LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History is opening a new exhibit next month that will show how Nebraska got to be “an amazing state,” the museum director said.
The fourth-floor museum space at Morrill Hall on the main Lincoln campus will hold the new permanent telling the story of Nebraska’s natural past, from the species that roamed the plains to how humans interact with the land today.
Benefactors and more than 50 experts helped create the $11.4 million “Cherish Nebraska” exhibit, charting Nebraska’s “landscape through time,” museum director Susan Weller told the Lincoln Journal Star .
The exhibit will open Feb. 16 and is designed to provide Nebraskans one all-embracing message about their home, she said: “It is an amazing state.”
“It really is a place where east meets west and the south comes to meet the northern plains,” Weller said. “The richness of life is supported by the richness of the geology here.”
The exhibit will feature seven galleries that show the state from it prehistoric past to the present. One will illustrate the tallgrass prairie, with a centerpiece showing the above- and below-ground structure of the wild plants.
Visitors will come face-to-face with ancient mammals, and children will be able walk through a model cottonwood trunk and explore a rattlesnake den mock-up while listening to some native sounds of the state: the “bobwhite” of a quail and the chirp of crickets.
Understanding the history and importance of the state’s ecosystems will inspire more people to protect it into the future, Weller said.