The highest museum exhibit in New York won an Award of Merit in the ‘Innovation in Interpretation’ category from the Museum Association of New York (MANY). Awarded at MANY’s annual conference on March 31st, Whiteface Mountain: The Exhibit was recognized for its engaging programs that enlivened participation in the community. There was a large and diverse pool of nominations this year. Other winners include The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York City.
A total of 15 projects, ranging from exhibitions to educational programs, received recognition. Eight of these received an Award of Merit, the highest honor, given to institutions or individuals whose projects represent outstanding contributions to the field and overall innovation and excellence.
“This award is not only for the quality of the exhibition,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director of The Wild Center. “It also awards the collaborative effort that continues to grow in the Adirondacks. When organizations work together we can create something that is truly world-class and award-winning. We would like to share this award with everyone who contributed to the project, including ANCA, ORDA, NYS Department of Transportation, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Mountain Club, Wildlife Conservation Society, Adirondack Nature Conservancy, Ausable River Association, Wilmington Historical Society, Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, SUNY Plattsburgh Geology Department, New York Natural Heritage Program and the Town of Wilmington.”
The exhibit builds onto the many attractions already on the summit and around the mountain. Drive up the Veterans’ Memorial Highway, walk the alpine nature trail, travel through a 426 ft. long mountain tunnel and ride an elevator to the Round House and Weather Station on the summit of Whiteface. On the way, explore vibrant signs, interactive exhibits, videos, 3-D models and panoramas that interpret the natural history of Whiteface Mountain and the Adirondacks, including geology, alpine flora and fauna, watersheds and weather.
For those who can’t make it to Whiteface, or if they simply love the view, two real-time web cameras, one from the Summit and one looking towards Whiteface, make the mountain available to everyone online.
The project was supported as part of the Scenic Byways projects overseen in the region by the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), a 57 year-old, not-for-profit economic development organization which works to strengthen key sectors of the economy in Northern New York. “We are all so proud of this project and the world class design and creative talent that assembled to work with the extensive scientific expertise to make it happen,” said Kate Fish, Executive Director of ANCA. “The partnerships and collaborative spirit drove towards setting yet a new standard of excellence for exhibit design. The thousands of people who travel to the only accessible summit in the Adirondacks are learning about and forming even deeper respect and connection to the Adirondack experience.”
This comprehensive Olympic Scenic Byway exhibition was prepared by The Wild Center as a part of a NYS Scenic Byway Program project, managed by the Adirondack North Country Association, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the NYS Department of Transportation.
Photo: Representatives of The Wild Center, Adirondack North Country Association, New York State Department of Transportation and Museum Association of New York (provided).