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Wild Center outdoor campus opens July 15

People enjoy a spiderweb feature of the Wild Walk at the Wild Center nature museum in Tupper Lake in July 2017. (Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)

TUPPER LAKE — The Wild Center nature museum will begin a phased reopening July 15, starting with the Wild Walk and other outdoor experiences.

It will do this by implementing a limited capacity, going paperless and launching an app.

“We’re excited to welcome visitors, members, staff and volunteers back to our outdoor experiences so that we can continue to make lifelong memories in nature,” Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe said. “It was important to us that we not reopen until we were absolutely sure that we could deliver a Wild Center experience that people have grown to know and love while doing so in the safest manner possible.”

The Wild Walk, Musical Forest and the museum’s largely outdoor 115-acre campus will all be used.

During the first phase of reopening, the Wild Center’s indoor portion — including exhibits, the Flammer Theater, Wild Supply Co. indoor gift shop and the Waterside Cafe (restrooms excepted) — will remain closed. Visitors are encouraged to pack picnic lunches as limited pre-packaged snacks will be available. Curbside pickup of Wild Supply Co. items ordered online will also be available.

The Wild Center has transitioned completely to a new timed-ticket reservation system to manage capacity, limiting the number of visitors on campus during a given time. Reservations may be made online, by phone or email prior to arrival and are required for all guests, including members. Timed reservations will be available beginning Monday. Tickets are valid for one-day only.

All guests ages 2 and over, as well as staff and volunteers, will be required to wear face coverings at all times when visiting. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the campus.

Wild Center staff will frequently clean and disinfect high traffic areas and restrooms. Visitors are asked to follow one-way directional signage and ground markings which have been installed to help guests better navigate while practicing physical distancing.

To go paperless, the museum will accept only cashless payments, use digital maps and launch a brand-new app with audio tours and self-led scavenger hunts.

Although visitors will not have access to the indoor otter exhibit, they can catch a glimpse of the otters in the behind-the-scenes outdoor otter play yard — a spot normally off-limits to visitors. Wild Center naturalists will hold short live animal encounters and drop-in educational programs throughout the day in specific locations around the outdoor campus. Naturalist-led canoe trips will be available by reservation for an additional fee.

The Wild Center will be open seven days a week by reservation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from July 15 to Oct. 11. From Oct. 12 to May 30, 2021, The Wild Center will be open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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