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Water exhibits to open this weekend

Marion site is local angle on national traveling exhibit

“Water/Ways,” a free traveling exhibition of the Smithsonian Institution, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Saturday through April 8 at Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery, 331 Broadway, Cottonwood Falls.

This interactive exhibit explores how water has shaped history and traditions, how it impacts daily life, and how it shapes our future.

A companion exhibit examines water in the Flint Hills.

In Marion, a partner exhibit, “Mineral Springs to Recreational Lakes,” will explore the history of water in Marion.

It also will open Saturday with a ribbon cutting planned for 10 a.m. at the library, and will continue through March 24.

Marion originally applied to be a host site for the Water/Ways exhibit, but committee member Randy Collett said creating a partner exhibit has been a positive experience.

“In the end, it probably turned out to our advantage,” he said. “We got to tell the story we wanted to tell how we wanted to tell it, as opposed to bringing their stuff in and setting it up and that’s it.”

The library’s Santa Fe room is filled with displays of historic newspaper articles, photos, and maps, augmented with relevant artifacts. A section highlighting the 1951 flood includes videotaped recollections of many local residents who lived through it.

“We tell the history in three chapters,” Collett said. “Chingawasa is the biggest one, then the flooding that resulted from why we settled where we did, and then the development of the reservoir to get the floods under control.”

Hours for the Marion exhibit will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Future presentations will include speaker Roy Bird remembering Marion County’s 1951 flood. The presentation is planned for 7 p.m. March 20.

Speaker Rex Buchanan will speak at 7 p.m. March 13 at the library about water in Kansas, past and present.

Last modified Feb. 21, 2018

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