The Placerita Canyon Nature Center plans to receive nearly $1.4 million from the Los Angeles County Parks Department to build new interpretative exhibits, according to officials.
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The interpretive exhibits are large, museum displays consisting of taxidermy animals portraying natural scenes.
“It’s trying to bring the outdoors environment indoors,” said Russell Kimura, a Los Angeles County Parks Department regional parks superintendent.
The names of the new exhibits will be: Life Among the Oaks; On the Bank of the Stream; Bringing It Home; On the Slopes; and Chaparral. The existing museum exhibits and displays were removed.
Each exhibit will cost about $150,000 to complete. The funding comes from a grant submitted by the Los Angeles County Parks Department to the California State Parks Department. The Placerita Nature Center is the recipient of that grant.
The leftover funding will be used to construct larger wildlife enclosures at the Nature Center. The existing enclosures are too small according to new standards, which nearly doubles the minimum size, set by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“You have to stay in compliance otherwise you lose your permit to be in possession of wildlife,” Kimura said.
Construction on the courtyard exhibits will include two enlarged tortoise exhibits and a new reptile exhibit. A community animal exhibit or large flight cage may also be added.
Portions of the project will support sustainable design by using energy efficient lighting and building products made of recycled materials on the site.
“The new exhibits will be more hospitable to the animals by having live trees and real soil,” said Kimura, “We’re going to try to mimic the habitats.“
In early 2009, the Placerita Nature Center Associates initiated planning for the proposed project. By April 2011, Los Angeles County Parks was awarded $1 million based upon the project’s conceptual design.
“We have finally come to point where the County put in money for the grant,” said Kimura, “It’s already to it’s final stage where we just need Board approval.”
The Board meeting is July 16.
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Source: Santa Clarita News