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L.A. Beat

Galt Museum sparks climate change discussion with new exhibit

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The Galt Museum is going green for their latest exhibition, which opened Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1-4:30 p.m.
 The travelling exhibition “Earth’s Climate In the Balance,” runs Jan. 22 until Earth Day, April 22.
Galt Museum Curator Wendy Aitkens noting the purpose of having this exhibit is to spark discussion about environmental issues.

“There is a difference between weather and climate change. Weather is what you see when you step outside your door. Climate change is long term over millions of years,” she said. She noted the museum plays an integral role in educating the public about issues like  this through their exhibits.
“We have pretty serious environmental concerns. Jazmine Mazidi builds a terrarium during opening day. Photo by Richard Amery

This exhibit tells you how to mitigate your environmental impact,” she continued.
 The exhibition comes from the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Ontario and explores the historical aspects of climate change. There are a variety of displays explaining the history of climate change as well as  the materials and methods scientists utilize to study climate change. Aitkens was interested in the display featuring extinct species.

“We had a number of extinct species here in North America,” she continued. Another interactive display examines how humans can reduce their eco-footprint.

  Activities included a test of environmental knowledge and a calculation of ones environmental footprint. A special activitiy allowed the Galt  Museum to “recycle” leftovers for their Saturdays at One program — voluteers and staff were helping make terrariums (their own mini-ecosytems) out of rocks, charcoal, black dirt, a plant  and a screen.

 A good sized crowd enjoyed an exchange of ideas and activities during the museum’s community day, Jan.  22.
“I think it’s incredible,” enthused former mayor Bob Tarleck, one of numerous people enjoying the opening  day.
“It’s another example of the Galt Museum providing leadership for helping  us come to terms with issues that are going to be critical,” he said.
 Janet Youngdahl was excited about opening day.

“This is a special exhibit because it is an important issue for the community. I think it is important that our children learn about them  when they’re young,” she said, watching her 6-year-old daughter Jasmine Mazidi build her terrarium.
“We think this is pretty exciting, we’ve never made a terrarium before,” she said.

The Helen Schuler Nature Centre was looking forward to working with the Galt Museum on opening day, and provided a variety of fun and educational activities for the whole family.
“We’re really excited to be part of this,” said Coreen Putnam form the Helen Schuyler Nature Centre.
“We’re going to explore the life cycle of a T-Shirt. Everybody from age four to 94 has a T-shirt,”  she continued, explaining one of the interactive activities  on opening day. The Helen Schuyler Nature centre were back at the Galt Museum to host one of the family programs at the museum, Feb. 4.

 A version of this story appeared in the Feb. 8, 2012 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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