The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways Exhibition dives into water - an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.

Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.


How to reserve a group tour or student field trip

Prep Materials for Teachers

Juried Art Contest


Local water stories include economical, cultural and ecological.

Reservations for adult groups, senior citizens, and church groups will be reserved in the afternoons (1pm or later, as the mornings are filled with student tour groups. To reserve your tour of the Water/Ways exhibit, please email Shonda.Borden@DCNR.Alabama.gov or call 251-625-0814 with the following information:

  1. Number of participants 
  2. If you would like to include a boat tour (charges apply for boat, but the exhibit tour is free)


This exhibit is geared towards 5th grade and older, and preference will be given to those classes. Available dates are very limited, and we are taking reservations now.
To reserve your field trip, email Shonda.Borden@DCNR.Alabama.gov with the following information:

  1. Grade Level 
  2. Number of Students
  3. If you would like to include a boat tour (charges apply for boat, but the exhibit tour is free)


. Volunteer Information

Nov 20 – Volunteer Training for Smithsonian Exhibit “Water/Ways”

If you are 18 or over, have good people skills and enjoy meeting new people and learning new things, we are looking for you!  Volunteer Training is from 10am-3pm, and includes lunch.  You will be trained to be a docent and tour guide for all ages.  After training, must be able to commit to at least three shifts from 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm during the week and on weekends while the exhibit is at 5 Rivers (Nov 25-Jan 5). Registration required, contact Shonda.Borden@dcnr.alabama.gov for additional information.