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Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter opens new exhibit about snow

Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter
"Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact" is the title of the new exhibit at Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter

A new exhibit opened at the Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter titled “Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact.”

The preserve’s exhibits director Hunter Klingensmith says the interactive exhibit is a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the nature and wonder of snow.

“Obviously, we depend pretty heavily on snow for not just our ecosystem here, but also our economy,” Klingensmith said. “And so, when I saw that this exhibit was available from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industries traveling exhibit service, I thought, wow, this is a perfect fit for Park City. We all love snow, and to get a chance to learn a little bit more about not only the science of it, but our cultural connections, and then also how we have to adapt, and change based on what's happening with climate change.”

Thirteen pieces make up the exhibit and Klingensmith says each of them have an interactive element.

“In the falling snow section, you learn about snow crystals and how they change with temperature and humidity and how they're formed,” she said. “And there's a section where you get to read a story about how a snow crystal is formed. And then there are snow crystals, you can match to that story. When you get the right one, it plays a little music and lights up. And so, it's a fun interactive experience.”

Klingensmith hopes that those who see the exhibit leave realizing the broad impacts that snow has on our lives and our local ecosystem.

“We depend very heavily on snowpack here in Utah. And so, my hope is that we get to learn a little bit more about snowpack and better understand snowpack so that people leave wanting to protect our watershed and our snowpack, with some new fun information about snow to share with their friends and others,” she said.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids. If the cost is a barrier for visiting the exhibit, some free tickets are available by filling out a request form.

There will also be free admission days Feb. 21, March 22 and April 27.

In addition to the exhibit, there are several events and activities that go along with the snow theme in collaboration with the Park City Library, including a Winterfest snow craft activity on Feb. 9 and a preschool story time on March 7. A film about avalanche dogs will be screened on March 27 at the Jim Santy Auditorium at 6 p.m. Snow activity kits for students can also be borrowed from the EcoCenter.

The EcoCenter is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.