Spanish- and French-speaking visitors to Elachee Nature Science Center may notice a metamorphosis of sorts in the “Art of Pollination” exhibit on the outdoor patio: the interpretive signage now comes in more than one language.
With $10,000 in grant funding from Cargill Inc.’s Gainesville Cares Council, multilingual signage in English, Spanish and French is cropping up at various Elachee attractions, including the live animal exhibit showcasing Georgia reptiles and amphibians.
Whether the transformation will extend to the 12-mile trail system adjacent to the nature center will be left up to the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission, Elachee’s development and communications director Kim Marks said.
Slated to be fully implemented by Sept. 1, the updates are part of Elachee’s “post COVID-reboot” aimed toward enhancing the visitor experience and ensuring accessibility to a broader audience.
“We are incredibly fortunate to live in such a diverse community, and our dream is to continue to provide environmental education to people from all cultures and walks of life,” said Elachee President and CEO Sarah Bell. “Ensuring that information is accessible is one step in fulfilling that dream. We want people to feel welcomed, and our future vision is to create more opportunities for people to enjoy exhibits of this type. We are so grateful for Cargill’s support for this idea, as we want to ensure that as many people as possible have access to our exhibits.”
Echoed by Elachee Director of School and Public Programs Maranda McGaha, the organization’s renewed commitment to meet families where they are is aimed to foster “a welcoming and inclusive environment for all by stripping away the barrier of language.”
Visitors can explore Elachee’s exhibits and programs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and on the second Saturday of each month.For more on Elachee’s offerings for discovery and recreation, visit elachee.org