Riverkeeper, environmental projects coordinator on hand for museum grand opening

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell awaits visitors to the Sound Rivers exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science-Greenville’s grand opening last Saturday.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Greenville opened last Saturday with a day-long science expo and more than a thousand visitors.

Kicking off the grand opening was a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Emily Jarvis, the head of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Greenville and Contentnea Creek branches and executive director of Bray Hollow Foundation, Inc./A Time for Science, and special guests: Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Reid Wilson and Director of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Eric Dorfman. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also welcomed the new location into the NCMNS’ fold with a special pre-recorded video.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell and Environmental Projects Coordinator Clay Barber represented Sound Rivers at the grand opening, introducing visitors to water quality sampling, testing and reading results under the blacklight. Of the samples tested, the water sample from Jack’s Creek in Washington was by far the dirtiest.

“It lit up like a Christmas tree,” Barber said.

Other samples included water from city tap (clean!), water from the Washington waterfront (pretty clean!) and from Contentnea Creek downstream from an industrial hog facility (not as clean, but Jack’s Creek was the definitive “winner.”)

The Sound Rivers’ exhibit was one of dozens set up inside and outside the new downtown Greenville facility, and all saw plenty of traffic, Jarvis said.

“We had approximately 1,000 visitors inside the museum that day,” she said. “We were limiting capacity and only allowing 50 people inside at one time. The outdoor expo portion of the grand opening stayed busy, but with no defined entry/exit points we were unable to accurately count (the total number of visitors).”

Longtime Sound Rivers’ partner A Time For Science teamed up with NCNMS to create the new museum, located at 729 Dickinson Ave., Greenville. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. To learn more about programs offered at the museum, visit www.atimeforscience.org.

And if you missed the grand-opening, you can watch it below!