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[DNR] The Falls of the Ohio Foundation raises $5.5 million for interpretive center
Start Date: 1/13/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/13/2014End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Upgrading the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center with new exhibits and accessibility improvements is no longer just a dream thanks to the fundraising efforts of The Falls of the Ohio Foundation.

At the end of 2013, The Foundation met a goal of raising $5.5 million for the Crossroads Campaign for New Exhibits.

The new exhibits will replace those that are more than 20 years old. They will explain the parks exposed fossil beds and highlight southern Indiana and Louisville as a world-renowned destination for geologists, ecologists, archaeologists and others who study fossils.

Exhibit design has been completed by the Louisville-based museum design company Solid Light. The design includes substantial building modifications as well as ADA upgrades. Exhibit fabrication should begin later this year with a dedication of the new exhibits in early 2015.

Announced in 2006, the Crossroads Campaign received significant help from the James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville, which contributed about $1.1 million in separate grants in 2013 and 2009.

“We are thrilled and thankful for the tireless work of the staff and board members of The Falls of the Ohio Foundation in achieving this goal,” said Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks & Reservoirs. “We are also very appreciative of all the community organizations and individuals who have contributed to this effort.”

The Foundation (FallsoftheOhio.org) is a non-profit organization that supports the state park through fundraising and educational initiatives. Sixteen other state parks and reservoirs have similar non-profit organizations, more commonly known as “friends groups.”

The Crossroads Campaign is an example of how valuable partnerships are for Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs.

“Partnerships with friends groups, conservation organizations, area businesses and other organizations improve opportunities and experiences for visitors and help us stretch our funding over a wider range of projects,” said Ginger Murphy, assistant director for stewardship for State Parks & Reservoirs.

A few examples of the many other partnerships include an effort by Friends of Ouabache State Park to erect a memorial to the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps, plans by the Friends of Harmonie State Park to build a program shelter next to the nature center, and a program through Friends of Indiana Dunes that helps fund field trips to Indiana Dunes State Park.

In addition to fundraising and tackling large projects, about 7,500 people, many of whom are members of friends groups, spent a combined 80,000 hours volunteering at parks in 2013, including cleaning, removing invasive species, monitoring nesting birds, staffing interpretive/nature centers, serving as campground hosts and other tasks.

More information on friends groups, including how to start one, is at stateparks.IN.gov/2442.htm.

Falls of the Ohio State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2984.htm) is at 201 W. Riverside Dr. Clarksville, 47129.
Contact Information:
Name: Ginger Murphy
Phone: (317) 232-4143
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
Announcements
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