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MEDIA ADVISORY — Feb. 21, 2005
Crane hoists tallest tropical trees into Ocean Journey building TODAY

What:
A 14-foot-tall fishtail palm, a 12-foot exotic flowering shrub called Bixa, a 15-foot tree with bromeliads growing in its branches and several additional rare specimens will be hoisted by crane and delivered into their new home within the peaks of the Tennessee Aquarium’s new Ocean Journey building.

When:
Monday, Feb. 21 – Largest trees go in after 1 p.m., depending on the weather conditions. (Crane will shut down for lightening.)

Where:
Crane and trees will be in your shot if you park on Riverfront Parkway. If you want access to the fourth level of Ocean Journey, where the trees will be placed, please call Turner Construction @ 865-388-6193 (Tony Marks). Someone from the PR office or Turner will need to escort you to the fourth level. Be advised this is still a construction zone and great care should be taken with hard hat and sturdy shoes. One of the peak windows has been removed for the tree delivery. DO NOT VENTURE CLOSE – within 6 feet -- TO THIS EDGE.

Who:
Dave Collins, curator of forests, or Christine Bock, lead horticulturist, will be on the 4th level of Ocean Journey installing the soil, plants and trees.

B&B Steel Erection of Chattanooga is at the controls of the 150-ton, 19-story crane.

Turner Construction Company is the construction manager on the $30 million addition to the Aquarium.

Why:
Installing the tall trees is just one aspect of creating Ocean Journey’s new rainforest under glass and includes the Butterfly Garden and Tropical Cove. There are only a handful of forests under glass in the world. The rainforest is the third: a tropical rainforest for the new Ocean Journey building.

Aquarium Horticulturists Christine Bock and Charlene Nash are breaking new ground in designing, acquiring, planting and learning about the lush Tropical Cove and the Butterfly Garden in Ocean Journey.

Bock developed the landscape blueprint for the new Butterfly Garden. The exhibit will overflow with flowering plants and trees that offer nectar to dozens of species of butterflies. She said one of her favorite areas in the exhibit to design is a display gracing the waterfall, where she will experiment with orchids.

Nash created the landscape for the Tropical Cove in the expansion. An arched gateway will beckon visitors to an area filled with lush plants and trees and the enticing sounds of animal life in a tropical habitat. The 30-foot-high sunlit space includes a shoreline where visitors touch stingrays and visit with regal hyacinth macaws.

“The large plants will give the exhibits age, height and character – elements that are difficult to create with newly purchased plants,” Bock said. “Tropical plants are exciting to horticulturists. They bloom and are colorful year round, and there are so many different varieties.”

Other Forests of River Journey
The Cove Forest gallery reverberates with the rhythm and beauty of the flora, fauna and four seasons of the Appalachian Mountains. A serene sanctuary complete with burbling waterfall, the Cove is a work of horticultural art. Level 4

The Mississippi Delta gallery teems with the steamy life from the fertile swamplands of the Louisiana Bayou. Complete with draping moss, alligators and snapping turtles, all that’s missing in this swamp-scape is a johnboat and Cajun accent. Level 3

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The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $14 per adult and $7.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.75 per adult and $5.25 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $18 for adults and $10.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

For more information about the new Ocean Journey building: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/ExpansionPressKit.asp

For downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp

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