Cook Museum now in top 10 running for USA Today's 'Best New Museum'

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DECATUR, Ala. - The Cook Museum of Natural Sciences is up for a USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Award.

"When you do something the right way, and we spent a long time building this place," explained the museum's spokesperson Mike Taylor. "When you put that much heart into a place, people start noticing."

The Cook Museum is competing with museums across North America for the title.

"We are the only museum to be nominated in the state of Alabama," Taylor added.

The museum is comprised of exhibits with interactive stations, classrooms, live animals, and an aquarium.

Employees at the museum said it's not about national notoriety. It's more about letting people know there's a gem like this one in their own backyard.

"We believe the more people that come here, the more memories are created, and the more it helps the community," said Taylor.

He believes an honor like this one could open up new horizons for the attraction, and the goal is in arm's reach.

"The one that's at the top right now that we're kind of neck and neck with is a comedy museum in New York," Taylor explained. "So it's a huge honor for our community and for a museum to be nominated on a national level, so we're trying to encourage the community to get involved so we can make it up to number one."

Currently, the Cook Museum is ranked second of 20 galleries.

You can vote here for your favorite new museum once a day until the polls close on February 17 at 11 a.m. CT. The winning 10 Best museums will be announced on February 28.

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