12/3/2012 - Asheville's Health Adventure opens new exhibit
by Asheville Citizen Times
ASHEVILLE -- The Health Adventure this weekend opened the traveling exhibit "Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home," created by the Betty Brinn Children's Museum in Milwaukee in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service.
The 1,500-square-foot, green-built exhibit will be at The Health Adventure through May 26, sponsored by Park Ridge Health.
The Health Adventure is in Biltmore Square Mall off Interstate 26 at Exit 33. It's open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12:30-6 p.m. Sundays.
The new exhibit "encourages families to spend time together outdoors and inspires children to discover and care for the natural resources that sustain our world," according to a press release.
The exhibit offers a variety of educational activities in English and Spanish, including the use of props, costumed characters (including Smokey and Woodsy) and puppets to underscore the importance of protecting ecosystems to highlight ways to reduce, reuse and recycle resources.
The exhibit comprises two "homes" -- the Great Forest and the Urban Forest -- and a bridge and stream connecting them. The forest includes a "nature trail" that passes by a ranger's station and lookout tower, along with photos and video clips of real forests, reforestation and areas affected by wildfires.
Along the way, children can create a performance at Woodsy's puppet tree using audio effects, costumes and scripts that promote conservation messages. There's also pretend campfire and sing-along and Woodsy's recycling station.
The urban forest is set against a backdrop of a pretend house with a small yard and garden shed that encourages visitors to explore the concept of urban ecology. Children can pretend to install green building materials, plant a tree, practice recycling and reducing water consumption, and discover the amount of energy it takes to power household appliances.
In and along the pretend stream, children can guide a pretend raindrop around rocks and logs to a beaver's dam, follow animal tracks, compare the differences in the urban and forest shorelines, learn about water safety, and pretend to fish from a kid-sized rowboat.
Exhibit activities are particularly targeted to children ages 2-8. To learn more, visit thehealthadventure.org or call 665-2217.