Following its annual month-long closure for spring cleaning, The Wild Center is excited to reopen on Sat., May 1, 2021. As a continued commitment to the health and safety of visitors, staff and the wider community, the nature-based science center will be operating as an outdoor-only experience for the time being. In addition, they will maintain their enhanced operational procedures and cleaning protocols including timed ticket reservations, limited capacity and the use of face coverings.
The Wild Center will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Center is open seven days a week. Timed reservations, which may be made online, by phone or email prior to arrival, give guests access to the award-winning Wild Walk, immersive Forest Music experience and hiking trails across the 115-acre campus. Wild Center naturalists will hold live animal encounters and drop-in educational programs throughout the day in specific locations around the outdoor campus. Visitors can take a behind-the-scenes look at The Wild Center’s favorite otters as they lounge in their outdoor play yard, or talk with a Naturalist to learn flash facts about some of the resident ambassador animals, including a porcupine and raven.
New this year, The Wild Center is partnering with two different nationally known artists who will create very different outdoor sculptures at its Tupper Lake campus. The first is a collaboration with Tupper Arts to bring the widely-collected, Adirondack-based artist, Barney Bellinger to the Center. Well known for his rustic furniture, photography, oil painting and sculptural metal work, this new outdoor exhibit will feature large sculptures made out of found materials such as salvaged steel, copper and iron. Inspired by the Adirondacks, and giving new life to discarded materials, Bellinger will have a selection on display throughout The Wild Center’s grounds beginning in mid-June. In August, stick sculpture artist Patrick Dougherty will be on-site to create larger-than-life pieces by bending, interweaving and fastening together twigs found in the Adirondacks. Volunteers will assist with the process and guests will be able to watch Dougherty’s Stickwork both in real-time and from a live-stream camera on The Wild Center’s website, in addition to viewing the final product in-person in late summer.
“Our visitors are going to be so amazed by the incredible beauty and creativity in this year’s outdoor exhibits. We are so fortunate to be partnering with Tupper Arts to bring these new creations by premier artist Barney Bellinger to our audience – they will inspire and delight. And I can’t wait to see one of Patrick Dougherty’s Stickworks evolve. I think it will be so exciting to see it grow organically on our site to the final sculpture right in our backyard,” said Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Deputy Director of The Wild Center. “We always seek fun and interesting ways for our visitors to make lifelong memories in nature. Something new emerges each season at The Wild Center, and this season is a great one to come back again and again.”
Returning for another summer, naturalist-led canoe trips take guests through the Raquette River’s Oxbow as they explore different marsh habitats. Canoe trips will run daily from Fri., May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend) to Mon., Sept. 6 (Labor Day Weekend) and are available by reservation for an additional fee.
Visitors may access digital maps, audio tours and self-led scavenger hunts through their Wild Center mobile app.
The Wild Center’s indoor portion (restrooms excepted) remains temporarily closed, including the Flammer Theater, Wild Supply Co. indoor gift shop and the Waterside Cafe.
For more information on guidelines and reservation information, visit The Wild Center’s Visit page: www.wildcenter.org/visit/.