The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 12, 2013

Live-animal exhibit in works at eco center

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — The Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center at Rock Creek Marina and Campground soon will be adding some new exhibits to entertain and educate visitors of the park.

A live turtle display will be the main focus of the new exhibit, which will house several live river turtles in a 1,000-gallon tank.

Underneath the tank will be a glass tube in which children can climb through to see how the turtles swim in a different and interesting way.

The exhibit will also feature large-scale replicas of lowland forests and will have live animal tanks scattered throughout the trees.

Mark Roberts, environmental education coordinator with the Clinton County Conservation Board, is ready to see the project completed so they can unveil it at the eco center’s grand opening on Sept. 29.

“A lot of people put a lot of effort into that, so we’d really like to see it finished,” Roberts said.

Planning for the exhibit has been in the works for several years, but funding issues and other unforeseen challenges have halted the project’s process.

The most recent challenge the CCCB has faced is getting the correct flooring put into the eco center before the exhibit is installed.

Tile flooring was originally supposed to be installed several weeks ago, but after the CCCB realized the tile would not allow for the design they wanted, they had to go back to square one.

“The floor will be linoleum laid out so it looks like a path going around the room,” CCCB Executive Director Walt Wickham said. “Originally we were going to do it with tile but according to the contractor that wouldn’t work. So, that’s what’s delaying the project.”

Wickham and the rest of the CCCB are worried that the project may not be completed in time for the grand opening, but Wickham said the contracting company assured him that it will be finished.

Rock Creek Marina and Campground Park Officer Brad Taylor is also feeling the heat as the grand opening gets closer, but feels the center will be ready when the time comes.

“They are supposed to put the floor down Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’re just waiting for order and waiting for installer,” Taylor said. “But, the exhibit is ready to bring in so as soon as the floor is down, it will be installed.”