Why National Parks? This is the question explored in the new Patagonia Park Museum and Visitor Center, which interactively presents the landscape and cultural history of the Chacabuco Valley, incorporating a moving and inspiring story about the importance of National Parks and ecological loss and recovery.
Located in the commune of Cochrane within Chile’s Aysén region, the new Museum and Visitor Center combines the aesthetics of a nineteenth-century museum of natural history with modern technology and interactive elements. It is composed of a large central room that is subdivided into four areas that cover the ecosocial crisis, nature, culture, and activism, as well as an experiential space with an audiovisual show.
The interpretive center was opened by Tompkins Conservation President Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who noted: “This Visitor Center was Doug’s dream that emerged more than 10 years ago, and today, has become a reality thanks to the people and foundations that supported this initiative. With this museum, we want to generate a culture of conservation, inviting visitors to be inspired by the beauty of the park and to get closer to Patagonia’s great natural and cultural heritage.”
In this regard, the Executive Director of CONAF, José Manuel Rebolledo, stressed that “through the exhibition and educational story of this center, the aim is to make people aware of how biodiversity is being impacted globally, and the collective action we must take to avoid its progressive deterioration. All of this reveals the public and educational value of protected areas and national parks, while also recovering the history of the area.”
This Visitor Center is inaugurated on the eve of Patagonia Park becoming an official National Park. At over 750,000 acres, Patagonia National Park will include land donated by Tompkins Conservation; the Jeinimeni and Tamango reserves; plus federal land from the government of Chile.
The museum is open to the public and admission is free. To make a reservation to visit the museum before December 15, 2018, contact: [email protected]
Patagonia Park, Cochrane, Aysén Region, Chile.
762 square meters
Francisco Morandé Ruiz-Tagle – Douglas R. Tompkins