The newly constructed information kiosk in front of the Interpretive Center at Genoa NFH. Display of Hatchery information will greatly enhance visitor’s experience at GNFH and facilitate use of the walking trails and open spaces while the buildings remain closed. USFWS Photo.
It has been quite a struggle to provide an environmental education experience while visiting the hatchery during the current pandemic, never mind make improvements to visitor services. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the station’s culture buildings and Visitor Center have had to be closed to the public. However, the Friends of the Upper Miss, the hatchery’s grass roots support agency has taken on the challenge to make improvements to the hatchery’s visitor center and gift shop. These modifications are to improve visitor and staff safety once we are able to open up the buildings to visitors again. These include building attractive and functional polyethylene guards at visitor contact stations at the front desk and book store to reduce viral transmission. Hand disinfection stations were also added for further risk reduction.
Also included in the improvements this fall is a new visitor kiosk. The kiosk is located on the outside of the Visitors Center and is currently available to the public. It contains information put together by our former environmental education specialist Raena Parsons, and the kiosk was built by Friends Board Members Ken Visger and Ron Walley and the hatchery maintenance staff. It is out in the open air and available for visitors to peruse now as the hatchery grounds, pond area and nature trails are still open and available for people to use. It is hoped that someday soon the hatchery and its facilities will be fully open to everyone. In closing, it is safe to say that we are fortunate to have our Friends group, with these talented folks with diverse talents support our conservation mission.
By: Doug Aloisi