Installation of environmental exhibits begins at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

Technicians on Thursday began installing the environmental exhibits that will be the heart of the new Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center.

Aug 28th, 2003


Aug. 28, 2003 -- Technicians on Thursday began installing the environmental exhibits that will be the heart of the new Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. The Center will open on Sept. 19 as Philadelphia's premier eco-tourism attraction.

"Our mission is to have our visitors reflect upon the interaction of people and the environment. The Center's focus on the Schuylkill River vividly illustrates the results of human actions, good and bad," said Ed Grusheski, development director for the Center.

Each exhibit reflects the overall theme of the Interpretive Center - "Water In Our World." All exhibits invite the visitor to participate in learning about aspects of that theme with bold graphics and compelling images, such as old photographs, watershed diagrams and illustrations of the many uses of water.

Some of the exhibits are conventional panels, but there are a good number of high-tech interactive exhibits that let the visitor:

* Fly a helicopter from Delaware Bay to the headwaters of the Delaware or Schuylkill rivers.

* Watch the tide rise and fall in the Schuylkill River with an actual working model of the Fairmount Water Works. Visitors can then go outside, look at the river and calculate where the river is in the tidal cycle.

* Make rain fall, and see the affects of rainfall on the watershed.

Plans call for the installation of a television camera to monitor the fish ladder located on the riverbank opposite of the Interpretive Center. The television camera will send digital signals to the Interpretive Center, where visitors can watch the fish migrate upriver.

The Interpretive Center is housed within the Fairmount Water Works, a complex of graceful neo-classical buildings nestled beside the Schuylkill River. Besides the exhibits, visitors to the Interpretive Center will also enjoy programs, several river balconies and an historic esplanade.

The site has a classroom, a Water Lab for visiting students and a small theater for multimedia and professional presentations. The center will be able to accommodate 100,000 visitors yearly and is completely ADA accessible.

The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center is a project of the Philadelphia Water Department.


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