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The Front Row: Moody Gardens

Ashley Tompkins
Kaysie Ellingson
Ashley Tompkins

Ashley Tompkins, Public Relations Coordinator for Moody Gardens, joins The Front Row following Hurricane Harvey.

Is Moody Gardens still in business after all of the weather?

Yes, we were very fortunate that we did not have any damage there at Moody Gardens. Our animals are doing great. Our pyramids are still there so we were very fortunate. We understand that a lot of people along the coast and in Houston are just not being able to recover from Hurricane Harvey. We’re hoping to be a little break for them at some point.

Give us a little background on Moody Gardens.

Moody Gardens was founded in the mid 80s. We started with Hope therapy—hippo therapy, for those who had brain injuries—with horse therapy. So that’s kind of how we have started and how we’ve migrated to where we are today. Education is a huge part of what we do at Moody Gardens as well as conservation. So those are two of our biggest messages. If you go into our education building now, you can see where the horse stables had been when it was hippo therapy. We kept that as part of our history.

We’re really an educational family destination. If you’ve never been before, when you come across from Houston onto the island, you’re going to notice three pyramids to your right. That is Moody Gardens. Our blue one is the aquarium. Our clear glass one is our rainforest and then we have a pink pyramid, which is our discovery pyramid.

What do those mean?

The rainforest pyramid is really immersive, you feel like you’re walking through the rainforests of the world. Asia, Africa, the Americas. We have free-flighted birds in there, free-roaming monkeys, thousands of plants that you would find in a real rainforest—you just happen to be on Galveston island in Texas.

Our blue pyramid is the aquarium. We just finished up a renovation at our aquarium. So we have brand new exhibits there for guests to explore…You get to learn about the oceans of the world and how you can protect animals and the oceans.

Our pink pyramid is our discovery pyramid. On the lower level of that we have our Spongebob Squarepants adventure. Right above that is our discovery museum where we have different exhibit that exchange every couple of months. Right now we have da Vinci the exhibition, which chronicles the life of Leonardo da Vinci.

Coming up you’re launching your Festival of Lights?

Yes, we’re already in full Christmas mode down in Galveston.

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.

Clinton Barrick is the Director of Programming for the network of stations that comprise Texas Tech Public Radio. He has served in this capacity for over twenty-five years, providing Classical Music to the airwaves of the South Plains and expanding Texas Tech Public Radio’s offering of news and cultural programs in response to station and network growth.
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