Grant will help redevelop Museum of the Grand Prairie exhibit

Grant will help redevelop Museum of the Grand Prairie exhibit

A $57,571 grant from the state's museum capital grants program will help the Champaign County Forest Preserve District redevelop the main gallery exhibit at the Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet, formerly known as the Early American Museum, at Lake of the Woods Park.

"With the name change we did a couple of years ago, we really wanted to capture the natural-resources aspect and the cultural-resource aspects," said Daniel Olson, executive director of the forest preserve district. "Part of that exhibitry would interpret more of the natural history along with the cultural history. This grant is to do just that, to update and build basic new exhibitry on the prairie in East Central Illinois."

In the main gallery of the museum, he said, there will be new display panels, some of which will be interactive with audio/visual displays.

"There will be technologies in there that we haven't had before," he said.

The changes will be made over the next 18 months, he said.

The state grant did not need to be matched with a local share, Olson said. The state money comes from the Illinois Jobs Now! program through the Illinois Public Museum capital grants program, which is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on January 12, 2013 at 10:01 am

Yeah, the state is broke........ sure...   Money for muesems; but not enough money for public services to citizens, or payments toward the pension debt.  What's a little $15 million here, and there?  Just keep spending, avoid paying debts, and steal other people's money. 

RN4Veterans wrote on January 13, 2013 at 8:01 am

Yes, the state is broke and still throwing around money. Although I thoroughly enjoy this museum and would love to help it out, I agree to a small point with Sid. My way of thinking though; instead of tossing the money to public services to citizens, or payments toward the pension debt, how about the novel idea of paying off the debt that's digging this state into bankruptcy? Wouldn't that be grand to start trying to turn the state around for a positive 'change' so we could possibly get Illnois into the black instead of intense red?