Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH Precious Patton; all images taken by me

Photos from the butterfly garden

Nature on display: By far, my favorite exhibit was the butterfly garden, primarily because it was outside. I've always enjoyed being outdoors so I was naturally drawn to the museums outdoor exhibit. It's their largest exhibit and the ceiling of the screen is very high up, so even though the walkways were crowded it felt spacious. It was also refreshing to feel the sun warm my skin. Even the air feels cleaner surrounded by all the plants. The plants and butterflies all had beautiful colors and patterns, so there was always something for the eye to look at without getting bored. The layout of the walkway was also very efficient. Having a designated path versus an open area for people to walk allowed the exhibit designers to arrange it so that peoples' focus is drawn towards a specific portion of the exhibit depending where on the walkway they are. It felt like a smooth and natural, but also guided tour. Experiencing the garden in person allows people to take in the small details that really tie the experience together. Feeling the sunshine, the breeze, and being surrounded by people who are there to enjoy the beauty of the garden makes the experience more meaningful. Being exposed to all of these elements makes it easier to see the majesty of the natural world. People who understand that are more likely to love and respect nature.

Left: releasing butterflies in the butterfly garden, Right; me in the Native American Gallery

Nature and ethics: Simply being told to respect the planet doesn't inspire people to do it, they have to recognize the earth's majesty for themselves to truly love it. The Natural History Museum conveys this image of the earth through its detailed and engaging layout. The exhibits transitioned from one to another smoothly which created a sense of connectivity. It reminded me of how each group of organisms exists within its own environment, but every environment is interconnected in the earth's ecosystem. Learning about the range of different communities also humbles because it highlights the feats and wonders of organisms other than humans. It also serves as a reminder that while humans as a species are incredible, we are a step forward in evolution just like other organisms. The environment is peaceful and promotes learning, and this is a good way to foster appreciation of nature. The exhibits were colorful and informative and it was enjoyable being around others who wanted to relax and have fun learning. The most immersive exhibit was the butterfly garden and as far as conveying the beauty of nature I think it does the best job. The garden is like a small paradise and employees further engage the visitors by sharing information about butterflies as they release more into the enclosure. Interacting with an exhibit in that manner makes the experience more meaningful. I already possess a sense of duty towards nature but doing activities like this always strengthen it.

Left: me in the endangered animal hall, Right: plaque on interrelation of organisms

Nature and the human spirit: The museum brings people out of their ordinary lives by showing them things they might not otherwise think about. Instead of focusing on their day to day lives, visitors can immerse themselves in the exhibits and relax while learning about the natural world. It shows us how diverse and complex the ecosystems of earth are. It also shows us that we are a part of this community and that our actions impact everything else. Museums like this are important because they provide a convenient place for people to enjoy and learn about nature. The exhibits are designed to be visually appealing and engage the visitors. They showcase the diversity and beauty of the creatures on earth and our relationship to them through evolution and sharing a common environment. This creates more meaningful experiences and the significance of the organisms featured is better conveyed.

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