Gulf Islands National Seashore moves back in - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulf Islands National Seashore moves back in

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Gulf Islands National Seashore's local headquarters is finally getting its post-Katrina upgrade. It just moved back into its revamped Visitor Center.

"We're very excited to have this. It's conducive to inspiring people to love their national parks," said Interpretive Park Ranger Stacey Speas.

"This is much more inviting, and we've had people come back," said Gulf Islands National Seashore Chief of Interpretations Gail Bishop. "They just want to see their Visitor Center, and just being back has been a great opportunity for them too."

One of the biggest attractions will be the new interactive exhibits. They are still in the works, but visitors got a preview Saturday while designers tested out their ideas.

"The prototypes are models of future exhibits. So they are sort of 'mockups.' They are made of plywood or cardboard, sitting on tables," said Speas with a laugh.  "Our 'Fort' is made out of styrofoam."

But like all the other exhibits, the future Fort Massachusetts model will be much more than just a statue. 

"The original is going to be all bronze, and it's going to be a tactile fort that people can come over to and actually touch," said exhibit designer Debbie Olstein. 

She and her company, Amaze Designs, came from Boston to experiment with their ideas.  In some cases, they fine tuned them.

"We're going take this information that we've gathered today," Olstein said.  "And we're going to use it to do a better job of communicating what we want to.  And that will go on for many months."

The exhibits are set to open in 2010. Until then, the renovated building is open to the public, and features artwork from the Walter Anderson Museum.

"It's beautiful, it's inspiring, and it's here not only for the staff who is very excited. It's here for everyone," Speas said.  "And we hope everyone will come and see the new building, the new 'old building' and see what we've done."

The center has seen a decline in attendance since Katrina pushed operations into a FEMA trailer.  Rangers expect the new building to increase attendance, hopefully to pre-Katrina levels of nearly 27,000 visitors per year.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Crashes cause southbound lanes of I-110 bridge to close

    Crashes cause southbound lanes of I-110 bridge to close

    Saturday, July 22 2017 7:33 AM EDT2017-07-22 11:33:03 GMT
    (Photo: file)(Photo: file)

    Multiple accidents on the I-110 bridge in Biloxi are causing major traffic delays.  Biloxi Police say both southbound lanes of the bridge are closed to traffic while authorities work to clean up after two separate crashes. 

    More >>

    Multiple accidents on the I-110 bridge in Biloxi are causing major traffic delays.  Biloxi Police say both southbound lanes of the bridge are closed to traffic while authorities work to clean up after two separate crashes. 

    More >>
  • Stone County's unique bicentennial project

    Stone County's unique bicentennial project

    Friday, July 21 2017 6:51 PM EDT2017-07-21 22:51:23 GMT
    The project celebrates the county's 100th birthday and Mississippi's bicentennial. (Photo source: WLOX)The project celebrates the county's 100th birthday and Mississippi's bicentennial. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Mississippi is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. The bicentennial is being recognized in a variety of ways.

    More >>

    Mississippi is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. The bicentennial is being recognized in a variety of ways.

    More >>
  • OWA amusement park opens to public

    OWA amusement park opens to public

    Friday, July 21 2017 6:42 PM EDT2017-07-21 22:42:19 GMT

    The amusement park called OWA opened to the public in Foley, AL on Friday morning. It's a $250 million development by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians on a 500-acre site.

    More >>

    The amusement park called OWA opened to the public in Foley, AL on Friday morning. It's a $250 million development by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians on a 500-acre site.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly