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Trails open Thurs. at Squam Science Center

Trails Open at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Opening day is May 1 with new exhibits for the 2014 season

HOLDERNESS — Squam Lakes Natural Science Center opens for its 48th annual trail season on Thursday, May 1.

Regular trail hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last trail admission at 3:30 p.m.). Since 1966, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has educated and enlightened visitors about the natural world through live animal exhibits, natural science education programs, and lake cruises. The Science Center is the only institution in northern New England accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Science Center is opening two new exhibits for the 2014 trail season: A live Coyote Exhibit and a Wood Energy Exhibit.

The Wood Energy Exhibit compares renewable wood heat to other forms of energy and demonstrates the state-of-the-art Garn boiler system that the Science Center installed this winter. It is a model of sustainability, saving energy and dollars,  using sustainably-harvested, locally-sourced wood to heat five major buildings on the Science Center's campus. The Wood Energy Exhibit is also the first of four projects that are part of the Nature Matters Capital Campaign.

Nature Matters prepared the Science Center for the future with multiple exhibit expansions, infrastructure improvements, and long-term financial stability. The campaign goal is $4 million, and approximately $3.6 million has already been pledged through leadership gifts. More information is available at www.nhnature.org/naturematters.

The live Coyote Exhibit features the Science Center's resident male coyote. The coyote came to the Science Center from a wildlife rehabilitator in Michigan in 2008. This coyote has previously served as a program animal to educate visitors about the species. The Science Center also has a younger female coyote that arrived at the Science Center in 2013 as a pup after its mother was hit by a car. She will continue to serve as a program ambassador and be seen by visitors during Up Close to Animals programs in July and August.

The 2014 season will again feature a wide array of cruises on Squam Lake including the Bald Eagle Adventure Cruise and the Loon Cruise. The family cruise, Lake Explorers, returns for a second season with an expanded schedule in July and August. Squam Lake Cruises are offered daily beginning May 17 through Columbus Day.

The Science Center features River Otter Feeding presentations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:30 a.m. starting Friday, May 2. River otter feeding allows visitors to learn about otter biology and ecology while watching the two resident river otters play and enjoy a special treat.

Access to three other hiking trails is included in trail admission, including the Forest Trail, a 2/3-mile loop exploring forest ecology. The Ecotone Trail is a 1/3-mile walk along the edge of field and forest and the Mount Fayal Trail is a 1-mile loop offering views of Squam Lake.

Kirkwood Gardens is free and open to the public daily. The garden features many colorful plants and shrubs, which naturally attract many species of butterflies and birds.

For details about hours and admission rates please visit http://www.nhnature.org/visit/hours_admission.php.

 
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