Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH)


  • Name:Robyn Gibboney
  • Title:Grant Writer/Foundation Relations Manager

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Address:1301 Western Ave.
    Cincinnati, OH 45203
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:513-287-7000
  • Main fax:513-287-7036

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Cincinnati Museum Center inspires people of all ages to learn more about our world through science; regional history; and educational, engaging and meaningful experiences. Our vision is to be known for its commitment to understanding the richness of our past, present and future by providing world-class learning experiences for children and adults.

    The Richard & Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve is located in Adams County but an integral part of Cincinnati Museum Center. Its mission is to be the environmental education study center for a 17,000-acre private nature preserve, dedicated to exciting people about the natural world through example and experience.

  • Overview:
  • Cincinnati Museum Center is a one-of-a-kind, multi-museum complex. Housed in Union Terminal, it builds on the strengths of its iconic site, a 1930s Art Deco train station, and two heritage institutions, dating back to 1818. The complex currently includes the Cincinnati History Museum, Cincinnati History Library & Archives, Museum of Natural History & Science, Duke Energy Children's Museum and Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater. Museum Center also operates two off-site locations. The Geier Collections & Research Center in Cincinnati is a regional repository for collections and research in history, ornithology, herpetology, paleontology and archaeology. At the Richard & Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve (The Edge), Museum Center partners with The Ohio Nature Conservancy to steward 17,000 acres of private, protected natural areas in Adams County. While providing critical habitat for rare plant and animal species, The Edge serves as a center for ongoing education and research.

    Throughout Union Terminal and off-site locations, Museum Center is a place where learning springs to life. It pairs outstanding permanent and temporary exhibits or natural habitat with a broad range of educational programs that spark community dialogue, insight and inspiration. The OMNIMAX® Theater runs new features three times a year and also makes over 30 archived films available for educational programming. Numerous programs specifically advance informal science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education as well as awareness of environmental issues. School programs, both on- and off-site, serve over 110,000 students and teachers a year. Public programs—such as Free Fridays, Passport to the World Culture Fests and Insights Lectures—attract learners of all ages and backgrounds. Open 363 days a year, we welcome over 1.4 million visitors annually, including about 400,000 children.

    Additionally, Museum Center collects, preserves and documents material objects to create and facilitate new knowledge in history and science. Curators focus on our local heritage while revealing the collections’ significance to broader communities—and then share this knowledge through exhibitions, programs and partnerships. The institution also serves as a catalyst for West End/Queensgate development while working to preserve and care for Union Terminal.

    At The Edge, our collaboration with The Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has resulted in land acquisition/management and environmental education for over 50 years. A biologically unique setting with 11 nearly contiguous areas in rural Adams County, we have the largest privately-owned and protected natural preserve in Ohio. Further, its large tracts of unbroken eastern forest and xeric limestone prairies comprise one of the state’s last great biological frontiers. The Edge protects more than 50% of Ohio’s native plant species, nearly 1,200 species of plants in total—including more than 100 rare or endangered species. Seven of the preserve’s plant communities have G1 or G2 Global Rarity rankings, according to The Nature Conservancy. As a “biological crossroads,” The Edge is a place where the north, south, east and west distributional limits for many flora and fauna “collide.” Four areas at The Edge (Lynx Prairie, Buzzardroost Rock, Red Rock and the Wilderness) are so significant they are registered National Natural Landmarks. The terrain features seven miles of hiking trails, encompassing rugged woodlands, prairie openings, waterfalls, giant promontories and clear streams.

    Museum Center and The Nature Conservancy have actively increased and restored this natural treasure through education, scientific inquiry and stewardship. An outstanding site for outdoor education and recreation, The Edge sponsors environmental education programs for children, adults and families and research opportunities for scientists. It especially targets underserved, low-income residents of rural Adams County. Key programs include 35 years of summer science camps, 25 years of school programs to enhance the science curricula for two school systems and a 10-year series of workshops for naturalists. Working with volunteers, the staff responds to current environmental concerns, including control of “invasive” species and conducts an ongoing Biological Monitoring Program.

  • History:
  • The multi-museum complex now known as Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) opened its doors in 1990. However, the organization’s history dates back to the 19th century. The Museum of Natural History & Science began as the Western Museum Society in 1818, employing John Audubon as one of its first naturalists. The Cincinnati History Museum and Cincinnati History Library & Archives trace their roots to the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, founded in 1831. These two institutions joined forces in the 1987 to help save Union Terminal from destruction while expanding space for their exhibits and collections. They were later joined by the OMNIMAX® Theater and Duke Energy Children’s Museum. In 2009 CMC was awarded the prestigious IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and in 2012 it was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. CMC is one of only a handful of museums in the nation with both these honors.

    The Edge of Appalachia Preserve was established in 1959. Yet research interest in the area dates from the early 20th century with the work of University of Cincinnati professor E. Lucy Braun. The special relationship between Cincinnati Museum Center and The Nature Conservancy began in 1961, when the newly established Ohio Chapter deeded its first land purchases to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. This arrangement allowed The Edge to grow and develop during the 1960s and ‘70s, led largely by the efforts of two of Braun’s students, Richard and Lucile Durrell. To recognize their contributions throughout the years and through a legacy fund established by their estate, the preserve was renamed in 1998.

    In 1988, the Ohio Valley School District started collaborating with The Edge to broaden science education for Adams County students. Since then, every student in grades 4-7 (about 1,800 a year) has benefitted from field trips to the preserve. In 1992, the naturalists also started traveling to students’ classrooms during the winter for additional hands-on educational experiences. In 2013 the excellence of these educational programs at The Edge was recognized by the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center with a service award.

    Since 2000, The Edge staff, assisted by colleagues and volunteers from around the nation, has been working to catalogue life on the preserve. For example, as of 2011, they have confirmed 39 living and recently extirpated species of mussels for Ohio Brush Creek. Coinciding with this survey, staff began an inventory of dragonflies. Among the 48 species of dragonflies found to date, two state endangered species were discovered. In 2002, staff’s attention turned to lichens, raising the number of known species in Adams County to 159, the greatest lichen diversity of any Ohio county. Of these, 113 species were recorded at The Edge, including four endangered (state-listed) lichen species. In 2005, the preserve’s biodiversity cataloguing efforts were opened to the public, with the launch of the Advanced Naturalist Workshop Series. Since then, over 40 workshops have spurred research on a wide variety of understudied organisms. Some resulted in expanded species lists while others simply broadened staff knowledge of eastern forest ecology. All information gained helps to understand the natural history of the preserve and the subsequent management of its resources.

    Each year the preserve staff wages war on advancing invasive species. To date, the forest systems of the preserve remain intact, but the battles against non-native plants and animals are ongoing. With continued successful management and educational programs by Cincinnati Museum Center and The Nature Conservancy, The Edge will remain viable into the distant future. Its biological significance has compelled many to take action over the years through donations and volunteerism.

  • Year established:1987
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:38
  • Advisory board size:82
  • Staff size:312


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
  • Tax ID:31-1212634

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:311212634
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:JILL BERKEMEIER
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:1301 WESTERN AVE
  • Organization City:CINCINNATI
  • Organization State:OH
  • Organization Zip:45203-1138
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:October, 1987
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):060
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Museum, zoo, planetarium, etc.
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:A500
  • Asset Amount:$81,435,295
  • Asset Code:9 ($50,000,000+)
  • Income Amount:$45,975,104
  • Income Code:8 ($10,000,000 - $49,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$42,626,108
  • Last Updated:2/21/2018 8:53:03 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.