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Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center reopening to the public

Mystic — The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center has announced plans to reopen on weekends after being closed since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting this coming weekend, the center’s natural history museum will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To protect staff, summer campers and visitors, buildings will remain closed to the public on weekdays.

“Now and always, the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, summer campers, and guests are our top priority,” center Executive Director Davnet Conway Schaffer said. “Nature organically allows for physical distancing and access to nature has proven vital during this very stressful time. Our staff has worked hard to reopen our indoor exhibits and in-person programming on a limited basis.”

In addition, the nature center is resuming its in-person programming for all ages, as well as offering programs online. The number of program participants are limited, preregistration is required and adults must wear masks when attending programs or dropping off and picking up children. Children will not be required to wear masks. Everyone is required to use hand sanitizer or wash hands before the beginning of each class. Programs will be held outside, except in the event of rain.

Visitors and staff at the center must wear masks. Disposable masks are available for free at the front desk. Social distancing of 6 feet must be practiced between groups at all times and guests are asked to follow directional and spacing signs. Hand sanitizer is available for use in multiple locations and restrooms, surfaces and high-touch areas will be disinfected throughout the day. Center employees are screened and check temperatures daily.

The center’s popular “Night in the Meadow” exhibit will remain open with limited occupancy.

In place of hands-on exhibits, the center is providing each family or group with “Explorer Kits” to enjoy a scavenger hunt indoors and outdoors with hands-on components to take home.

The boardwalk through the wetland exhibit is one-way only. Visitors are welcome to visit the birds of prey, which are located in enclosures outdoors. The center’s trails are open and free to the public. Those who use the trails are asked to maintain physical distancing and have a mask with them.

For those that are not ready to be out in public, the Nature Center offers nature news and updates on its animals as an educator broadcasts live from the nature center on its Facebook page Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.

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