TUPPER LAKE - The Wild Center will close for the month of April. But don't fret, when it reopens May 1, expect plenty of events during the spring and summer months.
For many years, The Wild Center has chosen April as the month to close, for a couple different reasons.
"It's always closed down in April to give everybody a chance to take their kids down on vacation during the school vacation time," said The Wild Center spokesperson Howard Fish. "It's great to be able to schedule any kind of new installation or changing of things to happen then."
The natural history museum is planning many events for when it reopens Friday, May 1, including a free family day, Saturday, May 2.
Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder," will be on-hand at the center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families to "learn how easy it is to become reconnected with nature." A presentation, being held in the Flammer Theatre at 1 p.m., will be followed by a book signing.
"He's kind of a big figure in reconnecting children to nature," Fish said of Louv.
"[The event] really is in effort to move forward the idea of making sure that children in New York State and wherever they live ... get a chance to get outside," Fish added.
Fish said the Louv study shows children not getting outdoors is becoming a health issue.
"Kids who spend a little too much time in an artificial world, are turning out a little bit like you'd expect any other animal to do if you left it in a sterile environment," Fish said. "There seems to be problems associated with that."
Many other events are in the works during The Wild Center's hiatus, including planning for the museum's summer theme: "Mother of Invention."
"It is all about how many things nature has invented that we haven't quite mastered how to copy, but we're starting to," said Fish. "Including ideas like photosynthesis; turning sunlight into energy without any byproducts."
Fish explained there will be exhibits inside and outside the center with walking tours for people to see and understand the same things in the Adirondacks that scientists from "all over the country are looking at."
"On everything from transportation, to ways to make buildings, to ways to produce energy," he added.
Another program planned for the summer is "Walking with Wild Birds."
"That will be led by Audubon and other sort of bird experts," Fish said. "People can sign up and go to different parts of the park, including the top of Whiteface Mountain to do bird walks."
The Featured Farmer Markets will also be taking place every Thursday beginning June 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local farmers will host presentations in the Esplanade Tent at The Wild Center, as well as sell their locally grown food.
"Buying local food can have great benefits for you and your neighborhood," according to The Wild Center Web site, www.wildcenter.org. "Local food can be healthier for you, and there is something special that happens when you meet the people who have made the food that you feed your family."
By visiting The Wild Center, Fish feels it gives people "the chance to be ... surrounded by nature in a very accessible way."
"People want to have a chance to explore nature on their own terms, and The Wild Center really lets them do that," he said.
For more information about these and other events at The Wild Center, visit www.wildcenter.org or call 359-7800.