History of MRB Lewis & Clark Visitor Center
The three story, 12,000 square foot, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center sits on a scenic 79 acre wooded bluff overlooking the Missouri River. An unobstructed view of the river gives today’s audience a sense for what greeted the captains 200 years ago.
Education through time-honored methods of observation and discovery is the central mission of this interactive center and adjoining hiking trails. The flora and fauna (178 new plants and 122 new animals) and scientific discoveries recorded by the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1804-1806) are the focus of the Center. This theme is exciting and unique because no other museum or interpretive center in the nation, existing or planned, focuses on the captains’ amazing scientific discoveries. People of all ages will learn through interactive participation and you-are-there experiences. The exhibits and displays were designed with the expert advice of the University of Nebraska’s distinguished professor, Dr. Gary Moulton, the nation’s definitive scholar on the Lewis & Clark Journals, who served as the Center’s first In-Resident Scholar.
Funding / Foundation
The building and 78 acres of property are owned, maintained and operated by the Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center Foundation. It is an independent locally managed non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation. We provide prudent stewardship of the property and this small portion of the historic Lewis & Clark National Trail.
The MRBLCC Foundation was responsible for raising $6,500,000 for the construction of the Center and for the development and installation of the original exhibits when we opened in 2004. The annual operating budget is $250,000. Income is derived from admission fees, gift shop sales, special events, membership fees, donations and grants.
The Foundation maintains a strong partnership with the National Park Service which continues to help us enhance and support the preservation, development, and interpretation goals of the Center.
We are continually seeking funding sources to upgrade and add exhibits and new educational programs to attract return visitors.
The long-term goal of the MRBLCC Foundation is to become self-sufficient by growing our endowment to a sufficient size to permanently sustain and maintain the property.