The public can see the new, hands-on exhibits at the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center for the first time during a grand reopening on Friday, Jan. 8.
The center will reopen from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free on this day. Regular center hours resume Jan. 9 and are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
The center has been closed for about a year for the installation of new exhibits, which offer an exciting, immersive learning experience with state-of-the-art audio, video and interactive elements.
The exhibits revolve around four themes that connect the center and the park’s fossil beds. The themes are “An Ancient Sea,” “A Changing Land,” “Converging Cultures” and “The Falls Today.” Visitors will walk through a Devonian sea, learn about archaeology, listen to one of the few modern recordings of the Shawnee language, hear the story of Lewis and Clark’s journey from the Falls of the Ohio to the Pacific Ocean, and discover the Falls today.
The galleries also include exhibits and activities specifically for children in preschool to second grade. A life-sized graphic of a great blue heron used throughout the exhibits makes those children’s activities easy to find.
The $6-million project also included renovation of the theater to improve accessibility, and replacement of the center’s roof.
Funding for the project was provided by The Falls of the Ohio Foundation through the gifts of many donors and included approximately $1.1 million in State dollars also.
“This has been such a great partnership,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship for Indiana State Parks. “The foundation staff and board have worked tirelessly within the local community on this project, and on many other fundraising efforts through the years. We are honored to stand beside them and celebrate the success of this joint effort.”
The exhibits were designed and fabricated by Solid Light, a Louisville-based exhibit and media firm. The exhibit renovation is the first since the center opened 22 years ago.
A dedication ceremony to honor partners and designate the center’s new exhibits as Indiana State Parks’ first Centennial Legacy Project will be at 11 a.m. the same day as the reopening. The public is welcome, but RSVPs are requested to azumstein@dnr.IN.gov.
Falls of the Ohio State Park stretches along the north shore of the Ohio River in Clarksville. The property provides access to and interpretation of 390-million-year-old fossil beds that are among the largest, naturally exposed and accessible Devonian fossil beds in the world.
Regular admission costs $9 for ages 12 to adults and $7 for ages 5 to 11. Children age 4 and younger are free. Parking costs $2 per car. The fee for school groups will be $7 per child and includes two interpretive programs, which can be scheduled by calling the Interpretive Center at (812) 280-9970.
Falls of the Ohio State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2984.htm) is at 201 W. Riverside Dr. Clarksville, 47129.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.