When George Crawford goes to Oasis State Park to do his presentation on the Blackwater Draw site, he never knows who will be there.
Sometimes Crawford, site archaeologist for Blackwater Draw, gets people who have little knowledge of the archaeological site and other times he gets people who know the site very well.
“I like to gauge the crowd and present accordingly. I like to keep it open and informal so everyone can ask questions,” Crawford said.
Crawford will be giving his presentation on the site at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Oasis, which he only puts on once a year.
Crawford said the presentation will be on the prehistory of the area including the environment and animals that roamed the area. He will also discuss the basics of archaeology.
“I want to go over how our environment has changed and how water usage has affected the area. Water is the key to how our area is shaped,” Crawford said.
Crawford will also bring some artifacts, bones and replicas to the presentation so those attending can see what has been discovered at Blackwater Draw.
Crawford said he gets a variety of people at the event as some are from the Portales area and some are from across New Mexico.
“I have gotten people who are just staying in the park. One year we had a couple from Fort Sumner and some from Albuquerque who just wanted something fun to do while they were at the park,” Crawford said.
Valerie Russ, a park tech at Oasis, said attendance at their other event over the summer was not as well as they would have hoped.
Russ said the heat is one of the factors for the low attendance.
Crawford said he enjoys presenting at the park and has been doing it about six years. He was one of the first speakers at the park when they started the program 15 years ago.
“They always ask a lot of questions, which I want and we can just talk about the subject in depth,” Crawford said.