Morrison Foundation gift adds new exhibits, helps renovate Exhibit Hall at KWEC

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12/18/18
HAYS, Kan. – New exhibits are now available at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend, made possible through a $220,000 gift from the Dorothy M. Morrison Foundation to renovate the Koch Wetlands Exhibit Hall.

The KWEC overlooks Cheyenne Bottoms, the largest inland marsh in the United States, northeast of Great Bend. The center, 592 NE Kansas Highway 156, is managed by Fort Hays State University.    

The new, interactive exhibits will allow visitors to experience and discover more about the animals and plants that call the wetlands of Cheyenne Bottoms home.

"The Dorothy M. Morrison Foundation is pleased and excited to be a part of the Exhibit Hall expansion at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center,” said Katherine Opie, foundation director.

“In less than 10 years, the KWEC has become a popular and important destination, showcasing the wildlife and wetlands unique to this region and providing educational programming for all ages,” she said. “The Morrison Foundation is proud to support this valuable community asset."

Completed by Bang! Creative out of Carlsbad, Calif., the exhibit features 12 new exhibit pieces, including an interactive floor projection system, an augmented reality sandbox to simulate a water drainage basin, a magnifying glass table to explore aquatic macroinvertebrates, and a children’s activity area.

Renovations also include a new donor recognition wall exhibit. Two exhibits remain – Cheyenne Bottoms Timeline and A Panorama of Birds for All Seasons. They were originally installed in 2009 through a gift from the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, remain.

“We are so thankful to the Dorothy M. Morrison Foundation for allowing us the opportunity to turn a great nature center visit into an unforgettable experience, and one that visitors will want to return to over and over again,” said Curtis Wolf, director of the KWEC.

KWEC’s ultimate goal with the new exhibits is to provide the experiences that can trigger more people to become invested stewards of natural resources and local wetlands.

“The exhibit hall renovation will give everyone a chance to rediscover all of the fun and exciting events that happen at KWEC,” said Dixie Divis, board president of Friends of Cheyenne Bottoms.

“There is always something new to see and learn with each visit, and the renovations highlight this,” she said.

For more information about the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, go to www.wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu.

To learn how you can support the KWEC, please contact the Fort Hays State University Foundation by calling 785-628-5620 or emailing foundation@fhsu.edu. To make a gift to the KWEC, visit https://foundation.fhsu.edu/donate, select “Other” in the dropdown menu under “Designation,” and type “Kansas Wetlands Education Center” as the area of designation.

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