Renovating exhibits next for nature center

With the opening of Discovery Pond, Michele Cardinaux and other staff members will turn their attention to the exhibits inside the Tacoma Nature Center. The center is spending $110,000 of bond money to renovate the exhibit area.

By early next month, Cardinaux hopes to have conceptual drawings posted on the center’s website and on display at the center.

“We’re going to play off what we know already works and do more of that,” she said. “We’re going to upgrade and do some new stuff, and some stuff will go away.

The current exhibits – a mix of dioramas, aquariums and some interactive exhibits – has not been updated since the center opened in 1992.

“The idea is to make the exhibits more kid-friendly and more engaging. More of an extension or an introduction to the outdoors,” Cardinaux said.

One idea is to develop a field guide or checklist, with visitors challenged to find the items, rather than having everything labeled.

Installation should begin by November and be completed by February. It will take place in phases, so the center can remain open.