Note: This story was updated at 4:30 p.m.
The National Park Service, U.S. Department of Energy, and Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will have an open house celebration at the Children’s Museum from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, January 24, to celebrate the Manhattan Project National Historical Park’s newest location for providing information about the park. Admission to the museum will be free during this event, a press release said.
This celebration will also feature a Parks in Focus photography exhibit that will be a tribute to Ed Westcott, the press release said. The exhibit will feature photographs taken by third- and fourth-grade girls from Girls Inc. of Oak Ridge using the Parks in Focus program curriculum, with inspiration from the black-and-white photography of Westcott. The Udall Foundation, based in Tucson, Arizona, created the Parks in Focus program to connect youth from under-served communities to nature through photography, environmental education, outdoor recreation, and creative expressions. This year-long program has been connecting youth of Oak Ridge to the rich history of the Manhattan Project through the lens of a camera, the press release said.
To help celebrate the new location at the Children’s Museum, the park will also offer the Every Kid in a Park pass to any fourth grader attending this free event, the press release said. The Every Kid in a Park program allows fourth graders nationwide to obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide for an entire year.
“Please come out and enjoy the festivities at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge and welcome the National Park Service to its new location,” the press release said.
The Children’s Museum is located at 461 West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge.
The National Park Service announced in June that it was moving its visitor center and offices in Oak Ridge to the Children’s Museum in October. The National Park Service has a visitor center and offices in Oak Ridge as part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, a three-site park that was established in November 2015 after years of advocacy.
The National Park Service visitor center and offices had been located at the American Museum of Science and Energy, or AMSE, on South Tulane Avenue. But that museum is moving as part of a land transfer related to Main Street Oak Ridge, the 58-acre project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall. AMSE is moving to space that will be renovated in the former Sears Roebuck store near JCPenney at Main Street Oak Ridge, although it’s not clear exactly when the museum, a top regional attraction, will open at its new home.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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