To say we live in interesting times would normally sound cliché, but it is very true.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease, was identified, named, and studied since November 2019, just a few months over a year. During that time, our world has struggled to get the virus and its disease under control.

Countries have approached the issue of control in many different ways, with many different results, some great and some not so great. Restrictions of population movement resulting in economic consequences have been difficult to accept worldwide, resulting in strong and vocal opinions locally and internationally.

Worldwide, Scientists have been collaborating internationally on research to understand the virus and its disease so effective treatments and vaccines can be developed. Many of the research projects into vaccines have resulted in several effective vaccines in less than a year.

New treatments are being tested to avoid the very invasive early treatments that were being used. The human response has been amazing, beautiful, intelligent, and questioning all at the same time. So it seems very true that we do live in interesting times.


Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center spent most of 2020 closed to the public. JMDC first closed in March 2020, reopened in October 2020, closed in December 2020, and reopened again in February 2021.

During our closures to the public, our amazing Staff has stayed working; caring for and enhancing the gardens, caring for our reforesting effort (309 trees) planted in mid-2019, completing property improvement projects, expanding our collection of live animals for JMDC’s Critter Corner, and all the mundane and routine work that goes into caring for JMDC.


JMDC is a privately held 501.c.3 non-profit organization with a fifteen-member Board of Directors, an Executive Director, paid full and part-time staff, and volunteers that keep everything maintained and operating.

With no regular or routine support from the Federal, State, County, or City governments, JMDC needs to pay our own way and earn our funding by operating the many facets that make-up the gem-in-the-rough that is Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center.

Some of the facets of our Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center gem-in-the-rough are:

  • JMDC’s Granite Hill Nursery specializing in cactus and succulents. We grow from our own seed, propagate cuttings from our mother-plants, and purchase many cactus and succulents for the beginning and experienced collectors to purchase in our nursery. JMDC’s experienced Staff provides guidance on the care of cactus and succulents with suggestions for planting. If you have a particular cactus or succulent you are looking for, email us at with what you are looking for.
  • JMDC’s Museum of Discoveries has been undergoing a complete renovation that began in July 2019. New paleontology exhibits have been brought in (some donated, some purchased, and others on loan) to give our guests a greater experience discovering so much of what makes this world unique. Our path through time will guide visitors from the earliest history of our world to today through rocks, minerals, and fossil records of the past. The building that houses JMDC’s Museum of Discoveries is closed to the general public. However, private tours are being arranged for JMDC Members during our public hours and based on staff availability. Members can contact to make arrangements for a tour.
  • JMDC’s Critter Corner is a varied collection of live animals focusing on reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. JMDC Staff likes to convert visitors into fans of these unique animals by introducing them to the critters’ unusual behaviors, body styles, and living environments. The enclosures are a combination of function and form, meaning some critters live in enclosures that provide a safe, balanced environment that functions well if they are coming out often to interact with the public. Other critters live in enclosures that are reasonable recreations of wild environments. Once visitors are converted, these critters have very devoted fans who enjoy visiting with them as often as possible. Later in the year, JMDC’s Critter Corner will be moving to a stand-alone building and developing an expanded education program for family and school interaction. For more information about our critters, our expanding education program, or sponsoring a critter, contact Due to current restrictions, critters are brought outside from their enclosures throughout the day to interact with visitors.
  • JMDC’s Gift Shop of Discoveries is expanding the items that are for sale. New displays are being added to accommodate new items. There is a unique selection to choose from if you are interested in rough or polished rocks and minerals. A large collection of natural crystals from very small that’ll fit in your pocket to large specimens that can be the focus of any living area. If your interests are fossils, we have many fossils ready to be added to your beginning or established collections. JMDC’s Gift Shop of Discoveries would not be complete without educational gifts or just some fun or cute items, and there are many to choose from. For souvenirs, we have a great selection of branded items to choose from. If you have something special that you are looking for, email us at, and we’ll try to source it out for you.
  • JMDC’s education programs are conducted mostly in the north (upper) and east parts of the 82 acres that make up JMDC. Our programs are designed to meet California Next Generation Science and California Common Core standards for Kindergarten through 12th grade with a focus on 1st through 6th grades. Every year we update our programs as needed to make sure students and teachers get the program that they want and need. JMDC has twelve standard programs that we offer, many of which can be adjusted up or down a few grade levels. A brief description of each can be found at We will also custom design a program to meet your needs. Just ask us at
  • JMDC’s Sauntering Gardens feature multiple specialized gardens: Butterfly, Cactus, and Succulent, Aloe Fields, Iris, Demonstration Orchard, Heirloom Citrus Orchard, along with many small attractive plantings are a great place to relax. While you saunter through the gardens, you will see many of JMDC’s dinosaur sculptures that are fun and educational. There are small places to sit (more are being built) and watch our urban nature move about; birds feeding, butterflies flitting about, rabbits and squirrels run and hide when they think they are discovered, lizards sun themselves getting ready to find a meal, and many of the larger and smaller animals that call JMDC home will show themselves if you have the patience to wait for them. The gardens have many great places to take pictures and venues for family or corporate events. If you are interested in having a family or corporate event at JMDC or you are a professional photographer who wants to use JMDC, contact us at to get details.
  • JMDC’s Membership program has many benefits, some very unique, for individuals, families, or Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center supporters. Depending on your participation level, there are different benefits; discounts on purchases, Member Only Events, limited parking passes, private tours, preferred pricing for Children’s Birthday Parties, parking fees waived, private dinner for two, one-of-kind shirts, and JMDC Fun Packs. Regardless of pandemic closures, all JMDC Memberships will get their full 12 months of benefits; when appropriate, membership expiration dates will be extended. For more information on JMDC Memberships, you can email, and we’ll answer questions.

We’re Open Again

JMDC is very happy to have visitors back making all the fun discoveries that they enjoy doing. We continue to work on polishing this gem-in-the-rough and expanding the many facets that JMDC offers, and adding a few more. Watch in the future for the development of the Critter Garden with our Turtle Pond as the flagship critter enclosure. This will be a wonderful place to learn about some of the unique critters that make this world a great place to make discoveries.

Many Discoveries,
Wes Andrée
Executive Director

Copyright © 2020 | Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center. | All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy
Website Design by Wow Your Brand

Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center uses Accessibility Checker to monitor our website's accessibility. Read our Accessibility Policy.

Malcare WordPress Security