Bloomsburg Children’s Museum Receives $80,500 grant from
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources
Grant Submitted in Collaboration with Columbia County Commissioners
The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum was recently awarded a $80,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources (DCNR). The successful application was written by the Museum’s newly hired Director, Dr. Ginny Weibel, in collaboration with Columbia County Commissioners.
The grant will renovate the lobby of the Children’s Museum, adding a wheelchair ramp to replace the current wheelchair lift, and will refurbish the ever-popular Greenway exhibit.
Dr. Weibel says of the award, “The Museum exists to serve our community and ignite the imagination of every child and adult that enters our building. This grant from DCNR is instrumental in our ability to deliver this message.”
The renovated Greenway will provide additional hands-on and interactive exhibits on topics such as local outdoor recreation, camping, geo-caching, native and invasive turtle and plant species, waste recycling, and water conservation and protection, to name a few.
Chris Young, Columbia County Commissioner, says, “The Columbia County Commissioners were thrilled to partner with an outstanding organization like the Children’s Museum. We are even happier that DCNR recognized the importance of the grant application.”
The Columbia County Conservation District and the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeepers will support this effort with programming within the exhibit. The Museum’s refurbished Greenway exhibit will detail the locations, activities, and amenities at Columbia Montour outdoor recreation areas and include interactive areas to educate visitors about the health and wellness benefits of participating in outdoor activities. The new exhibit will also educate visitors on the value of these areas for protection and the vital role they play in our lives and community health.
The Museum’s always-popular live turtle exhibit is already an effective means of communicating the effects of invasive species. The expanded exhibit will partner with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Department to include an Eastern Box Turtle, a species of concern. Other aspects of this exhibit will include biodiversity and habitat restoration efforts. One example of an interactive exhibit will be a dramatic play fishing pond and kayak adventure.
The plan also includes a recycling station in the Museum lobby, as well as an ADA-compliant water bottle filling station/water fountain to discourage the use of plastic bottles.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Children’s Museum is a non-profit organization with a mission to enrich the lives of people in the 10-county region by fostering a lifelong love of learning through interactive programs and exhibits that bring out the imagination in every child and the child in every visitor. The Museum hosts 25,000 visitors annually and provides over 500 programming hours per year and over 50% of those hours are for programs that foster outdoor recreation, sustainability and environmental stewardship. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.the-childrens-museum.org or call 570-389-9206 for more information.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM’S NEW DIRECTOR
Dr. Ginny Weibel was hired as the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum’s Director in the fall of 2019. She was formerly employed as the Museum’s Educational Coordinator from 2012-2019. She earned a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry and has over 25 years of experience in scientific research and education. Prior to moving to Central Pennsylvania, Ginny was a Research Professor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Weibel has been key in developing and implementing the Museum’s STEM-based programming for a variety of ages and abilities.