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Wildlife Park Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lisa Kane
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
284 State Street
41 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Telephone: (207) 557-0118
Fax: (207) 287-6395
Email: lisa.kane@maine.gov

 

 

June 3, 2013

MAINE MAD SCIENCE FIRE & ICE SHOW

On Saturday June 15 from 11:00am-12noon, get ready for some sizzlin’ excitement with scientific and safe fun with fire and ice at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray!

Mad Science


The lands of Fire and Ice are filled with dazzling demonstrations using fire, bubbling potions, and carbon dioxide gas frozen to 109°F below zero. This science show will stimulate your child’s mind and spark their imaginations as they experience exciting, educational, high energy science magic!

Mad Science


Come and see just how HOT & COOL science can be! Witness experiments like the Big Burp, Sizzling Scissors & famous Mad Science Shower! Live, interactive & compelling experiences that make learning a blast! A must-see for the kids!

Remember, 1 show only starting at 11:00am at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray!  www.madscience.org/maine    

Sponsored by local businesses Us & Company Computers & Gray Physical Therapy


May 28, 2013

Learn about Lobsters @ Maine WIldlife Park Sat June 8

Plan a visit to the Maine Wildlife Park from 11am to 2pm on Saturday June 8 to see how the signature dish of Maine, that tasty lobster treat, gets from the bottom of the ocean to your dinner plate. Hear about lobster habits and conservation efforts while learning about hard-shells, shedders, shorts, culls, and keepers. See and touch live lobsters, starfish, crabs, urchins and other sea life that Captain Tom and his crew will bring along to show you!

maine lobster 

The Lucky Catch is a 37' Maine-built lobster boat designed to be smooth and stable on ocean waters. She cruises out of 41 Union Wharf in downtown Portland, and during the summer is equipped to carry passengers comfortably and safely around Casco Bay. However, from November thru April, she is still an active commercial fishing vessel.

Most Lucky Catch lobster cruises consist of pulling ten lobster traps of five traditional styles. The various components of lobstering are explained while you learn how lobster traps are hauled, set and baited. Brave seamen and women can participate if they like, pants and boots are available on the boat. Landlubbers can learn more about lobster and lobstering at the wildlife park today; but may be tempted to make a reservation to cruise the open ocean once you see the fun you’ll have with the captain and crew of the Lucky Catch!  www.luckycatch.com


May 20, 2013

Dry Mill Fish Hatchery Display Building Dedication & Park Open House

Plan a visit to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray on Saturday, June 1 from 11am to 2pm to join us in celebrating the finished construction of the new round pond & show fish pool at the adjacent Dry Mills Hatchery. Today only, the Wildlife Park is offering Free Admission to all visitors as a thank you to our loyal and dedicated customers!

New Round Pond


The new hatchery education building, with unique new fish display tanks, will be dedicated at 11:30am by Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Substantial contributions and grants from area companies and organizations supported this project, including Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Maine Sportsman Plate, Hannaford-Delhaize Group, USO New England, Sebago Lake Rotary Club, F.E.T. Inc. and Evonik Cyro LLC. The Dry Mills Hatchery raises and stocks out about 90,000 brook trout annually.

Brook Trout


Many thanks to the Department’s Engineering Crew for the bulk of the actual round pond and building construction. There will be a variety of other ‘fishy’ displays & demonstrations for kids and adults from 11am-2pm. Remember, there is FREE ADMISSION to the entire wildlife park today only!


May 14, 2013

Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park Annual Plant Sale!

It must be Spring, because it’s time for the FRIENDS OF THE MAINE WILDLIFE PARK annual and extremely popular annual plant sale on Saturday May 25th through Memorial Day Monday, the 27th.   The Friends volunteer group helps out the wildlife park in so many ways; this year’s fundraising is specifically for a new and more spacious Canada lynx exhibit.

greenhouse

Learn more about the Friends’ ongoing projects and enjoy great bargains on spring plants, including annual and perennial flowers, vegetables & floral baskets grown in their own greenhouses! There are hundreds of geraniums this year – so make a point to stop at the park 1st when you get ready to plant your Memorial Day baskets! The Friends’ pricing is substantially lower than area retail stores; and their greenhouse grown plants are healthy, lush and strong!

Any plants that are left over will continue to be sold in front of the Snack Shack well into June or until they are gone.   www.wildlifeparkfriends.org


May 6, 2013

THE SONS OF NORWAY

On Saturday and Sunday, May 18th and 19th,  join a local organization known as the SONS OF NORWAY to learn about Scandinavian countries and the wildlife & conservation practices that are very similar to Maine’s.

Son's of Norway photo


Come & learn about Scandinavian culture from folks in full native dress & see demonstrations of traditional activities like carving, rosemaling, weaving & Viking life.

Sample delicious Scandinavian foods like polser, in lompe, lefse & krumbkaka (you’ll have to come to the park to see what these actually are!). There will be many ‘make & take’ activities for children & adults, like building Troll, or ‘nisse’ houses!

These will be 2 fun family days for park visitors, with a great chance to learn about a different culture with similar conservation goals. We hope to see you there.


April 30, 2013

THE ANCIENT ART OF FALCONRY& INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY

On Saturday May 11th from 11am – 2pm at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with Larry Barnes, Maine Master Falconer.

.falcon

 

Did you know that falcons are nature’s fastest flyers? Or that these birds have been known to migrate over 10,000 miles? Larry Barnes is a licensed Maine Master Falconer, and will share information about the ancient art of falconry. Meet and photograph his live Peregrine and Hybrid Falcons up close, and learn about their life history and ecology. Do falcons mate for life? How long do they live?  Are they an Endangered Species in Maine?

All of your questions will be answered at this fun and interesting event, which is suitable for young and old alike. Bring your cameras for some fantastic opportunities for close up shots of these beautiful birds.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is an event is recognized in Canada, US, Mexico, Central and South America. Bird migration is one of the most important and spectacular natural events on the continent.  www.birdday.org


April 22, 2013

W.I.L.D. Center of New England Brings Live Animals to Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Saturday, May 4th

The Maine Wildlife Park, located on Route 26 in Gray, opened for the 2013 season on Saturday, April 13th and will begin our series of ‘Summer Wildlife Days’ special events on Saturday May 4th from 11am to 2pm.

Join the wildlife experts from the W.I.L.D. Center & Zoological Park of New England, with a living menagerie of exotic wildlife related to our very own Maine Wildlife Park residents!

See & photograph non-native wildlife like a Serval Cat, Crested Porcupine, Arctic Fox, Indigo Snake, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Giant Bullfrog or Egyptian Fruit Bat; all while learning how they are linked to Maine’s resident wildlife. The W.I.L.D Center is a non-profit organization and a federal /state licensed wildlife exhibitor.     
The W.I.L.D. Center is an educational entity whose mission involves educating students and the general public about biodiversity, fostering respect for wildlife and nature and promoting sustainable healthy-living practices in all aspects of life. This involves programs that include:

  • integrated learning methods
  • making learning fun!
  • freely sharing ideas
  • living a healthy, active primal lifestyle
  • being strong stewards of the environment and advocates for animals

The “W.I.L.D. Center” Facility is a “working zoo”, and is not open to the public. They are a confirmed New Hampshire State Charity. FMI go to:   www.wildcenterne.org
The Maine Wildlife Park is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The park exists to promote an understanding and awareness of the wildlife, conservation and habitat protection programs and projects of MDIFW.

         
The Maine Wildlife Park has over 30 species of native wildlife on display, plus wildlife gardens, nature trails, a fish hatchery and other interactive exhibits and displays. The park is open daily from April 13th through November 11th from 9:30am-4:30pm; visitors must leave the premises by 6:00pm.
Other new programs and special events throughout the summer will include Falcons, Lobsters, a Mad Science Fire and Ice Show, Outdoor Safety and Survival, the Dry Mills Hatchery Display Building Dedication and park wide Open House, an evening Table Tour featuring local specialty foods, a night visit with Northern Stars Planetarium, a Maine Authors Day, an all-new Pow Wow and a meet and greet with the stars of Northwoods Law!

See www.mainewildlifepark.com for details about these and all our other scheduled 2013 events! Plan to purchase your family pass now so you don’t miss any of the fun; and be sure to pick up an Event Calendar!
Admission to the park is free for ages 3 and under; $5.00 ages 4-12; $7.00 for adults, and $5.00 for seniors. Groups of 15 or more are $3.50 per person. Bring a picnic and spend the day! Family and Community Season Passes are available, and are an incredible bargain for families and groups that visit the park several times over the course of the summer.

Remember that Family Passes make a great gift; and are available for purchase in the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s online store @ www.mefishwildlife.com.
For more information about any of these programs, please call the Maine Wildlife Park at  207-657-4977; or visit us online at www.mainewildlifepark.com , www.mefishwildlife.com or on Facebook!


October 29, 2012

Sunday, November 11 - Veterans Day/Closing Day For The Park 

The Maine Wildlife Park will close for the 2012 season on Sunday, November 11th at 5:00pm. Since Sunday is also Veteran’s Day, the park will recognize and thank all past and present Maine military personnel and veterans for their service to our country by offering free park admission for each and their immediate families on our final day of operation for 2012.

The wildlife park has seen great attendance at big events such as the annual “Nite Hike’, Pow-Wow, Rick Charette concert and HalloweenFest. It certainly appears that the park will have hosted over 100,000 visitors this season! We would like to thank all of our patrons for visiting us during this season, and hope to see everyone back in 2013.

Two fawns

These 2 orphaned fawns, photo taken in August, will spend the winter at the wildlife park.
Photo credit: Lisa Kane

 

Make a plan to visit the park one more time in the next 2 weeks to see and photograph our big bull moose sporting a 58” rack of antlers. You can also check out the bears, fattening and furring up for their winter sleep, appreciate the deer with their rich brown winter coats and full sets of antlers, and admire the foxes and coyotes in their luxurious winter fur.

The Wildlife Park Nature Store still has lots of wildlife and nature merchandise for all ages; and the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park ‘Snack Shack’ will be selling the last of their ice cream, soda and light snacks, with all monies raised donated to the Wildlife Park for wildlife exhibit improvements and new construction.

The Maine Wildlife Park is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The park exists to promote an understanding and awareness of the wildlife, conservation and habitat protection programs and projects of MDIFW.

October 9, 2012

2012 HALLOWEEN-FEST - Friday & Saturday, October 19th & 20th
6:00pm – 9:00pm

The Maine Wildlife Park’s ever growing and very popular 9th annual
“Halloween-Fest” will run on both Friday and Saturday nights, October 19th and 20th from 6-9pm. Adults and kids alike wear their costumes to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween; and to give them a trial run before Halloween proper; while enjoying a crisp fall evening with our wildlife. 

halloween at the park

Back by popular demand this year, bigger and more elaborate, is the Haunted Woodchuck Tunnel for the smaller kids to wriggle through. Parents are able to watch their kids go through at all times. It’s not too scary, but a fun activity for those children that are too young to be really scared on the Haunted Hay Rides. This year there will be 3 Haunted Hay Rides;  bigger, longer, and more scary, running simultaneously every 5 minutes from 6-9pm.

Wander throughout the park by the light of dozens of jack ‘0 lanterns, Listen to Scary Scarecrow Stories, or try some Halloween-themed games and activities like the Marshmallow Shoot Out or Pumpkin Bowling. Join the Costume Contests for all ages, with fabulous prizes and gift certificates from many Maine businesses. Have your Face Painted for Free, and enjoy Cider and Donuts at the Snack Shack.

WLP at halloween

Since this year’s event will be held while the 1st quarter moon is rising; it will be very dark, and we strongly suggest you bring your own flashlights with batteries fully charged! The park will provide red cellophane to cover your flashlight beams, which will help improve your night vision.

The regular admission fee will be charged for this special Halloween event. There is plenty of FREE parking. (NOTE if raining hard, the event will be postponed from Friday to Saturday; call the park automated voice mail @ 657-4977 for up to date information each day.  The Nature Store and Snack Shack will be open for snacks and souvenirs!)

 


September 17, 2012

‘GEMS OF ROUTE 26’ APPLE SATURDAY

On Saturday, September 29th, take Route 26 from Gray to South Paris, the road less-traveled, to visit this significant group of affordable and conveniently located attractions, rich in history, ecology and culture. The Maine Wildlife Park, Shaker Village, Poland Spring Preservation Resort, Poland Spring Preservation Society, Poland Spring Preservation Park, Harvest Hill Farm and McLaughlin Garden are “The Gems of 26.” For more information about the Gems of 26 and its members, please visit our website at http://www.gemsof26.com/ or find us on Facebook.

apples

Several members of the Gems of 26, a partnership of cultural, historical and agricultural sites on Route 26 from Gray to South Paris, will be celebrating Maine’s fall apple season with special programming on Saturday, September 29th. Participating members will offer visitors unique opportunities to learn more about the many ways to enjoy this delicious seasonal staple.

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM @ Maine Wildlife Park, Gray
Watch us feed the animals with demonstration apple feedings at scheduled times throughout the day. You probably knew that deer and bears love apples, but what about coyotes, foxes, turkeys and turtles? Come and see for yourself! Regular admission fees.

10:00AM to 4:30PM @ Sabbathday Lake Shaker Society, New Gloucester
Visit historic Shaker Village and while you are make some cider for free with our hand press. Bring your own apples or buy Shaker apples at the Shaker Store. Free apple art activity for kids will be offered as well

10:00AM to 1:00PM @ Poland Spring Resort and Preservation Park,
    Poland Spring
The three entities at Poland Spring will offer a workshop on apple identification and tips on improving your fruit trees – especially apples. Visit our experts who will setup shop near the Maine State Building and answer questions about feeding your trees, tips on pruning and much more.

10:00AM to 3:00PM @ McLaughlin Garden, South Paris

McLaughlin Garden will host special ongoing events from 10-3 on that day. We will have old fashioned bobbing for apples in the barn, sampling of different apple varieties and a treasure hunt in the Garden searching for apples (some of which you won't find growing on trees). All events here are free and open to the public.

September 4, 2012

RICK CHARETTE CONCERT & NATIONAL GRANDPARENTS DAY

On Saturday, September 8th, from 11am to noon, join us at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray for a return appearance by Maine kids’ favorite singer, Rick Charette. As a singer and songwriter, Rick Charette has been capturing the hearts and spirits of young and old alike with his delightful and inspiring children's songs. His performances blend original contemporary pop music and lyrics with imaginative activities that generate all kinds of audience participation. Many of the songs he will perform at the park will be about all kinds of Maine Animals! 

Rick Charette

For the last 2 years, over 1000 people have come out to hear Rick and see the show under the tall white pines of the Park picnic area. This year’s show will even better!   
                                                                                                         
Rick graduated from the University Of Southern Maine with degrees in Music Education and English. Elementary teachers across the country use his music in their classrooms to enhance and facilitate their language arts programs. He has been a featured speaker at the Northeast Whole Language Conference, a keynote speaker at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference in Washington, D.C. as well as other education conferences around the United States.   
                                                      
Rick Charette travels throughout the U.S. and Canada performing at schools and concert halls. His music has been featured on Peter Pan and Walt Disney Records and been cited in Entertainment Weekly and Billboard magazines. The television broadcast on NBC-TV affiliates in New England entitled "An Evening with Rick Charette" won the National IRIS Award for programming excellence. His music receives airplay on such radio networks as KTOO-FM, Juneau, Alaska which syndicates its program "We Like Kids" on 35 public radio stations around the U.S. Concert excerpts of his songs are a regular feature on "The Learning Channel" (national cable). 

Rick has released ten albums, two children's picture books and two live concert videos, which are distributed nationally and have sold over a quarter million copies to date. Rick will sign autographs and sell CDs after this live show.  Regular park admission fees will be in effect. Bring your cameras and your lawn chairs!

This wonderful children’s concert is locally sponsored by Harvest Hill Farms, Windham Blue Seal and Friends of Maine Wildlife Park. The wildlife park is grateful for their support!

 

National Grandparents Day – all day Sunday Sept. 9th!

  •             On Sunday September 9th and in honor of grandparents everywhere, the Maine Wildlife Park will offer free admission to Grandparents, today only, who are accompanied by their grandchildren; while regular entrance fees for all other family members will be in effect.

 

Governor Arch Moore established ‘Grandparents Day’ in 1973 in West Virginia. In the same year, a state Senator introduced a Grandparents Day Resolution in the United States Senate. The resolution languished in committee while its grassroots supporters turned to the media to garner support. They also began contacting governors, senators, and congressmen in every state. They sent letters to churches, businesses, and numerous national organizations interested in senior citizens.

In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.  President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the "autumn years" of life.) Today millions throughout the United States observe this event, begun by only a few.
Make a plan to bring your grandparents and the grandkids to the wildlife park for this special day, Sunday September 9th.


August 20, 2012

Landscape for Wildlife with Skillin's Greenhouses 

On Saturday September 1st, from 11am to 2pm at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, expert native landscaping staff will be on hand from Skillin’s Greenhouses in Cumberland with a variety of potted native shrubs, trees and plants that are suitable for planting in your yards; and are great for providing wildlife food and shelter as well!

cranberries

The Cranberry Viburnum is a native, large and attractive shrub that provides abundant berries for birds in fall and early winter. Photo by Lisa Kane

Songbirds, small mammals and even some reptiles and amphibians can benefit from providing the proper natural food, water and shelter in ‘micro-habitats’ around your home. In addition, these plantings can beautify your property; and provide windbreaks or heating and cooling benefits to your home.

Fall is a fine time to transplant new shrubs and trees, and better yet, this great selection of native plants will be ON SALE!!  Skillin’s will also have handouts and other native ‘wildscaping’ information available. You can also visit the wildlife park’s Demonstration Wildlife Garden, and Wetlands and Wildlife Trails, to see and learn more about the native plants that benefit a variety of Maine wildlife.  www.skillins.com


August 14, 2012

THE LIFE OF THE HONEYBEE – MAINE’S STATE INSECT 

Did you know the Honeybee is the official Maine State Insect? Or how important the honeybee’s work is to the economic success of the official Maine State Fruit, the Wild Blueberry?

Bee hives

On Saturday, August 25th from 11am to 2pm, learn about the industrious life of the honeybee, its job as an important pollinator of fruits and vegetables, and the role of the beekeeper.  Parts of a beehive and beekeeping equipment will be on display, and several experienced beekeepers will be available to answer your questions.  Pure Maine Honey and other products of the hive will be for sale.

The Cumberland County Beekeepers Association (CCBA) is a local chapter of the Maine State Beekeeping Association (MSBA).  They promote the art of beekeeping in the Cumberland County area through open-hive sessions, monthly meetings with guest speakers, and other educational events.  Anyone with an interest in beekeeping is welcome! No prior knowledge of beekeeping is necessary.  The CCBA meets monthly from September to May on the 1st Tuesday at 7:00pm in the library at the Mabel Wilson School, 353 Tuttle Road, Cumberland, ME, 04021. For further information, visit the MSBA website at:  http://www.mainebeekeepers.com


August 13, 2012

GAME WARDEN STARS OF NORTH WOODS LAW SCHEDULE AN APPEARANCE AT THE MAINE WILDLIFE PARK 

So many parents have asked about an opportunity for their children to meet some of the Maine Game Wardens featured on the popular Animal Planet TV show North Woods Law, that we have set up a special appearance at the Maine Wildlife Park, off Route 26 in Gray; on Thursday, August 23 from 1:00pm-3:00pm!

Visitors to the park will have the opportunity to meet several of the Game Wardens, and a couple of their K9s, to learn more about them and their job! There will be some special items for the kids, autographs will be signed, and make sure to bring your cameras to have photos taken with the stars!  There is no extra fee for this special event, however regular park admission will apply.

Animal Planet is currently filming a 2nd season of North Woods Law with current and new Maine Game Wardens for exciting new shows about Maine and the dangerous jobs of our Game Wardens.

Maine Game Wardens Rick Laflamme, Jonathan Parker, Alan Curtis with K9 ‘Cruizer’, Kris MacCabe with K9 ‘Morgan’, and Sgt Tim Spahr will be appearing.

Don’t forget your cameras!


August 6, 2012

THE FINAL CHARGE 

From Monday August 13th through Sunday August 26th, the Final Charge, a massive, museum quality display showing two huge Bull Moose with locked antlers, will be on display daily at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Created by local taxidermist Mark Dufresne of Nature’s Reflections Taxidermy in Gray, these moose are most often exhibited at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport. Mark will be on hand periodically throughout the week, as he thoroughly cleans and upgrades the exhibit, and will be available to answer questions about the exhibit and its creation.

final charge

 

In May of 2006, Adella Johnson found the remains of two Bull Moose on her property in New Sweden. The moose had died after their antlers had become locked in battle during the previous fall’s rut. Adella then donated the antlers to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to be used for educational purposes. IF&W then contacted L.L.Bean with the idea of partnering to bring these moose back to life, by recreating their battle in taxidermy and sharing interpretive and educational information about these moose with the public.

This huge taxidermy mount, one of only two such mounts in all of North America, is encased within a specially designed viewing diorama in a custom-built trailer, specifically made for viewing.

This amazing display is on loan to the wildlife park for our visitors to view & photograph up close and in natural daylight!   www.llbean.com


August 6, 2012

WILDLIFE CHAINSAW ARTISTS 

On Saturday, August 18th, from 11am to 2pm, join 2 professional chainsaw artists to watch and photograph the process of chainsaw carving wildlife images.

Ron Carlson is a professional chainsaw carver from China, Maine. He began woodcarving in the mid 1960s and enjoyed this highly rewarding hobby until the early 1990s, when a friend introduced him to the chainsaw. The speed and versatility of chainsaw cutting amazed him, and his lifelong hobby became his business in 1993.

Chainsaw carving

Thousands of pieces later, he now specializes in carving bears - because they're fun to make and a challenge to give a personality and character. Ron has carved almost every animal, abstracts, and all sorts of strange custom requests: from airplanes - to the 7 dwarfs - to giant gorillas on safari. He has shipped his art to a dozen countries worldwide. Ron can be contacted directly at roncarlson@fairpoint.net.    

Maine Custom Wood Sculpture chain saw artist Bill Fournier will demonstrate his techniques for creating eagles, hawks, bears, wolves, mountain lions and more from pieces of white and Norway pine, fir, cedar or spruce; using only a chain saw! The carved animals range in height from 2-3 feet, to up to 7 feet tall!

Turtle carving

Bill is from the Auburn area, has been carving for 9 years, and started this popular art form as a hobby. Now his work is in demand around the state and New England. He will have several pre-carved animals on display and for sale, and plans on carving a 4-5 foot tall standing bear for the demonstration.

In addition, local Maine artist Georgette Kanach, of www.Mainenatureart.com, will be on had to demonstrate a variety of her wildlife art mediums and techniques, including her amazingly intricate moose antler carvings. She will have several pieces available for sale as well. Georgie is currently displaying a wide selection of her art through August 31st in the MDIFW Headquarters building on State Street in Augusta.

This is a great opportunity to see wildlife created out of many mediums, by talented Maine artisans!   Bring your cameras and your earplugs!


July 30, 2012

HONOR THE ANIMALS NATIVE AMERICAN POW WOW 

On Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th, join us at the Maine Wildlife Park on Route 26 in Gray for our extremely popular and 8th annual ‘HONOR THE ANIMALS’ NATIVE AMERICAN POW WOW.

Representatives from several Maine & New England tribes will be at the park for two full days with native dancers, drummers, craft vendors, singers & traditional food booths. Special events will be presented throughout each day.

POW WOW

Music will include flute playing, and performances by Black Thunder Singers, with guest drums Hard Times from Canada. A traditional Wiki travel shelter, with numerous Native American and Colonial artifacts, will be available for viewing each day with Ken Hamilton, a Maine 17th and 18th century woodland living historian, interpreter and blacksmith.

POW WOW

The Grand Entry will occur both Saturday & Sunday at 12 noon, with Natives from many tribes participating in full regalia. The wildlife park’s resident bald eagle ‘Lawrence’ participates in Grand Entry, making this one of the only Pow Wows in the nation including a live bald eagle.

This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about Maine’s Native American culture & heritage. Last year, over 4000 people attended this 2 full day event, and it continues to grow in popularity each year. (All day rain or shine; with plenty of FREE parking)  This event is sponsored by Cooks Ace Hardware and Cole Farms Restaurant, both local Gray businesses.


July 16, 2012

Taxidermy Demo at the Maine Wildlife Park, Sat. July 28

Trails End & Avian Taxidermy

On Saturday, July 28, from 11am to 2pm, come and observe the demonstrations of 2 Maine taxidermists from the local Trails End & Avian Taxidermy shops.

Dana Saucie

Dana Saucie at work on another deer mount

Taxidermy is a method of reproducing a life-like, 3-dimensional rendition of a mammal, bird or fish for permanent display. Come and see a variety of examples of this delicate art with local taxidermists Dana Soucier and Tom Berube, representing the Maine Association of Taxidermists.

Dana will demonstrate the process of mounting a deer head and Tom will demonstrate how to mount waterfowl, both from start to finish. Bring your cameras to document this fascinating process and artistic work!    www.trailsendtaxidermystudio.com


July 9, 2012

THE ANCIENT ONES 

For much of the day on Saturday, July 21st, THE ANCIENT ONES, a Maine living history group in full period dress, will set up a real Living History Camp from the late 1700s - 1800s. They will put up a canvas tent & keep a variety of demonstrations going on all day long, including fire starting, cooking, trading, tomahawk throwing, flint knapping, flintlock muskets, weaving and the like. Come to see what day to day life in Maine really looked like 200 years ago! There will be many great photo opportunities; and the option to try several of the activities.  www.theancientonesofmaine.com

Dave Bryant demonstrates flint knapping

Ancient One Dave Bryant demonstrates flint knapping at this authentic Living History encampment. Photo credit: Maine Wildlife Park

 


July 2, 2012

Predators of the Night Visit 

Visit the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray for a “Predators of the Night” Visit on Saturday, July 14 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Many of Maine’s wild predators are active primarily at dawn and dusk; or only in the dead of night. Called ‘crepuscular’ or ‘nocturnal’ respectively, find out how these animals are equipped to do their jobs under the cover of night – while you explore the wildlife park in the dark by the light of the last quarter waning moon and your flashlight or headlamp.

Saw Whet Owl

Saw Whet Owl Photo by Karl Gerstenberger 

Six different learning stations will be set up around the park, where you can find out more about predator ecology, Maine’s common predators, using your 4 senses (eyesight excluded) and other nocturnal behaviors. Gimmicks, tricks and games at each station will make them very interactive for the kids!

The park will close on this Saturday at the regular 6:00pm time; then reopen at 7:30pm for the 2 hour night visit. Regular admission fees will be charged. The Nature Store and Snack Shack will be open for evening shopping and a variety of treats for dessert! Call the wildlife park general information line at 657-4977 x 0 if it appears to be raining to find out if this event will go on.


June 25, 2012

Birds of Wild Haven 

Come to the Maine Wildlife Park on Saturday July 7th to see, photograph and learn about the birds of Wild Haven, from 11am to 2pm.

vultures

Wild turkey vultures roost just outside the wildlife park back gate during summer. Photo by Lisa Kane

Barbara and Tomm Tomlinson have been offering Raptor presentations for 2 decades. With bad jokes, silly props and live birds.......nature education will never be the same! The Tomlinson’s program birds were permanently disabled in accidents in the wild, so cannot be released, but have learned to be wonderful ambassadors for owls, hawks and more! A turkey vulture, red shouldered hawk, and barn owl will be present for the event. Visitors will have the opportunity to photograph and be photographed with the birds.

turkey vulture

Turkey vulture: Maine Wildlife Park

In addition, Barbara is a Master Falconer, and will have her red-tailed hawk, her falconry bird, at the park as well. The birds of Wild-Haven are available for a variety of public and private events, so come to the park to learn how you might book them in the future.  mustroos@aol.com

This will be a fun and interesting event for the whole family.


June 18, 2012

ATV MAINE at Maine Wildlife Park 

On Saturday June 30 from 11am to 2pm, ATV MAINE will be staffing an exhibit at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. ATV Maine was organized to promote the safe & responsible use of ATVs, to work on landowner relations, & to be a unified voice on legislative issues regarding ATVs.

ATV logo

PHOTOS FROM ATVMAINE.ORG

ATV Maine will set up a short course for kids to actually safely ride a child-sized ATV today!

ATV phtos

PHOTOS FROM ATVMAINE.ORG

Maine has been ranked #1 nationally for its ATV trail system; & ATV Maine is a clearing house of information from local clubs statewide. Check out their exhibit, some real ATVs, & find out how you can become a member of a local ATV club!  www.atvmaine.org

PHOTOS FROM ATVMAINE.ORG

 

LINK TO THE ATV MAINE TRAIL MAP: http://www.maine.gov/doc/parks/programs/ATV/atv_maps.html


June 11, 2012

Manid Guides Association 

Come to the Maine Wildlife Park on Saturday, June 23rd from 11am-2pm, to learn why you’ll want to hire a registered Maine Guide for your next outdoor adventure!    www.maineguides.org

The MAINE GUIDES ASSOCIATION is made up of 3500 statewide professionals dedicated to promoting a quality, ethical & legal outdoor experience for all. Guides Licenses are tested for and then issued by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the categories of Hunting, Fishing, Recreation, Sea Kayaking & Whitewater Rafting.

For over 25 years the Maine Professional Guides Association (MPGA) has been leading the way for all of us who make our living in the woods and on the waters of Maine. It's a significant milestone, and one worth celebrating.

More than a century has passed since Cornelia Thurza Crosby, aka "Fly rod Crosby", was issued the very first guide's license on March 19, 1897. Our guiding tradition even pre-dates one of the most famous chroniclers of the Maine woods, Henry David Thoreau.

Since their beginnings, Maine Guides have become synonymous with capable and ethical outdoor leadership. Today, Maine Guides are recognized world-wide for their professionalism, their knowledge of the outdoors, and their ability to develop the kinds of winning relationships that keep visitors coming back.

During the last quarter-century the Maine Professional Guides Association has grown to be a diverse group representing a wide range of outdoor pursuits. The bottom line, however, remains the same - protecting and enhancing the venerable tradition of guiding. www.maineguides.org


May 29, 2012

The Tardy Brothers - High Energy Juggling Show

On Saturday June 9th, the popular local Maine duo of Matthew and Jason Tardy will present a one hour HIGH ENERGY JUGGLING SHOW live at 11:00am at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.

You may have seen juggling acts before, but you haven’t truly experienced it until you’ve seen the explosive, inventive juggling of brothers Matthew and Jason Tardy in their show, TWO: High Energy Juggling. The Wildlife Park brings the dynamic duo to Grayfor one show only, at 11:00am Saturday June 9. The “TWO” brothers are here to show everyone what high energy juggling is all about!

The Atlantis Resort calls them “AMAZING!”.  Inside Edition has dubbed them "One of the hottest juggling acts in the country!" and Fox News says “They make their Momma proud!”.  Featuring their own brand of relentless sarcastic wit, physical comedy, live music and high energy juggling, Matthew and Jason Tardy have created an unstoppable performance that has audiences on their feet!

TWO has been touring professionally at theaters, colleges and resorts for over 17 years with such highlights as the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the Golden Phoenix Casino in Reno, NV and even The White House in Washington DC three times! Matthew and Jason have also been seen on CBS Sunday Morning, Inside Edition, and David Letterman.

Come to the wildlife park Saturday June 9 @ 11:00am to see why the Oddfellow Theater called it “A totally rockin’ experience for the whole family!”  Matthew and Jason will sign autographs after the show.

www.twoshow.com   Sponsored by: US & Co. Computers


June 4, 2012

Fly Tie and Cast with Sebago Trout Unlimited 

If you have ever wanted to try your hand at the arts of FLY TYING AND FLY CASTING, the Wildlife Park is the place to be on Saturday June 16th from 11am to 2pm!

Members of the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited will demonstrate and invite participation from kids and parents alike to learn these popular fishing arts. Several teenage assistants will be on hand to help visitors with their fly tying and fly-casting techniques.

Learn how to tie a fly, and then bring it home with you to try on your next fishing trip. TU will also have a display featuring some of the many fish and habitat restoration projects with which they are involved. This is a fun and relaxed introduction to a sport on which you might ‘get hooked’! www.sebagotu.org


May 14, 2012

FRIENDS OF THE MAINE WILDLIFE PARK ANNUAL PLANT SALE!

From Saturday May 26th through Memorial Day Monday, the 28th, the FRIENDS OF THE MAINE WILDLIFE PARK will be conducting their annual and extremely popular annual plant sale.   The Friends volunteer group helps out the wildlife park in so many ways; this year fundraising specifically for a new and more spacious Canada lynx exhibit.

Friends Greenhouse


 
Learn more about the Friends’ ongoing projects and enjoy great bargains on spring plants, including annual and perennial flowers, vegetables & floral baskets grown in their own greenhouses! There are hundreds of geraniums this year – so make a point to stop at the park 1st when you get ready to plant your Memorial Day baskets! The Friends’ pricing is substantially lower than area retail stores; and their greenhouse grown plants are healthy, lush and strong!

Any plants that are left over will continue to be sold in front of the Snack Shack well into June or until they are gone.   www.wildlifeparkfriends.org


May 7, 2012

Endangered Species Day

Although National Endangered Species Day is on Friday May 18th, we will continue and celebrate this national event on Saturday May 19th from 11am – 2pm, at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.

Proclaimation

Governor Paul Lepage has proclaimed the month of May 2012 as Endangered Species Month throughout the state, and he urges all citizens to recognize this observance.

The wildlife park is home to 6 different Maine species that are listed as either endangered, threatened or of special concern. The bald eagle, another species at the park that was formerly listed as endangered, is now happily ‘delisted’, because its population has made such a tremendous comeback in Maine and across the US.

collage

Join the Endangered Species Coalition to learn more about the importance of protecting over 50 different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish listed as endangered or threatened in Maine. A special guest will include the Alaska Wilderness League’s Polar Bear Mascot, who will be available for photo opportunities with the kids at several times during the 3 hour exhibit.

There will be endangered species activities, coloring books, posters, masks and kites that the kids can ‘make and take’.
www.stopextinction.org


April 30, 2012

Migratory Bird Day at the Maine Wildlife Park

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY

On Saturday May 12th from 11am – 2pm, join Steve Oliveri, Assistant Superintendent of the Maine Wildlife Park on Route 26 in Gray, to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day.

bird map

This international event is recognized in Canada, US, Mexico, Central and South America. Bird migration is one of the most important and spectacular natural events on the continent.

semipalmated

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Learn about the birds that come to Maine to breed and raise young. Practice using binoculars and spotting scopes. Compare your ‘wing span’ to that of hawks, osprey and eagles. Meet and photograph the Park’s resident bald eagle; and help color a giant bird mural. This will be a fun and educational event for the whole family. www.birdday.org


April 23, 2012

Maine's Big Cats

Gray, Maine - On Friday, May 4th at 11:00am, wildlife park visitors and local media are invited to enjoy the Grand Opening of the Park’s new, state of the art Mountain Lion Exhibit.

MDIFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock will be in attendance and will assist Ray Clark, President of the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park, to officiate the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Over a year in construction, this ambitious project was funded in large part by the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park. Additional and substantial contributions in time, labor and landscaping came from Park volunteers, inmates from Windham Correctional Center, MDIFW engineering and wildlife park staff.

This new, spacious cougar exhibit is a total of 3500 square feet, the largest exhibit of its kind in New England! It features boulders, caves and large trees to simulate the cougar’s natural habitat; as well as large glass viewing panels the length of the exhibit to allow for wonderful viewing and photography opportunities. The exhibit has been dedicated to Connie Kippax, a former wildlife park volunteer whose favorite animal was the cougar, and who spent thousands of hours leading tours and teaching about the park’s wildlife.

On Saturday May 5th from 11am – 2pm, the Maine Wildlife Park on Route 26 in Gray will feature special exhibits and displays about the 3 wild cat species indigenous to Maine – the Canada Lynx, Bobcat, and Mountain Lion.

Three Big Cat ‘Discovery Stations’ will be staffed with activities and games designed for kids and their parents to learn more about Maine’s wild cats.

Special Big Cat feeding times have been scheduled on Saturday for visitors to view the cats -- and what and how they eat. At 12 noon, the bobcats will have lunch; at 1:00pm the Canada Lynx will eat and at 2:00pm, watch the mountain lion dine!

Canada Lynx are listed as a Threatened species in Maine and are fully protected; however a 7 year MDIFW study of our lynx population revealed there are up to 600 animals living in remote, northwestern regions of the state. Bobcats are found statewide, and their overall population is considered healthy and stable. Although a reproducing population of Mountain Lions has long been extirpated from Maine (they are no longer found in the state; but healthy populations exist elsewhere); sightings of individual cougars are reported to the Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly.

The relocation of the wildlife park mountain lions allowed us to move the 4 bobcats into the former cougar exhibit, giving them much more room to roam both horizontally and vertically. This active family of wild cats should provide great viewing for Park visitors. View photo's of the big cats!


April 2, 2012

Maine Wildlife Park Opening for the 2012 Season

The Maine Wildlife Park on Route 26 in Gray will be opening for the 2012 season at 9:30am on Saturday April 14th this year. With close to 97,000 visitors during 2011, we are looking forward to welcoming both returning and new folks this year.

Visitors will be enjoying a new, state of the art mountain lion exhibit, funded by the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park and the Park itself. This new, spacious exhibit is a total of 3500 square feet, the largest exhibit of its kind in New England! It features boulders, caves and large trees to simulate cougar’s natural habitat; as well as large glass viewing panels the length of the exhibit to allow for wonderful viewing and photography opportunities.

With the relocation of the mountain lions, our 4 bobcats have moved into the former cougar exhibit, giving them much more room to roam both horizontally and vertically. This active family of wild cats should provide great viewing for Park visitors.

In 2011, over 8100 visitors took advantage of our free, guided audio tour of the park’s exhibits via their own personal cell phones! By dialing the access number provided, and punching in the number of the exhibit they’d like to hear more about, a short recording gives fun wildlife facts, information and history about the individual animal(s) being viewed. The most popular animals were surprisingly the fisher and the raccoon – for the 2nd year in a row!

Over 20 weekend events have been scheduled throughout the summer and into the fall, as well. Our kick off day is May 5, with Maine’s Big Cats and the grand opening of the new Mountain Lion Exhibit. Other weekend presentations throughout the summer include the Endangered Species Coalition, Sparks Ark, ATV Maine, the Ancient Ones, Maine Apple Day and much more. The Final Charge, a museum quality re-creation of the final battle between 2 adult bull moose with antlers locked together will be exhibited at the park through the week of August 18th.

The wildlife park will be open just in time for school vacation in April, so pack up the kids and a picnic and plan a day long visit. There’s plenty to see and do, with lots of room for the kids to roam. Hope to see you this year!

BASIC INFORMATION

The Maine Wildlife Park has over 30 species of native wildlife on display, plus wildlife gardens, nature trails, a fish hatchery and other interactive exhibits and displays. The park is open daily from April 15 through November 11th from 9:30am-4:30pm; visitors must exit the premises by 6:00pm.

Admission to the park is free for ages 3 and under; $5.00 ages 5-12; $7.00 for adults, and $5.00 for seniors. Groups of 15 or more are $3.50 per person. Bring a picnic and spend the day! Family and Community Season Passes are available, and are an incredible bargain for families and groups that visit the park several times over the course of the summer.

The Maine Wildlife Park is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The park exists to promote an understanding and awareness of the wildlife, conservation and habitat protection programs and projects of MDIFW.

A summer series of wildlife exhibits and demonstrations provided for our visitors are offered throughout the season at the MAINE WILDLIFE PARK, located on Route 26 in Gray. 'Summer Wildlife Days' are held on consecutive weekends through the summer, and are sponsored by the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park. Presenters featuring a variety of wildlife topics set up their exhibits and demonstrations from roughly 11:00am to 2:00pm (unless otherwise noted) on most Saturdays and some full weekends. We encourage our visitors to stop by, observe, ask questions and even participate in some activities.

A popular and unusual ‘Night Visit’ is also scheduled, when the park opens on a moonlight evening for a Saturday July 14th ‘Predators of the Night Visit’ from 7:30-9:30pm. The ever growing and very popular “Halloween Fest” will run on both Friday and Saturday nights this year, October 19 and 20, from 6-9pm.

The Wildlife Park Nature Store is full of new wildlife and nature merchandise for all ages; and the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park ‘Snack Shack’ sells ice cream, soda and light snacks, with all monies raised donated to the Wildlife Park for wildlife exhibit improvements and new construction.

For more information about any of these programs, please call the Maine Wildlife Park at 207-657-4977; or visit us out online at www.mainewildlifepark.com , www.mefishwildlife.com or on Facebook!

GEMS OF ROUTE 26
Rich in culture, ecology and history, the Maine Wildlife Park, Shaker Village, Poland Spring Inn and Resort, Poland Spring Preservation Society, Poland Spring Preservation Park, Harvest Hill Farm and the grounds of McLaughlin Garden truly are “The Gems of 26.”

Visitors are encouraged to go and experience the park, as well as five other unique sites -- all less than an hour from each other on the picturesque Route 26 in Western Maine. Route 26 connects Western Maine to the rest of the State via Maine Turnpike’s exit 63 in Gray; meandering through gorgeous countryside and boasting culturally, historically, and ecologically significant attractions. Just thirty minutes north of Portland, a family can spend a day or several days visiting all five important and interesting destinations for very little money – a true value. www.gemsof26.com