FALLS OF THE OHIO FOUNDATION
OUTDOOR EDUCATION PAVILION
Enhancing EDUCATION, attracting TOURISM, preserving the LANDSCAPE, and honoring our HISTORY at the Falls of the Ohio.
Please consider pledging your support for this project using the form below.
The Falls of the Ohio
In all the world, there is no other place like the Falls of the Ohio. The Falls’ fossil beds are the largest exposed Devonian era fossil beds in the world. The need to navigate this natural barrier along the Ohio River is why our communities settled here. For centuries, Mammoth and then American Bison crossed the shallow waters here at the Falls of the Ohio. Their existence brought people who settled on these lands and then, as our current civilization took root, the barrier created by the Falls made this a major trading and distribution center. In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark started their western exploration, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, from the Falls of the Ohio. This local and national natural landmark holds significant cultural and historical significance which must be preserved and interpreted.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people – including local school, scout, and tourist groups – visit the Falls of the Ohio State Park to learn about the stories of our past and enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities offered at the Falls. Many enjoy educational and interpretive programming offered at the Interpretive Center, but the Falls lacks dedicated, covered, outdoor learning space.
Dedicated Spaces for Learning
The Falls of the Ohio Foundation is pursuing a $1.8 million project to give the Falls and our community new spaces for learning, programs, and events. These new educational spaces include an Outdoor Education Pavilion and Outdoor Classroom (funds for the Outdoor Classroom have already been secured).
The Education Pavilion has been designed for a capacity of 90 people, the largest group size the State Park can facilitate at one time. The pavilion includes a wonderful view of the fossil beds and river and has been designed to mimic the unique architecture found at the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center.
While education is a key component of the Foundation’s work, it is also the core purpose behind creating the Education Pavilion. The Falls’ staff provides interpretive programs, field trips, and educational experiences for up to 90 people. These large groups can then be broken-out into smaller groups where they will visit the Interpretive Center, Program Deck, and new Outdoor Classroom to learn about various aspects of the Falls of the Ohio. Students and visitors will now have an outdoor space to learn about the Falls’ unique natural, cultural, and historical resources.
The Pavilion will be placed at an elevation that maximizes the view for interpretive programs. The chosen location’s elevation will also reduce flooding concerns, provide easy access to the parking lot, fossil beds, and Interpretive Center. The structure will meet all ADA requirements and include new restroom facilities.
The Education Pavilion will include power and accessible outdoor Wi-Fi to enable groups to connect to the internet at no cost. This technology will also give interpretive naturalists the option to host virtual classes. While the pavilion’s primary purpose is for educational programming, it will also be available for other uses like community and special events.
Joseph & Joseph Architects has provided a budget estimate for pavilion project and represents the anticipated costs. Of note is a recommended construction and design contingency due to current fluctuations in material and labor costs.
Additional components of the project also include an Outdoor Classroom and adding a cover to the Interpretive Program Deck.
Individually, and as part of a larger campus plan, the Pavilion and these two other areas will increase the dedicated outdoor learning spaces at the Falls of the Ohio.
Opportunity For Matching Funds
The Foundation will apply for a matching grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) READI 2.0 initiative. Launched in 2021 by the IEDC, the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI, was created to continue the state’s momentum around quality of life, quality of place, and quality of opportunity. The first READI initiative dedicated $50 million in state appropriations to Southern Indiana. A second round of READI was recently approved by the State for ’23/’24.
How can your gift help with a match? All READI projects must be matched by local, private, and philanthropic investments. This means your generosity will not only improve the Foundation’s application for READI funding, but it will also increase the impact of your gift to this project.
While the Indiana Department of Natural Resources does not allow naming opportunities on capital projects, donors at certain levels will be included on “Made Possible By” signage and listings:
- Major Donor – $50,000+
- Environmental Steward – $25,000
- Education Champion – $20,000
- Pillar of the Community – $15,000 (9 pavilion pillars)
- Education Partner – $2,000
Ready to support the Falls of the Ohio Outdoor Education Pavilion? Join us!
- Fill out the form below.
- Mail support to Falls of the Ohio Foundation, 201 W. Riverside Dr., Clarksville, IN 47129.
- Questions? Contact Kenton Wooden, executive director, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (812) 283-4999.