Dig it at the Durham


October 19th, 2010

By Robyn Wisch

The secret and complex life of soil is the subject of a new exhibit at the Durham Museum – direct from the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

Dig It lets visitors get their hands dirty (Photo courtesy Ukko.de, Wikimedia Commons)

Dig It: The Secrets of Soil is an exhibit that explores the true nature of that loamy, nutritious substance beneath our feet. Shawna Forsberg, Marketing Director for the Durham, said visitors might be surprised to see just how much soil is a part of their lives. “People will find soil products in everything from the clothes they wear to the toothpaste that they use. It’s not something that we think about…that there’s actually soil in products.”

Forberg said the Durham is the only museum outside of Washington to show the exhibit, which includes set-up demonstrations, where visitors can get their hands dirty digging into layers of soil, and examining microscopic critters that live deep inside the dirt – of which there are apparently more in a shovel full than they are human beings on the planet.

“There’s the soil lab, which is a really fun way for people to learn about the different components of soil, Forsberg said, “How it varies from different parts of the country and why different parts of the country are involved in agriculture … and how all the pieces fit together.”

Dig It: The Secrets of Soil continues at the Durham Western Heritage Museum in downtown Omaha through December. Saturday, Oct. 23, the museum hosts “Let’s Get Dirty” day where soil scientists will be on hand to answer questions, supersized farming equipment will be on display, and visitors will have a chance to get really dirty and create artwork with mud and soil.

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