Cincinnati Museum Center and The Nature Conservancy open photography exhibition

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are giving guests a look at one of the nation’s most biodiverse regions through the photographer’s lens and the researcher’s notebook. A Year on the Edge features photographs and scientific specimens, highlighting the nature preserve’s beauty and impact on ecological research as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. The exhibition is free and opens March 1 at Cincinnati Museum Center.

Home to hundreds of plant and animal species including Allegheny woodrats, wolf spiders, mussels and bobcats, the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve is one of the most biodiverse regions in the country. Covering more than 20,000 acres, the Edge has inspired amateur and professional naturalists both past and present. From Dr. E. Lucy Braun’s first days studying the Edge’s expansive forests as one of the first women PhD candidates at the University of Cincinnati to today’s Boy and Girl Scouts to the casual hiker looking for a bit of wilderness a short drive away, the Edge continues to awe and inspire with its natural wonder.

“The richness of the Edge’s biodiversity has inspired people to study its numerous plant and animal species for generations, as far back as Dr. E. Lucy Braun in the 1920s,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “A Year on the Edge puts the beauty and importance of that research into perspective for a new audience who may never have visited and, we hope, will inspire a new generation to explore our natural world.”

Through stunning photographs and specimens, you, too, will be inspired by the Edge’s seasons of growth and rebirth. A Year on the Edge features over 40 framed photographs captured by photographers Rick Conner and TJ Vissing over the course of all four seasons at the Edge, accompanied by display cases of some of those very specimens, bringing the forest to life. Among the specimens included are a bobcat, flying squirrel, fox, variety of birds, freshwater mussels and research tools, including a plant collecting tin and notebook formerly belonging to trailblazing naturalist E. Lucy Braun. The exhibition focuses on the preserve’s rich contributions to regional ecological, botanical and zoological research.

“As Ohio’s largest privately protected natural area, the Edge is sustaining the health of some amazing and rare habitats, including Appalachian forests, grasslands and streams. In turn, these habitats help to clean our air and protect our drinking water,” says Bill Stanley, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “It has taken us 60 years to assemble this preserve and it is truly our great pleasure to share it with others through the exhibition and through experiences on the land itself.”

Located just 75 miles east of downtown Cincinnati, the 20,000-acre Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System is one of the largest privately-owned preserves east of the Mississippi. It contains 11 unique preserves, four of which have been recognized as National Natural Landmarks, a testament to their national significance and ecological importance. The Edge features nearly 10 miles of trails, three nearby canoe/kayak launches and the Eulett Center, which hosts staff, labs and overnight spaces for amateur and professional researchers. The Edge is co-managed by CMC and the Ohio Chapter of TNC.

A Year on the Edge opens March 1 in the William L. Mallory, Sr. Gallery at Cincinnati Museum Center. Admission is free.

CMC developed and produced A Year on the Edge in partnership with the Ohio Chapter of TNC.

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Morning view from Buzzardroost Rock TJ Vissing