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.