New $13 million John James Audubon Center unveiled

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The new $13 million Audubon Center offers interactive and family-friendly ways to explore the legacy of famed ornithologist John James Audubon and the conservation movement he inspired. (Image courtesy Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board)

The John James Audubon Center (The Audubon Center), in partnership with Montgomery County and the National Audubon Society, celebrated the grand opening of a new 18,000-square-foot museum and nature-based facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 4.

A $13 million project, The Audubon Center expansion is funded through the County, a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and donations from dozens of individual and foundation supporters. The County’s Department of Assets and Infrastructure managed the construction process, which began in 2017.

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The ceremony featured building tours and activities for 50 home-school students, plus remarks from Peter McFarland, Chairman of Lower Providence Township; David J. Ringer, Chief Network Officer at the National Audubon Society; Val Arkoosh, Chair of Montgomery County Commissioners; and Secretary Cindy Dunn of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“Montgomery County has preserved more than 6,000 acres of public open land, which includes seven parks, four historic sites and over 90 miles of trails in our regional network,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Our wealth of green space and native wildlife are said to have inspired the work of a young Audubon and we treasure that heritage. We are proud to include the John James Audubon Center at our historic Mill Grove site among our list of premier Montgomery County attractions and welcome the new museum as a destination for our residents and visitors to connect with nature.”

The Audubon Center offers interactive and family-friendly ways to explore the legacy of famed ornithologist John James Audubon and the conservation movement he inspired. It houses two galleries for art and conservation, permanent exhibits with multi-sensory experiences and outdoor features.

“John James Audubon has inspired generations of birders and nature lovers. This new museum offers an unmatched experience at Mill Grove to learn about his life in the early 1800s and how the wonders of birds, science and conservation have become a part of America’s way of life,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. “There is something here for everyone that will spark intrigue in budding naturalists, birders and scientists, who will carry on Audubon’s work protecting birds and the places they need for decades to come. We’re proud to have partnered with Montgomery County and alongside community leaders to make this center for art and conservation possible.”

The Audubon Center is open Monday thru Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Mill Grove grounds are open year-round, from dawn until dusk.

Admission is $14 for adults; $12 for seniors ages 65+; $10 for youth ages 6 – 17; and free for youth age 5 and under and active military (along with immediate family members).

Learn more about The Audubon Center at johnjames.audubon.org, and follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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