New Smithsonian Exhibit “H20 Today” Opens at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

News Release, Jefferson Patterson Park

ST. LEONARD, MD- Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs. The Smithsonian “H2O Today” exhibit examines the diversity and challenges of our global water sources and promotes conversation, creativity and innovation through art, science and technology. The exhibit opens at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM) on Saturday, May 18 and will be on display through December 2020.

“H20 Today” is part of the Smithsonian’s #thinkwater initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs. Throughout the exhibit panels featuring photos from around the world show the endless ways people rely on water. Along with the photos, text descriptions and graphics describe how water drives food production, inspires art, influences faith and determines global climate. The exhibit also includes several interactive displays:

“H20 Under the Microscope” – This interactive introduces users to the microscopic world of water. Visitors use a stationary microscope to cycle through prepared slides of microorganisms and microbes that are magni?ed on a connected monitor for better viewing.

“Share Your Water Story” – Everyone has a water story and water connects us all. Visitors can share their water stories/memories on customized postcards.

“How Much Water?” – This interactive allows visitors to see just how much water it takes to grow or produce common items like different foods, clothing, cars and electronics.

“Pump It Out” – Visitors will step on pedals of a Treadle Pump to experience the physicality that is required to pump water from below in order to irrigate crops and capture water.

The “H20 Today, H20 Tomorrow” section of the exhibit highlights how innovative partnerships are raising awareness and pushing the conversation in new directions – all in hopes of achieving sustainable solutions for future life on Earth. Also featured in this section is “Wade In: For the Future of the Chesapeake” which spotlights Senator (Ret.) Bernie Fowler’s Annual Patuxent River Wade In. Each year at the Wade In, using what is referred to as the “Sneaker Index,” Senator Fowler walks out into the river until he loses sight of his sneakers. The clearer the water, the less suspended materials and pollutants present. This years’ Wade In is June 9 at 1 pm at JPPM.

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), “H20 Today” was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland; The Field Museum in Chicago; Instituto Sangari in Sao Paulo; National Museum of Australia in Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

This free exhibit is sponsored by Maryland Humanities. Gifts in kind and other donations were received from the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Patuxent River Appreciation Days, Maryland Historical Trust, H.E.L.P. and the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 5 pm and on Saturday and Sunday by request. Large groups are welcome but must call ahead to make arrangements. For more information call 410-586-8501.

Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, a state museum of archaeology and home to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, is a program of the Maryland Historical Trust, a division of the Maryland Department of Planning. It is located on 560 scenic acres along the Patuxent River and the St. Leonard Creek in St. Leonard, Calvert County, Maryland.

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