An Important Message Regarding the Future of Fernbank Museum

June 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

Dear Friends of Fernbank Museum:

I’m writing in hopes of clearing up questions you might have around Fernbank Museum in light of recent media reports. As many of you are aware, the DeKalb County School System has been working through its budget, which has included discussion of Fernbank Science Center. Because there is often confusion over the name “Fernbank,” I want to take this opportunity to assure you that Fernbank Museum of Natural History is not associated with these news reports.

As a privately funded non-profit organization, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is doing well programmatically and financially. In fact, 2012 marks Fernbank Museum’s 20th anniversary! This special year offers an important milestone for the Museum as we begin an extensive planning process for the future of our entire campus and the majestic Fernbank Forest. We launched our 20th anniversary year with the momentum of a strong 2011, which saw the opening of our award-winning children’s exhibition, Fernbank NatureQuest, and tremendous growth in our family and student visitation from around the state.

As always, we thank our many visitors, members, donors and other supporters for helping Fernbank Museum inspire life-long learning of natural history through immersive programming and unmatched experiences that encourage a greater appreciation of our planet and its inhabitants.

I hope to see you at the Museum soon as we offer many exciting new special activities, programs, exhibitions and films in 2012!

Susan Neugent
President & CEO

Did You Know?

  • In 2011, Fernbank Museum saw a 24% increase in general attendance, a 21% increase in school visitation and a 46% increase in membership. Donations from generous funders provided field trip admissions to over 55,000 students for free or deeply discounted rates.
  • Fernbank Museum earns 90% of its annual income through admissions-related revenue and special events. As a private non-profit organization, all earned income is reinvested in exhibitions, films, educational programs, conservation and research.
  • Fernbank NatureQuest, the Museum’s newest permanent exhibit, has won 3 awards for excellence in design — 2 of which are internationally recognized.
  • This year, as part of our 20th Anniversary, Fernbank Museum is holding special programming days on 20 weekends throughout the year.
  • In 2012 Fernbank Museum will continue conducting original archaeological field research which has already yielded scores of artifacts that can be traced to the early Spanish expedition of Hernando de Soto in 1540. Fernbank’s exciting discoveries have received international attention and garnered the support of the National Geographic Society.
  • Fernbank Museum’s financial, operational and programmatic practices are monitored by the third party non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator, and have achieved the highest possible ranking in their rating system.

For more information about Fernbank Museum, please visit us online.


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At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

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