Nature Museum in Canoe Lodge Gets an Upgrade, Interactive Feature Added to Animal Exhibits

If parents are searching for an activity for kids around Big Canoe over the Thanksgiving weekend, all roads lead to the Canoe Lodge.

Longtime Big Canoe resident ecologist Dr. Robert Platt, a driving force to ensure that Big Canoe preserved its stunning natural surroundings, established the Nature Museum that bears his name in 1981 and was later relocated to the Canoe Lodge.

However, the big news is that this collection of mounted indigenous mammals and birds just got the coolest of upgrades: it’s now interactive for anyone carrying a mobile device.

This week, a team from the Reinhardt University Museum Studies program brought the exhibits into the Digital Age by adding new case cards that each include a QR code. When pointing the camera feature of a mobile device to the QR symbol, visitors can access informative videos or audio recordings for each of the museum residents. The cards also display the creature’s common and alternate names, diet, and habitat.

The team, led by Funk Heritage Center Director Jeff Bishop, also broke out the white gloves and painstakingly cleaned off the encased critters, which range from a black-billed cuckoo to a bobcat to a beaver. The process required that they carefully remove each animal from the case and ever-so-gently dust, wipe and comb the subjects.

Visitors can access videos and recordings of bird and mammal calls by pointing the camera feature on their mobile device and taping the screen.

Although the museum is open and ready to have visitors give it a test run, Bishop and his crew will return in the coming weeks to finalize their work on the project.

To optimize the museum experience, please be sure to update the operating system on your mobile device.

The Nature Museum will be open to visitors over the Thanksgiving holiday, on Friday, Nov. 25 and during regular business hours.

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