Cincinnati Museum Center completes project with funding from R.C. Durr Foundation and Friends of Big Bone
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner (513) 287-7054, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNION, KY – Something mammoth is going on at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site. The Big Bone Lick visitor center is getting a makeover as part of a revitalization project to vividly tell the site’s historic narrative in a more engaging way. On June 11, phase 1 of the revitalization project will be unveiled to the public for the first time, giving visitors a look at the new thematic cases designed and installed by Cincinnati Museum Center. The project is a partnership between Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Cincinnati Museum Center and Friends of Big Bone.
“The project for the renovation of interpretive exhibits at the museum and visitor center will mark the beginning of a new era of interpretation at the site,” says Dean Henson, park manager of Big Bone Lick. “The upgrades that we now have greatly enhance the park’s ability to convey the incredible stories the park has to tell."
Phase 1 of the revitalization project was funded by a grant from the R.C. Durr Foundation. The foundation is further providing dollar for dollar matching funds up to an additional $70,000 to allow completion of the visitor center makeover. Friends of Big Bone are seeking private donations for this match.
“The value of Big Bone Lick State Historic Site cannot be overstated,” said Elaine Walker, Kentucky Parks commissioner. “This birthplace of American paleontology has connections to both Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and will benefit greatly from the Durr Foundation grant. We are grateful that the Friends of Big Bone are undertaking this project.”
In addition to redesigned thematic cases containing fossils and artifacts, the revitalization project will also include a new central display, extension of the existing wall mural into a 3-D diorama and the inclusion of a timeline that will help visitors understand the history and significance of the park. A highlight will be the skeletal reconstruction of a giant ground sloth, an animal first discovered at Big Bone Lick.
Interpretive text was developed by Big Bone Lick park personnel and Friends of Big Bone. Cincinnati Museum Center staff designed and fabricated the new cases and will continue that role in phases 2 and 3.
“Cincinnati Museum Center, the region’s premier repository for fossils and archaeological artifacts, is proud to bring its expertise in exhibit development to this exciting project,” says Glenn Storrs, Withrow Farny Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Cincinnati Museum Center. “Providing content and context for park visitors will aid them in understanding the unique position of Big Bone Lick and its tremendous historical role in the development of science.”
Although the project is off to a strong start, private donations to the Friends of Big Bone, a 501c3 tax exempt, non-profit entity, are needed for its completion and to take full advantage of the matching grant money made available from the R.C. Durr Foundation. Donations of any size are welcome and may be made at www.friendsofbigbone.org.
Beginning with its discovery in 1739, Big Bone Lick drew the attention of notable European naturalists and America’s founding fathers. The first organized paleontological excavation in North America was conducted there in 1807 by William Clark at the request of Thomas Jefferson. The giant bones of extinct animals found there in the 18th and 19th centuries created intense interest and discussion in the emerging scientific community. The study of these “big bones” fed the development of new concepts such as extinction, climate change and evolution. Currently, the park staff present educational programs and on-site tours, maintain a bison herd and host an annual Salt Festival comprised of demonstrations and displays that represent Big Bone’s past.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.