The new museum is nestled on a lush and beautiful 8.5-acre site in City Park, and it will be an undeniable asset to New Orleans and Louisiana children and families, as well as visitors from around the country and the world, with a focus on early childhood development for children eight and under. But anyone visiting will find the new LCM a treasure.
The new LCM will not only be place to play, but also a place to learn and grow in a new way. In addition to being a resource to support parents and caregivers, the museum and grounds will celebrate the incredible capacity of young children in a wide variety of approaches, said Julia Bland, chief executive officer of LCM. The children's museum has been a significant community resource for 33 years. Our move to City Park has allowed us to reimagine a broader holistic approach to ensuring that every child reaches his potential.
There's no denying that early childhood resources are critically needed, as historically Louisiana has ranked near the bottom in key child well-being indicators, said Governor John Bel Edwards. We see the new Louisiana Children's Museum as an investment in the future of our state's children and families, and I encourage everyone in Louisiana to visit.
The museum will feature five interactive, educational exhibits for children and families focused on literacy, health and wellness, environmental education, and arts and culture including Play with Me; Follow That Food; Dig Into Nature; Make Your Mark, and Flow with The River. Favorites from the Warehouse District location, such as the Grocery Store and the Bubbles, have been reestablished and re-imagined. Other new museum additions will include a life-sized interactive checkers board, which will celebrate our culture as we hear distinctive sounds from every New Orleans neighborhood and a 100-foot long mighty Mississippi water exhibit which tells the story of the journey of the River from the Twin Cities, through twists and turns all the way to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to the indoor galleries, the museum will include a literacy center, a parent-teacher resource center, Acorn, A Dickie Brennan & Co. Cafe; and outdoor environmental elements including decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating classroom and a restorative, interpretive wetlands.
The LCM building is designed for LEED Silver certification. The design was spearheaded by Seattle-based Mithūn, a leader in sustainable architecture, and supported locally by Waggoner & Ball. The building itself sits on less than one acre of the eight and one-half acre grounds in City Park.
A focus on stewardship and sustainability has guided every decision we've made in this process. From the selection of the design team, partners and building materials to the programs and experiences we will offer visitors, we have worked to take advantage of our new location, incorporating the park's natural landscape and environment and highlighting Louisiana's unique ecosystem of water and plants, said Bland.
Landscape architects followed Sustainable SITES guidelines for development of the gardens and grounds, designed to support the natural ecosystem and make the best use of natural resources. The planting of more than 125 plant species to repopulate the landscape with indigenous trees and shrubs will create a floating bio islands made from recycled materials that are habitat friendly, designed to attract wildlife.
The museum will be accessible for a $14 admission rate, with several areas being open to the public without admission including the parent-teacher resource center, the literacy center, and Acorn and its waterfront dining porch. Additional free programming and entry will be available to ensure the Louisiana Children's Museum is accessible to all.
The museum has partnered with top organizations in New Orleans and beyond to make the new facility an enhanced experience including those that will provide on-site programs Tulane Pediatrics, Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Children's Hospital, LSU AgCenter, and Grow Dat Youth Farm among others. More than 250,000 visitors per year are expected.