Thursday, February 22, 2024

New Wildlife, Natural History Museum & Art Gallery Readies World-Class Exhibit for October Opening

“Nature’s Window” is Portal for Learning About Conservation and the Diverse Wildlife of the World

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CHELAN - When local businessman Shannon Kollmeyer began planning to donate his extensive taxidermy collection, he and his wife Cris considered several alternatives. They evaluated numerous museums, colleges, and universities as potential recipients. The Kollmeyers soon discovered these options were unavailable because regional museums and academia are out of space and are, therefore, not accepting further donations of wildlife specimens.

The solution for the Chelan-based retirees was to establish Nature’s Window, Museum of Wildlife, Natural History & Art in their local community. “The mission of Nature’s Window is to serve as an education center for wildlife conservation and to increase knowledge and appreciation for the diverse wildlife of the world,” Kollmeyer remarked. “We want to inform the public about the role art and wildlife management play in conserving these valuable resources.”

“All of us at the museum strive to teach our guests about the wonder of wildlife and their environment with the merger of science, technology, and art,” Kollmeyer remarked.

“What’s more, our artistic dioramas are accurate reflections of actual animal habitats that are also teaching tools of conservation, science, and art. Viewers can learn about wildlife management and the role artists and hunters play in preserving wild places and animals for future generations.”

Humans have been hunters from the beginning of time. Many pictographs, petroglyphs, and other artifacts document the use of animals for their survival. A wide range of pictographs in Central Washington, including Lake Chelan and the Columbia River Regions, captured visual examples of the relationship between early hunters in the area and native wildlife.

“Preserving our wilderness and natural world is more critical than ever and is a responsibility of all citizens,” Kollmeyer said.            

President Theodore Roosevelt, along with other sportsmen, was instrumental in crafting the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation in the early 1900’s. The policies of this model created the world’s most successful wildlife and habitat conservation program that has rescued hundreds of wildlife species from extinction.

The new museum brings nature indoors, providing a sensory journey with unique sounds and sights stimulating visceral responses. Whether it is the howl of an Arctic wolf, the bitter cold wind of central Alaska, or the honk of a Canada goose, nature is recreated using the latest museum technology. Observers are immediately immersed in nature, perhaps rekindling memories of their own adventures in the natural world.

Kollmeyer brought together an exceptional group of specialists to help fulfill his mission to offer an exceptional, world-class museum facility for the Chelan community and the wider region to enjoy. The Kollmeyers and other donors from Washington and Arizona provided the initial collection of taxidermy species in Nature’s Window.

The museum also features an extensive Fire Ecology exhibit with numerous professional photos and explanations documenting the historical fire disturbances common in the Pacific Northwest. This exhibit was designed and installed by John Marshall from Wenatchee, WA. As the collection matures, more examples of species will be added.

Nature’s Window will be open to the public during the tourist season from April through October, as well as for private functions and special events for community organizations as a meeting place, reception site, and venue for fundraising events. As an education center, projections indicate that Nature’s Window shall be used for hunter safety lessons, scout meetings, sportsmen’s clubs, school field trips, art classes, and archery at the facility’s range.

For more information, contact Nature’s Window Museum at 509-670-8081 or email info@natureswindowmuseum.com.

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