BioQuest is considered to be an extraordinary investment in science education and tourism development, as well as a one-of-a-kind outdoor science experience. In fact, this project has been proclaimed as a “national model” by the National Science Foundation. It is also the first comprehensive plan in the world that links people, animals and plants with interactive exhibits in a natural, outdoor setting.
There are three exhibit areas – Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind and Dinosaur Trail. Explore the Wild is a 6-acre woodland and wetland habitat. Located in a quarry basin, it includes natural habitats for black bears, red wolves and lemurs. Catch the Wind is designed to expand visitors’ understanding of how plants and animals use and accommodate for the wind. Most notably, this exhibit has a large-scale sailboat pond and water table. Dinosaur Trail consists of a walking trail, featuring life-size model replicas, footprints and a paleontology-dig site.
Stewart was involved in all aspects of the project including surveying, civil engineering, landscape architecture, structural engineering, environmental assessment and construction administration. The construction administration portion of the work scope proved vital during the project to ensure wetland and tree conservation. The structural portion included foundations for the new dinosaur exhibits, as well as the design of a new boardwalk to wind down the existing rock quarry. Also included was a steel pedestrian bridge with a viewing platform that overlooks the bear exhibit.
North Carolina Museum of Life and Science
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