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New River Gorge park offering events for National Park Week

April 19, 2022 GMT

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (AP) — New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is offering some special events this week to celebrate National Park Week.

The park is uploading its museum collection online. Information and images give details about the prehistoric and industrial past of the communities in the area. Some of the more than 5,000 items include a miner’s belt designed for self-rescue, a fossil from a time when the entire gorge was an underwater home to marine life and a Native American hammerstone used to prepare food hundreds of years ago.

The public can watch Cultural Resource Program Manager David Fuerst clean a 1942 mural on Wednesday. The mural depicts early 20th century coal miners. The park hopes to restore the painting to its appearance 80 years ago.

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The mural demonstration leads up to the opening on Friday of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” exhibit at the historic Cottle Mountainair Hotel in Mount Hope. The exhibit runs through May 30.

Winning art for the Youth Arts in the Parks Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest will continue to be displayed at Tamarack Marketplace and online at www.nps.gov/neri/youth-arts-in-the-parks.htm.