Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
|Location||500 W. University Avenue
El Paso, Texas
|Nearest car park||Permits at museum office|
The museum was built during the 1936 Texas Centennial.
The Centennial Museum is located on the UTEP campus. Its cultural focus is on the indigenous, colonial, pre-urban, and folk cultures of the border regions of southwestern United States and Mexico. The natural history focus is on the geology and biology of the Southwest and Mexico, with particular emphasis on the Chihuahuan Desert. The permanent exhibits include paleontology, geology, ethnology, archaeology, and regional higher vertebrates. The Museum has a collection of Casas Grandes pottery, with many items displayed on its website as well as on exhibit.
Temporary exhibits cover a wide range of subjects apropos to the Museum's mission or to that of the University of Texas at El Paso. Emphasis tends to be on the El Paso Border Region of the United States and Mexico.
Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on the museum's grounds feature over 600 species of native plants. The gardens are intended to demonstrate that the use of native plants in landscaping can be fulfilling in terms of beauty and water conservation. Over 600 species of plants native to the Greater Chihuahuan Desert Region are cultivated in a series of "theme" gardens. The gardens also serve as a resource for informal and formal botanical and environmental education. An extensive database of plant images and associated information is associated with the gardens. The Laboratory for Environmental Biology is the biological research component of the Museum with particular emphasis on ecology and evolution, including systematics.
Other web material includes transcripts of over 1300 short radio presentations concerning Southwestern subjects aired by the local National Public Radio station, KTEP. Courses on the website include An Introduction to the Chihuahuan Desert and Mammalogy on the Web.
Free to the public, with special needs access and limited parking. Tours are booked in advance.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Closed on university holidays and UTEP home football game days.
- "Centennial Museum/Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at The University of Texas at El Paso". Texas Mountain Trail Region. Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Kohout, Martin Donnell. "UTEP Centennial Museum". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Temporary exhibits". UTEP. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Gardens". UTEP. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- Centennial Museum website
- Chihuahuan Desert Gardens: Native Plant Database
- Laboratory for Environmental Biology website
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