The Cook Museum of Natural Science is a state-of-the-art natural science museum in downtown Decatur, AL. It provides a hands-on, immersive experience where kids can explore, interact with, and learn about nature. Families leave the Cook Museum feeling fulfilled by their time together and inspired by the things they saw and learned. It truly is one amazing experience for families and children of all ages!
The Cook Museum’s humble roots can be traced back to 1968 when John Cook, Sr. opened his professional insect collection to the public by appointment, which at the time had been used primarily for employee training at Cook’s Pest Control. It later grew to include a wide array of mounted wildlife, touring malls throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.
In 1980, additional collections of rocks, minerals, fossils, coral, sea shells, mounted wildlife, and federally protected migratory birds were acquired, and a 5,000 square foot building was constructed. At that time, what became known as Cook’s Natural Science Museum came into existence, and it welcomed more than 750,000 visitors from its opening in 1980 until its closing in 2016. The Cook Museum of Natural Science's grand opening in June 2019 marks the culmination of an approximately 50-year vision in the making.
Mr. Cook’s inspiration and motivation for the museum came from his desire to generously serve and support his local community and region and to creatively display God’s creation. The Cook Family continues this legacy with the Cook Museum of Natural Science, and we are still driven by the same vision today.
President & Board Chairman
Senior Director of Administration
Senior Director of Operations
Director of Exhibits & Visitor Experience
Director of Development
Exhibits & Membership Manager
Collections & Gallery Experience Manager
Live Animal Manager
Events & Volunteer Manager
Retail & Guest Services Manager
Marketing & PR Manager
From left to right: John Cook Jr., Lyn Cook, Eleanor (Jo) Cook, Brian Cook, and Leslie Cook.
Park Operations Supervisor - Alabama State Parks at Cheaha State Park
Economic & Community Development Director - City of Decatur
Partner - Nowlin, Bachuss & Gray Law Firm
Chairman of the Board - Dynetics, Inc.
Certified Public - Accountant Hall, Albright, Garrison, & Associates
Chief of Police - Decatur Police Department
Vice Chairman of the Board - Cook’s Pest Control
City President, Morgan County - Senior Vice President - Regions Bank
President & CEO - Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
Partner - Corporate Billing, LLC