By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — Amazing. Awesome. Interesting. Cool.
These are just four adjectives people used when they first encountered the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit at North Webster Community Public Library today, Saturday, June 26. The exhibit officially opened to the public at 10 a.m. following a brief ribbon cutting.
“It is so cool. I walked in and it is more than what I expected,” said Eleanor Hooker. Suzie Light added “This is beyond cool.”
Kathy Brinkman stated “I think it’s wonderful. You can educate people in a non-confrontational way … preserve … localized interaction.”
Lyn Crighton, executive director of The Watershed and Beth Smith, historical and genealogical section of the library, welcomed guests to the ribbon cutting and “the first opening of the Smithsonian waterways exhibit in Indiana.
“We are so excited to showcase this amazing exhibit with all of our supporters, partners and communities,” stated Crighton. “We are just so excited to share this exhibit and we’re going to get to talk about our watershed, water quality and what it means to our community. We will educate a lot of people and share our messages with them.”
A pre-opening preview was provided to sponsors, supporters and partners. Every attendee became fascinated and amazed at the displays, not only from the Smithsonian, but also the two local displays from the library and The Watershed Foundation.
Visitors to the exhibit are greeted by a large display informing guests that water is everywhere, vast, a resource, precious, critical, found in steam, streams, rivers, lakes and more. A video shows how water shapes culture, allows people to travel, crucial for life, work, what we eat and drink.
Each panel focuses on different areas of water with interactive opportunities. Do you know how many gallons of water is used to make a gallon of milk? Grow an apple? Raise a chicken? What about making a car and its four tires? Find out the amounts of water to grow or produce everyday common items.
Or you can spin the wheel and learn about reclaiming land from water. Learn about glaciers, water and great escapes. There’s a whole lot more to read and view. There’s two kiosks where guests can watch a slide presentation.
But there’s more.
Look at old photos of Lake Webster, local people and Lake TIppecanoe in one exhibit.
Browse and read about the local watershed, the Land of Lakes, water and early settlements, water and spiritual life, the community at work in the lakes, water stewards, water in daily lives, how water affects local tourism, recreation and the economy, and challenges faced by streams, rivers and lakes.
Don’t plan on just stopping by and spending a few minutes. If you find you don’t have the time for an extended visit, plan on making numerous visits to the North Webster Community Public Library and see something different in each visit. Make sure to bring the kids for a fun educational time.
The exhibit will be at North Webster until Aug. 7 and open during regular library hours. It’s something you won’t want to miss.