New reception desk in place at Bighorn Canyon

David Peck

The crew has finished, the dust has cleared, and the main visitor greeting area at the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Cal S. Taggart Visitor Center has a brand new desk in place.
Work on the new desk began January 2 and wrapped up January 12, Chief of Interpretation Christy Fleming said. Staff members started “moving back into” the reception area on Saturday, Jan. 13, and the move was completed by Tuesday, Jan. 16.
The new desk features new museum quality display cases and improved accessibility, Chief of Interpretation Christy Fleming said, plus a lot more room for staff members. For instance, when someone was sitting at the desk in the former reception area, another staff member could not easily cross in back of the person at the desk.
The desk is also wheelchair accessible, with a lower desk level than before and an alcove for a wheelchair, if needed. The back shelves are also lower, Fleming said.
Fleming said the new desk has secure, museum quality display space with special lighting for artifacts that could be damaged by lights, a featured upgrade that will also allow the park to borrow exhibits from other collections.
One of the best features of the new reception area is that it features a walk-through gate on the side of the desk next to the large relief map, an area for staff that was formerly closed off by the desk, forcing a staff member to walk all the way around the desk to access the rest of the main room and greet visitors.
“The gate and the room are my favorite (features),” Fleming said, adding that the bookstore operated by the Western National Parks Association has remained unchanged. She said she has three ideas for exhibits in 2024, one of which will be put into place in the next month or two.
Community members are invited to come to the visitor center to see the improvements to the visitor reception area, Fleming said.