Water exhibit, tribute to ‘Peanuts' open Saturday at museum

Amy Richard and Karen Brown, at center, IFAS education coordinators at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, work to build an invasive plant display at the Florida Museum of Natural History's Water: Discovering and Sharing Solutions exhibit on Thursday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

Cedar Key clams are coming to the Florida Museum of Natural History — but without the lemon and butter.


Museum opening day Activities

The Florida Museum of Natural History is holding opening day activities Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for its newest temporary exhibits, “Peanuts … Naturally: Charlie Brown and Friends Explore Nature” and “Water: Discovering and Sharing Solutions.”

Activities include an appearance by an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and displays including vintage “Peanuts” memorabilia, a comic drawing and inking activity, and models of different ant species.

All opening-day activities and admission to the water exhibit are free. Admission to the “Peanuts” exhibit is $4, $3.50 for adult Florida residents and seniors, $3 for ages 3-17. UF students with a valid ID receive free admission to the “Peanuts” and Butterfly Rainforest exhibits through Sunday.

For more information, including directions and parking, visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu or call 846-2000.

Source: Florida Museum of Natural History

The clams are part of an exhibit, “Water: Discovering and Sharing Solutions,” that opens Saturday. It highlights University of Florida research involving water, invasive species and food production including the clam industry in Cedar Key.

“This is one of the most environmentally friendly agricultural industries there can be,” UF shellfish extension agent Leslie Sturmer said. “We clean up the water, thank you very much.”

Sturmer was part of a group that went to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival during the summer to display the exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The exhibit will be displayed at the Florida Museum of Natural History through Jan. 2. A public event is being held Saturday to open the water exhibit along with an exhibit on the natural world of the “Peanuts” comic strip.

The water exhibit is part of UF's effort to mark the land-grant university system's 150th anniversary. The Morrill Act of 1862 granted to states federal land that the states were able to sell to establish public universities with missions that include research and outreach.

The museum exhibit showcases UF research on issues such as reducing water use in the citrus industry. It starts outside the museum with a display on plants suited to Florida's climate.

Displays inside the museum include live clams as well as starfish, horseshoe crabs and small alligators. A display on invasive plants and animals features an Argentine tegu lizard, which eats the eggs of native species.

The exhibit attempts to educate the public on UF research about stopping the spread of invasive species and reducing water use in homes and yards.

“UF impacts our state and our community in a lot of positive ways,” said Dale Johnson, Florida Museum of Natural History project coordinator. “We just wanted to tell a few of those stories.”

Contact staff reporter Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com. Visit www.thecampussun.com for more stories on the University of Florida.

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