He was given a guided tour of the Northern Ecosystems exhibit gallery, which underwent significant renewal in 2010/11 thanks to a donation from TD Bank Group.
“TD’s donation to the Science North combines two areas of TD’s giving focus – education and our commitment to the environment,” said McKenna. “We were pleased to help lead the creation of this innovative and interactive exhibit that teaches Canadians about the rich ecosystems of Northern Ontario.”
“TD Bank Group, through their Friends of the Environment Foundation, was the first organization to step up to the plate and donate funding in support of our renewal campaign,” said Guy Labine, Science North CEO. “Their investment of $250,000 helped us to forge ahead with our Northern Ecosystems exhibit gallery. We have been able to create a visitor experience on Level 3 that engages our visitors through hands-on learning experiences.”
Innovative design and interactive experiences that clearly convey a sense of the expanse and character of Northern Ontario greet all visitors who enter the Northern Ecosystems exhibit gallery, said the science centre in a news release. In the Forest Lab, visitors can walk through a life-sized “forest” to learn about native tree species. They can also try on a pair of moose antlers or discover what flying squirrels and bats do at night with a peek inside the Nocturnal Room.
With a tour through the Wetlands Lab there comes the chance to identify frogs and birds through their physical characteristics and calls. In the Lakes and Rivers Lab people can examine aquatic plants and their importance in keeping a lake healthy, while learning how to measure oxygen levels, pH and turbidity.
The visitor experience is also extended outdoors. Science centre staff use Ramsey Lake, Lily Creek and the Northern Garden to engage visitors in the science of the landscape around Science North. Visitors can look back in time 10,000 years to examine the history of the landscape since the ice age, and gaze into the future to learn more about the potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems.
The third floor is also home to Science North’s animal ambassadors including Quillan the porcupine, Rosy the skunk and Drifter the beaver, as well as Northern Ontario amphibian and reptile species. As part of the renewal, animal habitats were enhanced to provide better conditions for the animals and better education opportunities for visitors.
The Northern Ecosystems exhibit gallery was part of the largest-scale science centre renewal project in Science North’s history, and has been a popular experience with visitors of all ages.