Community Relations

2016 Annual Activity Report

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STEELE CREEK NATURE CENTER EXPANSION: The City of Bristol, Tennessee along with the Friends of Steele Creek have begun a $1 million expansion of the Nature Center at the 2200 acre Steele Creek Park. This is the first major renovation of the facility since it was built in 1996. When completed, the expansion will almost triple the current size of the facility and will provide for numerous other improvements including a new parking lot with ADA accessibility. MAJOR PROJECTS Construction of the new wing of the Nature Center is now almost complete. City workers will be doing much of the finishing work over the coming months, while Friends is busy working with design specialist Ed Hackley to line up vendors to construct and install many of the exciting new exhibits. The plans call for entirely new and exciting exhibits to fill the gallery areas on both levels of the new building. Already, work on the new aquarium tank display is underway. The new exhibit will be central to the main gallery on the upper level of the new building. It will feature eight large tanks for the diverse specimens of aquatic animals found in the park, and one very large tank for Snappy, everyone's favorite Steele Creek Park snapping turtle! Life-like tank enclosures, banners with scenes from the park, and detailed descriptive information will enhance the display. Meanwhile, planning for two large dioramas, also to be located in the main gallery area, continues. One, featuring the mammals, reptiles and amphibians of the park, will include both live and taxidermy specimens in a natural appearing setting. The other will demonstrate the great diversity of birds that can be found in the park. Backdrop banners for both will feature our own knobs and woodlands. Both will have pull-out discovery drawers for kids of all ages to interact with in a truly hands-on way. The plan is to have all of these exhibits completed and installed in time for the grand opening during Wildlife Weekend in October. Great things are happening at the Nature Center at Steele Creek Park. Construction of the long-awaited new section of the facility is almost complete. With the addition we will have almost three times the space of our original building. Steele Creek Nature Center

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