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Natural history center opens at Prairie Creek Reservoir

Natural History Center opens at Prairie Creek Reservoir

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Prairie Creek Reservoir in Muncie on Monday opened a natural history museum, joining other amenities at the park.

Muncie city government says an existing building was renovated to become Cook Family Education Center at Prairie Creek Reservoir. The center includes live fish and turtles amid its exhibits.

The reservoir hosts concerts, festivals and other events, and offers boating, swimming, camping, hiking and bicycling trails, all-terrain vehicle trails and horseback-riding trails. Rentable shelters and overnight cabins also are available at the park.

Prairie Creek Superintendent Dustin Clark said in a statement that the new center has been under development since 2020, and Monday’s opening represents the completion of the first of three phases of development, the mayor said.

“The Education Center is dedicated to the Cook family, who have served a collective total of 87 years at the park,” a news release issued Monday from the city government said. “Eldon Cook Jr., who has carried on his father’s 30 year legacy and is on his 34th year at the park, accepted a plaque from Mayor Dan Ridenour.”

Exhibits in the center examine the Lenape tribe, the area’s gas boom, and women’s suffrage.

Muncie Sanitary District and Ironman International, which has an exhibit in the center, were among donors to the project. The news release issued Monday did not share the cost of the first phase of the center project, or say when future phases might start or being completed.

The center is open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. School field trips can be scheduled by calling the main office at (765) 747-4872.