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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s $1.5 Million Renovation Will Add Climate Change Exhibit

The museum's Sustainability Center will highlight the importance of living in balance with the environment, according to museum officials.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive
Facebook/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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LINCOLN PARK — The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is transforming part of its building into a permanent exhibit and resource center focused on sustainability and climate change.

The $1.5 million construction project will begin this summer and will recycle space at the north end of the museum to create the 1,100-square-foot Sustainability Center, according to a museum news release. It’s expected to open next year.

The area will include an interactive exhibit and a resource center highlighting the importance of living in balance with the environment, according to the museum.

“We have been a leading voice in sustainable living and conservation science in the Chicago area for 165 years, and this new addition will make our voice even stronger,” Deb Lahey, president and CEO of the museum, said in the news release. “The exhibit will allow us to continue to share our expertise, resources and philosophy with all our visitors through fascinating and accessible interactive and digital content.”

Credit: Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
A rendering shows the Nature Museum’s plans for a Sustainability Center.

The Sustainability Center’s permanent exhibit is designed for people of all ages and will use immersive storytelling with an interactive gallery, museum officials said. Guests will learn about the environmental impact of local versus global food production, the impact of their water use and forms of natural resources.

It will also feature a living green wall with a variety of plants and a large, spherical sculpture that highlights the four components of a sustainable environment: food, water, economy and culture and energy, according to the museum.

The gallery will also feature tablets and screens that will be updated regularly to display the latest information and stories relating to conservation, according to the museum.

The other part of the renovation is a community resource center, where guests can stop by to work, read or mingle, according to the museum.

“We take pride in being the city’s leading digital museum, offering immersive exhibits, programs and experiences that connect people to nature and science,” Lahey said. “And we are excited to provide visitors with this new interactive experience that provides them with the resources to stay up to date and implement sustainable living practices into their daily lives.”

Credit: Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
A rendering of the Sustainability Center’s interactive exhibit.
Credit: Provided/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
A rendering of the Sustainability Center’s resource center.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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