The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a favorite family destination of ours. I especially appreciate their rotating hands-on, educational exhibits that give visitors a chance to delve deeper into a range of topics. I always walk away feeling like I learned a ton of new information. Their newest exhibit is no exception.
At a time when species loss is increasing at an alarming rate, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's newest self-produced interactive exhibit entitled Nature's Struggle explores why some species go extinct, why others thrive and what guests can do now – in our urban area and throughout the region – to promote species conservation, biodiversity and strengthen their relationship with nature.
The exhibit coincides with the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the once abundant passenger pigeon (this is a fascinating story). The exhibit experience is framed through the eyes of three child protagonists living in 1820, 1905 and 2014. This historical journey highlights the changes in landscapes and species, the origin of the early conservation movement and concludes with an opportunity to learn what you can do to preserve biodiversity and protect habitat after leaving the exhibit.
Exhibition highlights include:
- A large-scale motion mural and enjoy a soundtrack of atmospheric sounds as you view dramatic changes in the landscape over time
- A passenger pigeon specimen from the Chicago Academy of Sciences, an extinct species that was once the most abundant bird in North American and whose flocks were so large they could darken the sky for three consecutive days
- An interactive timeline of the early conservation movement
- Interactive opportunities to evaluate how our purchasing choices impact the environment
- The chance to draw the wildlife you see just like John James Audubon did
- Kids can write about their favorite animals and post their stories for others to see
- Be a world leader for a day and determine what you would do to protect species and habitat
- Gather round the campfire and read a story about nature written by the Nature Museum’s Steve Sullivan and his daughter
As usual, my kids really enjoyed the hands-on aspects of the exhibit. And then we headed over to hang out in the butterfly haven. Not a bad way to spend a morning! Add this experience to your summer to do list! The exhibit will be at the Museum through October 2014.