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Discover Oklahoma: Frederick exhibit offers wildlife education

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Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson]
Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson]

When someone mentions Frederick, OK, the first thing that comes to mind is the Airborne Demonstration Team Jump School.

You can be trained as a new team member and participate with the team as demonstration parachutists. People come from all over the country to take part in the exercises there and the training takes place twice a year, one in January and the other will be July 12-20 in Frederick. Those fine folks not only have fun, but they also do it to pay homage to America’s World War II paratroopers. And one of these days, I hope to do a story about the jump school for Discover Oklahoma.

While I feel the Airborne Demonstration Team Jump School is quite unique, there’s another unique thing I think about when talking about Frederick. And it’s called The Crawford Collection. This exhibit was compiled and made available to the public by the Crawford family.

The exhibit gives a great opportunity, particularly for kids to learn about animals. Now, the animals in the exhibit were collected by Bill and Carol Crawford in 25 years of hunting trips and safaris. There are amazing things to see there and amazing stories behind them.

Most people who come in, especially for the first time, are absolutely amazed at the number of animals displayed. About 170 specimens, including lions, bears, a bull elephant, rhinoceros, a giraffe and more, make up the exhibit. And the animals are not behind glass or rope, but are positioned so visitors can get close to an amazing view.

Now the animals could have been gathering dust in storage or maybe in the Crawfords' house, but Bill Crawford believes strongly in conservation and education. Many of the animals are mounted in dioramas depicting the areas where they actually lived. Schoolchildren can see the natural relationship between predator and prey, or why they developed their coloration.

Educating children was the basic purpose in designing the exhibit. And whether one visits The Crawford Collection for education or just the thrill of seeing it, you really just need to understand what Bill Crawford believes is the real reason it exists. He and his wife, Carol, wanted to pass along the conservation of wildlife, and how the necessity of combining hunting and conservation was needed to preserve the animals.

The Crawford Collection at 115 N Main in Frederick is open from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. the second Saturday of the month and also during special events. For more information, 580-335-3211 or 580-335-4398.

For a list of other unique things across Oklahoma, go to www.travelok.com.

Dino Lalli is the producer, co-host and one of the reporters for the travel program DISCOVER OKLAHOMA.

Related Photos
<strong>Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson]</strong>

Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15d3a129e7ace6aada7e902a245cb473.jpg" alt="Photo - Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] " title=" Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] "><figcaption> Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cc7863359ad60f282f250edac2f9898a.jpg" alt="Photo - Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] " title=" Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] "><figcaption> Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d8eed991a6fd72968b371beb19d2d93a.jpg" alt="Photo - Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] " title=" Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] "><figcaption> Some of the animals that are part of The Crawford Collection exhibit in Frederick. [Provided by Richard Tomlinson] </figcaption></figure>
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