Macon-Bibb County donates mulch from Hurricane Irma to museum expansion

0
325

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Museum of Arts and Sciences is getting the ground running with new additions. A new pavilion and more space are just some of the latest.

“We will soon have a bat and raptor house and we’ll expand our animal programs to include birds of prey, owls, raptors, all kinds of cool things,” said Museum of Arts and Sciences Executive Director, Susan Welsh.

Behind the museum, you’ll find a brand new pavilion ready to go.

“We serve about 30,000 students a year right now, in some form of a field trip or an organized school group. But what this pavilion will allow us to do is almost double that number so that we’ll be able to serve lots more students out here,” said Welsh.

The expansion was taken out in to the wooded area behind the museum.

“Through volunteer efforts, we were able to clear 4 -5 acres of the pecan orchard and restore that. But maintaining the acreage would have required a great deal of chemicals and pesticides to control the kudzu, which we weren’t comfortable with,” said Welsh.

Lucky for them, there was another option.

“We had a ton of mulch, literally, from Hurricane Irma and we were working with our contractors to get rid of it. But when we had the opportunity to help out the Museum of Arts and Sciences, which is a huge community partnership for Macon, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Macon-Bibb County EMA Director, Spencer Hawkins.

Macon-Bibb County donated 3,500 cubic yards of mulch. That’s 1,750 pick up truck beds filled.

“Multiple days, multiple trucks through the last couple of weeks to get that to get all of this out here,” said Hawkins. “Laying down about 5 to 6 inches deep to help control all that invasive species.”

Together, both entities are making something good out of something bad.

“Probably some of these trees that we lost here on the campus are now returning to us in the form of mulch, which it just feels good,” said Welsh.

The museum wants to thank Commissioner Virgil Watkins for making the donation happen.

The ground improvements are expected to continue for another 12 months. So this time next year, you can go visit the bat campus at the museum.