An Indianapolis university is moving forward with the creation of an innovative science museum, focused around the city’s waterways. Butler University was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the project.

Indianapolis’ new science museum will use art and science to educate the public about the city’s six waterways. But the new museum won’t be in a building. Instead, it’ll use the city as a living laboratory. Tim Carter is the director of the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to both create a place in the city, a museum, but not use a building to do that,” he said. “Actually use the city itself as the museum space.”

Like in Louisville, Indianapolis’ rivers, creeks and canals were historically used for storm water runoff and pollution disposal. Carter says the project’s goal is to help people understand how their daily activities and the city’s water system are connected…and ultimately he hopes that drawing attention to the sites will jumpstart their revitalization.

“We’re hoping this will be catalytic in that regard,” he said. “By drawing attention to the waterways in particular, it will allow for more activation of those spaces, more people to engage in those places and then people in those neighborhoods can help identify with those waterways through time extending into the future.”

The museum will include six installations along the waterways, and will be open to the public by spring 2015.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's News Director.