Sunday, May 17, 2020

Howell Nature Center plans soft re-opening for public on 
May 29
    The Howell Nature Center (HNC) announces their plan for a soft re-open to the public with a target date of May 29. 
      The HNC has been working closely with local health officials and is confident in their newly updated health and safety protocols. 
     “During the financial fallback of COVID-19, our community has helped us heal through their abundance of kindness. We want to be there for our HNC extended family and provide an opportunity for families to get outside in a healthy and responsible way. Of course, we want to re-open our gates in the right way that maximizes safety for everyone involved. It’s really important to us that we are as safe as possible not only for our guests, but also for our staff and animals,” said John “JC” Carlson, CEO.
     HNC is targeting Friday, May 29, as their re-open date, giving them time to slowly bring staff and volunteers back and ensure all health and safety COVID-19 mitigation protocols are in place and operational. They will be operating at a much-reduced capacity to optimize guest and staff safety, opening the Wild Wonders Wildlife Park by reservation only. The NatureScape and Nature Zone will remain closed temporarily. Guests will need to make a reservation online through HOWELLNATURECENTER.ORG, which will allow HNC to closely monitor attendance. Admission will only be accepted digitally, and no cash transactions will take place. Admission is FREE for essential workers and their families with any proof of employment. HNC will also be announcing special hours for our frontline heroes.  All guests must check-in with the gatekeeper upon arrival. John “JC” Carlson emphasizes, “We ask that our guests patiently work with us to help keep our community safe.”
     While Nature Center staff have greatly missed the laughter of children as they play and learn, they have been using this time wisely to accomplish exciting renovations. “Thanks to funds from the e2 Grant (supporting educational and environmental initiatives Worldwide) from Chem-Trend’s parent company Freudenberg, we are finishing Phase One of major renovations to our Wild Wonders Wildlife Park to make the trails more accessible to all visitors. Phase Two will take place in 2021 and focus on environmental educational interpretives. 
     “We are excited to unveil a new landscape that is easier to traverse for parents with strollers and those with mobility challenges,” said Laura Butler, Director of Wildlife and Education.
     Follow them on Facebook or visit their website at HOWELLNATURECENTER.ORG to pre-register for your visit and to stay-up-to-date on current information 

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