Maine Government News
Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands: New Nature Center at Ferry Beach State Park to Hold Grand Opening
July 9, 2012
Jeanne Curran, (207) 287-3156
AUGUSTA, Maine – A brand-new nature center highlighting the unique natural landscapes found at Ferry Beach State Park in Saco will hold its grand opening this week.
The Ferry Beach State Park Nature Center will be opened formally on Saturday, July 14, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an afternoon-long event for children and families that will feature lots of activities, trail explorations and even a live-owl presentation.
The result of several years of planning and fund raising, the new nature center is expected to create an appreciation of the special natural features at Ferry Beach State Park, while providing an educational element to park visits, according to officials of Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation.
“We always want our visitors to have fun and create special memories when they visit any of our 48 state parks and historic sites,” said Will Harris, BPL director. “The new Ferry Beach State Park Nature Center will provide another component that will enrich their experience here and encourage them to understand why Ferry Beach is a very special place in Maine.”
The nature center “will enhance the educational dimension and help create an appreciation for Ferry Beach State Park,” said Jocelyn Hubbell, BPL interpretive specialist. “It also will help visitors understand the role of Maine state parks in preserving special places.”
Details of the event are:
Ferry Beach State Park Nature Center Grand Opening, 1-6 p.m., Saturday, July 14, Ferry Beach State Park; free with park admission; 1 p.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony; 1:30-6 p.m., 3-D slideshow presentation, "Nature Under Your Nose," by renown photographer and architect Roger Richmond; interactive displays, activities, trail explorations and raffle; 4:30 p.m., live-owl presentation. For more information, call (207) 283-0067.
Established in 1969, Ferry Beach State Park is a 127-acre park that features a variety of landscapes, including a popular beach with dunes and a pond and marsh area. It also is known for having a stand of tupelo, or black gum, trees, which are rare at the park’s latitude.
The park also has a picnic area, nature trails, guided nature programs, and a changing facility. Last year, some 32,000 people visited Ferry Beach State Park.
The new nature center is an extension of the varied interpretive programs that have been presented over the years at the park, Hubbell said.
“It will increase our capability to provide programs to both drop-in visitors and school groups,” the park official said. The center will feature hands-on, “discovery stations” and rotating, temporary exhibits, Hubbell said.
Fund raising began in 2009 for the project, which was completed this spring at a total cost of $250,000.
In particular, two anonymous $50,000 donations from the Saco area helped make the center a reality, the park official said. Other funding came from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails Program, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Land for Maine’s Future, and the November 2010 state bond.
The nature center consists of an attractive, 40-by-50-foot natural wood building, with one main room and two smaller rooms for programs and office space. It features an energy-efficient concrete floor and solar sky lights. The center will be used for groups and contain rotating, temporary exhibits, Hubbell said.
For specific details on the Ferry Beach Nature Center grand opening and Maine state parks and historic events, go to: http://www.parksandlands.com
For more information about Ferry Beach State Park, go to: http://www.maine.gov/ferrybeach