center, that will now be the home to the extensive fossil collection that Roynon collected over 75 years and which called Escondido home for many, many years, including four years at the museum’s Grand Avenue location.

Saturday night the Roynon Museum of Earth Science and Paleontology had a celebration dinner at Cocina del Charro to introduce the new era in the Roynon collection. Those in attendance were introduced to Wes Andrée, director of Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center, and some of his staff. 

The Roynon Museum of Earth Science and Paleontology recently closed their Grand Avenue location here in Escondido. It donated much of its collection to Jurupa, where it will continue to educate children just as it did here in Escondido. 

Offering several different classes for all age groups and class levels; it is projected that 18,000 children will experience the Roynon Collection this next school year. Augmenting an already wonderful program, Wes Andrée expects that parents, teachers, and the general public will be thrilled with this new addition to their programs. The collection is currently being processed as their museum is being remodeled to enable the best presentation of the exhibits. The Roynon Collection is expected to be on display in the Spring of 2020.

Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center was founded in 1964 and is located on an 82-acre parcel of land at 7621 Granite Hills Dr., in Riverside. Right off Highway 60, it is conveniently located for visitors and schools. Besides the Discovery Center which houses the museum, there is a Creature Corner featuring live animals, approximately 22 life size specimens throughout the grounds and a very large gift shop. The Center is also the home of Granite Hills Nursery, the Inland Region Iris Society and the California Rare Fruit Growers Inland Empire Chapter.  Some current programs offered by Jurupa are:

Gold Panning
Introductory lapidary
Fossil Shack
Archaeology Dig
Rock Collecting at the Dinosaurs (Our Most Popular)
Indian Pictograph
California Rockhound
Dinosaur Dig
Adobe Brick Making
Magic of Minerals

You can learn more about Jurupa at their website jmdc.org/

According to Jeannie Nutter, director of the Roynon Museum, “Mr. Roynon is delighted that his legacy will continue on for years to come. After having spent 75 years to amass the collection his main purpose and goal was for it to continue to excite, educate, and inspire children. While a room full of staff and volunteers were saddened by the closing of the museum, they were encouraged and delighted to hear about what the future holds for the Roynon Collection.”

Keith Roynon, founder of the Roynon Museum and Wes Andree, executive director of the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center.

Over 40 people attended the celebration of the Roynon collection Saturday at Cocina del Charro.

Jeannie Nutter Director of the Roynon Museum with Wess Andree Executive Director Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center.

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