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Museum Note

Environmental Changes Springing to Life at The Children's Museum

April 01, 2011
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has implemented changes to the facilities and incorporated new programs to improve their environmental footprint. These changes have been applied in order to better the community economically and environmentally and include:

Green Roof

On top of the new Welcome Center outside of the Sunburst Atrium's window is the Schaefer Rooftop Garden, which is the museum's new green roof. Created from a tray system which protects the roof, this garden is largely covered with vegetation called sedums that have water-storing leaves. Green roof systems such as this one create a natural habitat and help improve air and storm water quality and reduce storm water run-off, the urban heat-island effect, and energy costs from heating and cooling. The green roof protects the museum's roof membranes from physical damage, increasing its life expectancy.

Rain Garden

Opened in 2009, the Rain Garden is located at the museum's main entrance. The garden collects storm water from the building's roof and exterior paved surfaces, allowing for overflow to bypass the city's storm sewer system and providing water for plants. The garden contains native plants that have special attributes to filter the runoff.

Food Court

Sodexo, the company that runs the museum's food court, has launched a global roadmap for sustainability called the Better Tomorrow Plan. This plan will affect their practices in more than 30,000 sites in 80 countries around the world, including at The Children's Museum, to address critical issues related to the environment, health, and communities. Sodexo works with their suppliers to ensure the practices used in farming, harvesting and production of the product benefits the communities. They also buy Locally grown products to support their own community in order to reduce the amount of fuel used to transport goods. The company practices reuse, reduce and recycle to cut down on the amount of waste created by using napkin dispensers, reusable dishware and plastics made from plants.

Interested in learning more about green initiatives for your family? Check out these programs and museum events:

April 7 – Target Free Family Night: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

• Discover ways to lessen your impact on the world.

April 15 – Water Wonders* (for 2-year-olds)

• Enjoy ice-cube painting and a room full of water experiences.

April 16 – Growing Plants* (for ages 3-5)

• Visit the Biotech Lab to discover plants that grow from seeds.

April 16 – Rain Barrel Workshop*

• Create a rain barrel to take home and keep!

April 23 – Earth Week Celebration

• Discover what you can do to make an impact in our community.

*denotes paid programs requiring advance registration

Masterpieces of Jelly Bean Art presented by Jelly Belly

April 9-June 1

Art pieces will be displayed throughout the museum, but they are of unique taste. The 4-by-6 foot art works, which replicate famous paintings, are made entirely of Jelly Belly jelly beans. The eight works of art, created by Kristen Cumings, include the Mona Lisa, American Gothic and The Great Wave of Kanagawa, and will arrive at The Children's Museum just in time for Easter.

--Rachel Lemon, Public Relations Intern at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

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Tags: Education, Enrichment, Green Parenting, Kids, Local

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