MYSTIC, Conn. — The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DPNC) has announced plans to reopen after closing due to COVID-19 concerns on March 13.
The natural history museum at the Nature Center will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In order to protect staff, summer campers, and visitors, DPNC’s 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,” said Davnet Conway Schaffer, executive director of the Nature Center, “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 to reopening for visitors, DPNC is resuming in-person programming for all ages, as well as offering programs online. In following Covid-19 guidelines from the State of Connecticut, the number of participants for each program are limited and preregistration is required. 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.
• Per State of Connecticut guidelines, masks must be worn by visitors and staff. Disposable masks are available free of charge at the front desk.
• Physical distancing of 6 feet (the wingspan of a Turkey Vulture) should be practiced between groups at all times.
• Guests are asked to follow directional and spacing signs indicated on the floor throughout the building.
• Hand sanitizer is available for use in multiple locations.
• Restrooms, surfaces, and high touch areas will be disinfected throughout the day.
• DPNC’s employees are screened and check temperatures daily.
• The door to the beloved “Night in the Meadow” will remain open, with limited occupancy.
• In place of hands-on exhibits, the Nature Center is providing “Explorer Kits”. One kit given per family or group, with a scavenger hunt to enjoy both indoors and outdoors, with a couple of hands on components to take home.
• The boardwalk through the Wetland exhibit one way only, allowing for guests to visit and look for their favorite frogs and turtles before moving on to the Meadow exhibits.
• Visitors are welcome to visit the Birds of Prey, which are located in enclosures outdoors.
• DPNC’s trails are currently open and, as always, free to the public. We ask that you please maintain physical distancing and have a mask with you. For a link to our trail map, click here.
Through the guidance of the State of CT Office of Early Childhood, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Camping Association, DPNC developed a plan to get children back to nature this summer with in-person Summer Nature Camp for ages 3-15. Camp began June 29. Along with enhanced health measures, camp group sizes have been reduced.
For those that are not ready to be out in public, the Nature Center offers nature news and updates on DPNC’s animals as an Educator broadcasts live from the Nature Center on their Facebook page Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.