American River Nature Center hosts open house

A new exhibit, “Watersheds: Human Connections,” is now on display at the American River Nature Center. Located in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, the Nature Center is the education hub of the American River Conservancy (ARC). On Friday, April 12 from 1 to 3 p.m., ARC invites the public to attend an open house that showcases the new permanent exhibit.

Funded by a Proposition 84 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the watershed exhibit uses interpretive panels and interactive displays to educate visitors on California’s waterscape. A 3-D model of the American and Cosumnes River watersheds illustrates the infrastructure — dams, hydroelectric facilities and canals that are important components in moving water from its source to its users. A large interactive watershed table demonstrates the impact moving water has on a landscape or how erosion impacts a diversity of habitats. Additional displays include: a household water audit that gives visitors a printout of water conservation techniques, an interactive fishing display built by Trout Unlimited where children catch magnetic “fish,” and a light-up California map that traces the movement of water throughout the state.

Docents will be on hand to answer questions and offer interpretive demonstrations of each exhibit. The American River Nature Center is a family-friendly facility where young and old can learn about El Dorado County’s natural history and rivers of the Sierra.

The American River Nature Center is open to the public every week, Thursday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While there is no fee to visit the Nature Center, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park does have a parking fee. For more information about the American River Conservancy, please visit, or call 530-621-1224.

American River Conservancy

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