North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Contentnea Creek breaks ground on education and visitors center
In 2009, Nancy and John Bray donated the property now known as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Contentnea Creek, and on Thursday ground will be broken on an education and visitors center named for the eastern North Carolina couple with a long legacy of supporting STEM programs.
The museum’s Emily Jarvis said the area is a popular spot for school field trips and for others interested in exploring nature.
"We have a lot of hiking trails, ponds that we do kayaking on, and we also have a planetarium and an observatory at that location,” she said, “So, we do a lot of astronomy programming out there.”
She said they plan to hit the ground running and have the education space open by the end of the summer.
“We already have over 20,000 people a year come out to Contentnea Creek for science-based field trips, summer camps and community programs,” Jarvis explained, “We've just never had much of an indoor space to do any of this programming in.”
In addition to school students, she said the center will benefit other visitors as well.
She said it will be, “A real gateway to nature for the general public. It's going to give people a place to pull up to and to feel comfortable before they go and adventure into the wilderness that we have to offer out there.”
Jarvis said the new center will allow for increased and improved programming and experiences.