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$30,000 Harvest grant to construct outdoor pavilion at VMNH

LEFT TO RIGHT: deputy director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History and DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation

MARTINSVILLE – The Harvest Foundation will provide a $30,000 grant to the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) to construct an outdoor education pavilion.

The VMNH Outdoor Education Pavilion is anticipated to draw significant increases in visitation to the museum and the region. The pavilion will connect with J. Frank Wilson Park, and the museum will feature rail exhibits about forest ecology and conservation.  

“The museum’s educational pavilion will be an important addition to local tourism attractions and the local economy,” said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “The museum staff worked collaboratively in order to secure multiple funding partners and to leverage funding for this creative and innovative project.”

Resulting educational programs from the pavilion, interpretive elements, and its multi-functionality will further position the museum and the region as a premier visitor destination, according to the grant application.

“We are very grateful for The Harvest Foundation’s support of the VMNH Outdoor Education Pavilion,” said Ryan Barber, deputy director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. “The pavilion will enhance the experiences of students, visitors and groups, serve as a significant tourism draw, and strengthen the museum’s connection to J. Frank Wilson Park.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $150,000. Other partners include the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. The museum will conduct a fundraising campaign to raise the other funds needed for the project.

To find out more, call (276) 634-4141 or visit

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