Explore the History of WY Water with Water/Ways

After nearly two years of planning, Water/Ways is now on exhibit! The Laramie County Library is one of five venues in Wyoming chosen by Wyoming Humanities to host this traveling exhibit from the Museum on Main Street (MoMS), a service of the Smithsonian Institution that brings exhibits to rural areas of the country.

The Library is excited to offer this exhibit opportunity to the residents of Laramie County!

Exhibit Details:
Exhibit panels are located on all three floors of the building, and maps of where to find the panels are near many sections and at service desks.

“The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.

Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.” –MoMS

Complementary Exhibits:
There are three additional exhibits that go along with Water/Ways:

1) The Wyoming State Engineer’s Office (SEO) provided historic water gauges, instruments, maps, and documents for a glimpse of water history in the state. These are located in display cases on the first and third floors. The stories behind these items are quite fascinating, one survey map even indicates where a person was killed by a bear! (On January 25, Cheryl from the SEO will give a presentation on water rights that brings life to this “dry” subject!)

2) Photography students and their teachers from Cheyenne’s South High School have loaned prints of images they shot while touring the water treatment facility west of town. This exhibit is located on the first floor by the Book Sale Room and on the second floor in the teen lounge.

3) A panel display on the third floor features biological and archaeological research on the Dinwoody Glacier in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. Faculty and students from the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition (ICCE) at Central Wyoming College in Riverton conducted the field research, and they became globetrotters and traveled to a conference in Innsbruck, Austria to present their findings. They are a big deal! (On January 31, the faculty will give a presentation at the library – don’t miss it!)

Water/Ways will be on exhibit through February 19. We hope you get to see this wonderful exhibit, and submerge yourself in water knowledge!

Water/Ways has been made possible in Cheyenne by Wyoming Humanities.

Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street,
a collaboration between the Smithsonisan Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St.Paul (www.smm.org), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

Complementary Programming:
We have lots of exciting and interesting programs for you to enjoy:

Carved in Ice! Water/Ways Exhibit Opening
Friday, January 6, 6-8 p.m.
Experience an ice sculptor in action (with chainsaw and blow torches!) at this after-hours event. Complete a scavenger hunt to win prizes, watch the sculpture take shape, meet Tacky the Penguin, and drink hot cocoa while nibbling on sweet treats! (Adults & Families; Cottonwood Room)

H20: Reduce Your Use
Tuesday, January 10, 6-7 p.m.
Drink it, bathe in it, keep your yard green with it, put out fires, wash your clothes, dishes and car. If we do not use this resource wisely, we can find ourselves in trouble. Learn what Cheyenne is doing what you can do to protect our water sources. (Adults; Cottonwood Room)

Whose Water Is It?
Wednesday, January 25, 6-7:30 p.m.
Murder, subterfuge, backstabbing! If you think this is another murder mystery night, you’re wrong. The history of water rights in Wyoming is full of stories and fraught with drama. Listen to Cheryl Wright from the State Engineer’s Office will bring this seemingly “dry” topic to life! (Adults; Cottonwood Room)

A Look Inside the Ice: Water at 11,000 Feet
Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
On the flanks of Gannet Peak, Wyoming’s highest point, researchers are uncovering the impact of glacial ice loss on the Continental Divide. What will this mean for the future of water in the West? What clues about past generations are buried under the ice? Presented by Todd Guenther, Professor of Anthropology and History; Jacki Klachner, Professor of Environmental Science; and Darran Wells, Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership at Central Wyoming College. (Adults & Teens; Cottonwood Room)

…But wait! There’s more! Interested in youth-aged water fun? Check out the Library’s event calendar for more information on water-themed storytimes, STEAM Kids and STEAM Tween events! (https://lclsonline.org/calendar/)