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Natural History Museum to open the North Campus nature exhibit

April 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An exciting new exhibit is taking root at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The museum is getting ready to open the North Campus, a biodiversity experiment that will turn the museum in to an indoor-outdoor nature experience in the heart of L.A.

An elite team of designers, architects, museum staff and scientists converted more than 150,00 square feet of parking lots an concrete into lush gardens. Now fully planted, there are 250 varieties of perennial plants in what used to be a concrete jungle.

It will open to the public next year to celebrate the museum's centennial.

"Get your party clothes on," said L.A. County Supervisor 2nd District Mark Ridley-Thomas. "A year from now, we're going to have us a good time right here, dinosaurs, mammals and all."

The garden area will double the museum's space. The idea is to plant a habitat and then wait for the species to come so the public can learn about them. That's bringing science to the sidewalk.

School groups already got a chance to visit the home garden area on Thursday. It's a living laboratory where they learned about horticulture. The urban gardens will be the main entrance to the museum. On the way inside, guests will be greeted with butterflies, birds bugs and plants.

"We hope through the experience here, you will all understand the world around you better," said landscape architect Mia Lehrer.