The Delaware Museum of Natural History cut a ribbon on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 officially opening a new 1,500-foot handicapped accessible pathway called the Evolution Trail.
The trail links up the museum campus with the Country House senior community next door along the Kennett Pike between Centerville and Greenville.
U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, and state officials joined with museum staff and leadership to officially open the walkway which includes interpretive signage depicting the $4.6 billion-year evolution of Earth.
Executive Director Halsey Spruance said the collaborative effort between the Museum and the Country House has been a long time in the making, with part of the acreage being donated by Acts Retirement-Life Communities.
"At first it was just going to be a straight shot of a path going through to connect to the Country House existing paths, and then we started thinking let's try to put a twist on this."
The twist was the evolutionary journey that Museum Board of Trustees President Rick Cairns said will triple from the current five interpretive stations.
"When the project's totally complete there will be sixteen interpretive signs as you walk through the beginning of time here on this planet 'til the present day."
Cairns said it's the first step of what will be a complete museum makeover to improve the experience for young and old alike.
"That's one of the things we're trying to encourage as we look forward to reinventing the museum over the next several years."
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) contributed a nearly $20,000 grant for the Evolution Trail project which Spruance said is open to the public.
"Walk the path, learn a little bit about the evolution of our planet and also get some exercise in the meantime."