Natural Bridge Park (future Virginia State Park)

Natural BridgeNatural Bridge is one of the oldest tourist destinations in the United States. The Natural Bridge of Virginia is located in the community of Natural Bridge, which is located in Rockbridge County.

Download the exhibit design plan:

Natural Bridge - Interpretive Master Plan Outline and Exhibit Concepts

Donate to Natural Bridge Parks Exhbitis


Thomas Jefferson at Natural Bridge

Exhibit Goals

Natural Bridge - Conservation in America

Design Concept - Conservation in America

Conservation

Natural Bridge consist of over 1,600 acres of pristine wildlife habitat, streams and caves providing  home to hundreds of wildlife species, rare bates and invertebrates, along with unusual communities of plants.  The property is uniquely located as a bridge between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Ridge and Valley Province of the Allegheny Mountains.

Multiple conservation strategies are under development such as reclamation of old farm fields to native grass species to support early succession wildlife habitat and to control erosion on roads and trails.

Education

Natural Bridge enjoys 150,000 visitors per year and is expected to host over 1 million per year in the future.  Education is a primary goal at Natural Bridge, focusing on bridge history, caverns, archaeology, geology and ecology.  The Monacan Indian Living History Outdoor Exhibit is a vital component, offering Virginia SOL compliant programs for students.

Recreation

Recreation at The Natural Bridge Park and Historic Hotel encompasses many activities on site and in partnership with other sites including Twin River Outfitters,  The Stone Bridge Equestrian Center and the Virginia Horse Center.

Experience leisure time with the family on the Cedar Creek Trail, birding and wildlife tours, or for something a bit more adventurous there is rafting, tubing, and kayaking.  Descending more than 35 stories into the earth, the caverns at Natural Bridge are an intriguing experience for the whole family.

Primary Theme

Exhibits will be based on the following primary theme statement.

“Natural Bridge in its natural and geologic splendor has inspired generations to consider their existence on earth”

Objective

Natural Bridge - Science on a Sphere

Design Concept - Science on a Sphere

To create exhibits that are entertaining and informative experiences that engage the senses and make visitors feel connected to the site, promote inquiry and frequent use.  To integrate cutting edge technologies in a non-obtrusive and appropriate manner considering all the senses, conscious and subconscious, perceptions, emotional patterns, and social interactions. As a result, the guest’s experience will reflect their identity, values, and goals while supporting the institution’s objectives.

Desired Outcome

Guest will be inspired to consider their existence, their relationship with nature and the planet. Guest will realize that it’s everyone’s responsibility to care for nature and our planet as part of maintaining a sustainable existence regardless of their individual beliefs or ideologies.

Subthemes

Geology and Natural History

Natural Bridge and caverns formation

Educate the public of the properties unique flora and fauna

  1. Conservation and Sustainability
    1. Conservation activities at Natural Bridge and its surrounding forestland
    2. Sustainable use of the land Educate the public of Jefferson’s use of the word usufruct
    3. Promote environmental awareness
    4. Climate change mitigation
  2. Outdoor Recreation
    1. Connect children and families to nature
    2. Promote outdoor activities as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle
  3. History and Local Culture
    1. Promote Thomas Jefferson Story and Patrick Henry
    2. Native American history
    3. The Great Road
    4. Music History and local Artisans

Natural Bridge - Thomas Jefferson Cabin Virtual Storytelling Theater

Design Concept - Thomas Jefferson Cabin Virtual Storytelling Theater