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Playas ... Gems of the Plains Exhibit Reception at NMJC Museum

Playas ... Gems of the Plains Exhibit Reception at NMJC Museum photo 9/11/2007 12:55:19 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will hold a reception, open to the public, for the opening of Playas ... Gems of the Plains exhibit on September 13, 2007, from 4 to 6 pm. The exhibit will be on display through October 15, 2007.

Playa lakes are shallow and usually round wetlands that have clay-lined floors. The lakes periodically fill with water, mostly from precipitation, and average less than 17 acres. Approximately 96 percent of the world's playas are found on the High Plains. There are more than 20,000 in northwest Texas alone, and as many as 60,000 throughout the entire playa lakes region, which includes eastern Colorado and New Mexico; western Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma; and the Texas Panhandle.

Playa lakes may be the most important wetland habitat for birds in the High Plains region. More than 200 bird species are known to use playas during the breeding, wintering, or migrating seasons. Playas are also the primary source of recharge for the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest groundwater system in North America.

Playas ... Gems of the Plains exhibit features 20 separate 80-inch tall and 40-inch wide panels, which present information on the function of playa lakes, their history, geography, biology, ecology, and art. The exhibit, complete with bird sounds and panoramic photography, includes interactive games, models, artifacts, and maps.

Playas ... Gems of the Plains first debuted in January 2003, and since then, has visited more than 18 museums in five states. The exhibit will continue its travel until fall of 2008.

For more information on Playas ... Gems of the Plains exhibit, call 575.392.6730. The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame is located just north of the NMJC campus at 5317 Lovington Highway.

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