Grand Opening – Bear Center Unveils Northwoods Ecology Hall

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Friday, 10 July 2015
Bear Center Unveils Northwoods Ecology Hall
Grand Opening: July 18, 2pm

20150128 CougarEly, MN – It’s a dream come true for nature lovers, especially bear biologist Lynn Rogers. On Saturday, July 18th, the North American Bear Center opens doors to its new Northwoods Ecology Hall, a $1.5 million expansion which nearly doubles the size of the education, exhibit and research facility.

The public is invited to the grand opening with a 2 pm ribbon cutting ceremony.

Built as a global learning center, the new 8,000 square foot addition showcases the habitat and history of the Northwoods. Moose, caribou, white-tail deer, and timber wolf mounts are on display, as well as a 10-foot aquarium and terrariums featuring amphibians. Interactive touch screens describe how the species interact with each other, including black bears. Nature sounds lend ambiance from state-of-the-art audio.

20150205 GrayFox“Awesome, is the word we hear most,” said Rogers, of those who have toured the new facility. “We hear excitement in their voices and see their wide-eyed enthusiasm. It’s no wonder because we’ve had experts in Ely from across the country to make this ecology center a world class place.”

The ecology hall also houses the Hope Learning Center, a classroom with broadcast technology. The center is named for Hope, the cub Lily gave birth to in January 2010, when an Internet sensation occurred when people around the world watched the birth on a live web cam.

Since 1994, Rogers has wanted to build an ecology museum celebrating the Boundary Waters area. Combined with the bear center, a dream of honoring the Northwoods’ wildlife and landscape is now reality.

20150218 GreatHornedOwl“The worldwide attention we’re seeing is fantastic,” Ely Mayor Chuck Novak said. “People are excited about the bear center expansion. It’s a big boost to our economy having visitors here from all over the world.”

The grand opening of the ecology hall coincides with the annual Lilypad Picnic Weekend which takes place in Ely, July 17-19th. Hundreds of visitors pack Ely’s hotels, motels and restaurants.

20150219 OtterThe mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans. Founded by Dr. Lynn Rogers, the NABC opened in May 2007.

The NABC is located at 1926 State Highway 169, a mile west of Ely. For admission fees, please call or visit our website at www.bear.org. Grilled hot dogs and refreshments will be served at the grand opening.

For more information:
North American Bear Center: 877-365-7879 or 218-365-7879
WRI/NABC Media Relations Director Bev Hauptli: MediaRelations
North American Bear Center: www.bear.org
Wildlife Research Institute: www.bearstudy.org

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