The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium received a $5,000 grant award from Alliant Energy to support River Discovery Center phase one gallery renovations in the River Museum’s William Woodward Mississippi River Center.

Funding from Alliant Energy will support five new exhibits, a refreshed interpretation grounded in environmental history, integrate living and historic collections, and introduce new species. Exhibits will include new outdoor North American River Otter habitat, an aviary, the addition of new species of concern, and interactive learning experiences, all following Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recommendations.

“This exciting project reimagines and refreshes the River Discovery Center,” said Kurt Strand, President & CEO of the River Museum. “We look forward to improving animals’ habitats, adding dozens of new species and increasing public access to our historic collections.” 

The River Museum celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2023. The need for exhibit refreshes and renovations of these inaugural galleries are timely. Phase one of the renovation project is currently underway and will be open to the public in fall of 2024.

This renovation is part of the Museum’s Preserve the Wonder Capital Campaign that has focused broadly on gallery renovations including Rivers the Sea (2022), River of Innovation (2020), Mathias Ham House preservation efforts (2025), and the River Discovery Center.

“We are proud to support the Mississippi River Museum as they create direct STEM connections for their visitors, while providing new conservation education opportunities with their phased River Discovery Center project,” said Julie Bauer, Executive Director, Alliant Energy Foundation. “Alliant Energy’s commitment to improving the environment is unwavering and the grant provided will help to bridge living and historical collections that communicate information rooted in environmental history, sustainability and conservation research.” 

Alliant Energy is committed to making a positive difference for the customers and communities they serve. Nearly $11 million and over 72,600 volunteer hours were collectively contributed in 2023 by Alliant Energy and the company’s charitable foundation, employees and retirees. 


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