On March 23, a new, temporary exhibit — “Prelude to the Prairie” — opened in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Welcome Center.
The exhibit features local pre-historic bison bones and the tooth of a gigantic mastodon, the exhibit was designed to give visitors a glimpse of some of the incredible mammals that once roamed the area. Also on display is a dynamic, realistic illustration of a mammoth by noted paleo-art scientific illustrator Velizar Simeonovski, courtesy of the Illinois State Museum. Midewin archaeologist Joe Wheeler served as the chief curator and consulted with various subject matter experts and museums, including the Field Museum of Natural History.
The exhibit not only connects people to the outdoors right in their backyard, it also helps foster stewardship, as many volunteers helped in the exhibit’s construction.