Zion Nature Center to celebrate 15 years, unveil turtle exhibit


By Heather Collins

The Zion Nature Center will celebrate its 15 year anniversary with Birthday & Box Turtles from 1 to 4 p.m. May 20. The Zion Nature Center, 690 Beech St., opened in 2002 and has more than 200 programs and more than 11,000 visitors and participants each year.

A model of the new turtle exhibit at the Zion Nature Center. (Submitted photo)

During the celebration, the nature center will unveil its new turtle exhibit. It raised $9,500 last year to bring the professionally-designed display to the center. Attendees at the Birthday & Box Turtles event will be the first to see the new box turtle exhibit, which resembles a six-foot-tall hollowed-out tree stump and includes two portholes to allow visitors to get down to turtle-level. The exhibit was designed and installed by Minnesota-based Blue Rhine Studio.

The event will also include turtle-themed crafts, animal programs, cake and a slide-show of the history of the nature center.

“It is truly an outstanding story that doesn’t get told too often in this field,” said Mindy Murdock, Zionsville park naturalist and nature center manager. “This event is in celebration of those 15 years and everyone that played a role in making the nature center what it is today.”

The Zion Nature Center is planning to move into a building near Heritage Trail Park and the Rail Trail Gardens property, a property the Zionsville Town Council recently authorized to purchase. Murdock said the nature center is outgrowing the current space, which has been leased through Zionsville Community Schools.

“This event helps give back to the community, and provides us an opportunity to show them where we envision the nature center heading the next 15 years,” Murdock said. “Our new exhibit, our future building. They are just a start for what I hope we can accomplish with continuing support from the community.”

The event is free to attend. For information, visit

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