AIKEN, S.C. – The opening of a museum gallery here displays the Savannah River Site’s (SRS) historic and ongoing role in environmental stewardship to the public.
The SRS Museum recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open an environmental stewardship gallery, a collaboration of the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) and the USDA Forest Service-Savannah River (USFS-SR).
The project highlights the ecological research and land management practices that began in 1951 after SREL and USFS-SR accepted the Atomic Energy Commission’s invitation to conduct work on what would become the SRS.
Walt Joseph, the executive director of the museum, said both entities are integral to the site’s story, so this was a natural collaboration.
“I wanted to see the museum reflect all aspects of the site. Initially, the museum’s focus was on nuclear production and research,” Joseph said. “We had nothing to show the vast research that focuses on protecting the environment.”
Visitors to the museum can view a timeline that features milestones, accomplishments, and conservation efforts. The room also features photographs, illustrations, and interactive exhibits. Vivid life-sized details of the various habitat types and associated wildlife are also on display.
Joseph said exhibits in the gallery will be updated regularly to reflect future achievements in environmental stewardship at SRS.