Public can visit during construction
A dynamic new exhibit is coming to the International Wolf Center to replace the celebrated “Wolves and Humans” exhibit that has been on display at the Center since it opened in 1993.
To prepare for the new gallery, staff are documenting the current exhibit and will dismantle it in February. Beginning February 18, the Wolves and Humans exhibit will be closed to the public. The rest of the Center will remain open to visitors on weekends for its usual winter hours. While the exhibit area will be closed, visitors will still be able to watch the Center’s ambassador wolves, listen to numerous programs in the auditorium and watch wolf-related movies in the theater.
“Board members, wolf biologists, volunteers and staff have been planning with the design team for nearly a year,” said Rob Schultz, executive director. “The innovative exhibit will will use interactive technology and powerful stories to teach kids and adults about the roles that wolves play in ecosystems, and how they are managed to co-exist with humans.”
Since the original exhibit was built in the early 1980’s by the Science Museum of Minnesota, the world has learned much more about wolves. Scientific research is evolving, the climate is changing, research is expanding and biologists now have a deeper understanding of wolves and wolf behavior than when the original display was created.
“The new exhibit will give visitors, especially families, an opportunity to experience wolves in fun, creative ways,” Schultz said. “A howling room will simulate what it’s like to hear wolves at night in the wilderness, an airplane cockpit will recreate the unique birds-eye view that just a few biologists get while tracking and observing wolves from the air, and a science lab will help children of all ages explore the biology of wolves.”
The new exhibit has been made possible through a $1 million grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The International Wolf Center Board has been deeply appreciative of support for the project by Representative Rob Ecklund, Senator Tom Bakk, Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, and the Ely City Council.
Installation of the new exhibit will begin in early April, and the staff anticipate it will be open to the public by May 1, in time for the busy summer tourist season in Ely..
The Center’s winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.