History of Exhibits Project

Lake Anna Visitor Center

This video demonstrates an extreme makeover at the Lake Anna State Park environmental visitor center.  Static 1960's type exhibits were replaced with modern interactive multimedia exhibits which are both entertaining and educational.

Background

The pilot project for this visitor center initiative was undertaken at Lake Anna State Park in 2012-2013, where state-of-the-art high tech exhibits were designed and installed in a short time frame, and at considerably lower cost than what it would have cost the government of Virginia through its normal procurement process. Virginia Association for Parks, together with the Friends of Lake Anna State Park, raised enough private funding for a "complete makeover” of the Lake Anna Visitor Center exhibits, where a suite of high-tech interactive exhibits replaced the older exhibits.  The Visitor Center re-opened to the public in spring 2013. 

In a Virginia Tech (Pamplin College of Business) survey of park visitors at Lake Anna (summer 2013), 98% found the new exhibits to be educational and 95% recommended similar exhibits for other parks.   The study was conducted by Dr. Vincent Magnini (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management) and Dr. Michael Sorice (Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation) of Virginia Tech.

Buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive response to the exhibits at Lake Anna State Park, Virginia Association for Parks invited their long-term “technology partner,” Imperial Multimedia (Baraboo, Wisconsin), to design and develop new exhibits in a total of 13 Virginia state park visitor centers over the next several years.  Funding for the exhibits at Lake Anna came from the private sector; similarly VAFP, in collaboration with local state park friends groups, plan to seek private support for the new exhibits in the other state park facilities. 

Lake Anna Visitor Center Exhibits