20200322_CULT_MAYMONT_07

A new climbing feature in the Maymont Nature Center.

The newly renovated Robins Nature Center at Maymont will reopen to the public on Thursday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Nature Center has been closed since Nov. 1 to complete the $2.3 million renovation and enhancement project, the first major improvement to the center since it originally opened in 1999.

The reopening was originally scheduled for April 5, but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



The renovated 29,000-square-foot Nature Center is themed to the James River and includes several new additions including:

-River Reach, a 34-foot-tall sculpture that can be climbed and scaled, meant to mimic microscopic river organisms with rising platforms.

-A beaver lodge that can be explored, a kayak that can be climbed into and rocks that can be hopped.

-Baby sturgeon

-Digital pool touch stations, two virtual shallow pools with touch responsiveness where kids can discover wildlife and native plants

“Guests can explore the amazing biodiversity of the James River like never before,” Krista Weatherford, Maymont's director of programming and community engagement said in a statement announcing the opening. “Everything from the virtual interactions with turtles and otters to the play spaces and fun facts will enhance appreciation of Richmond’s greatest natural resource. We’re especially eager to use all the new teaching tools to inspire curiosity in guests of all ages.”

Tickets to the Nature Center are $8 for adults and youth ages 13 and older; $6 for children ages 3-12 and seniors ages 65 and older; and free for children ages 2 and under; free for Maymont members.

Face coverings will be required of guests and recommended for any children older than two years old. Capacity will be reduced to provide space for social distancing, and hand sanitizer will be available at the entry and exit. Contactless payment and use of credit/debit cards are encouraged. Surfaces inside the Nature Center will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

The Nature Center will initially be open Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets must be purchased online at Maymont.org/nature-center and are available in 45-minute time slots with limited capacity for entry. Maymont members will have early access during special preview days.

The Nature Center is located at 2201 Shields Lake Drive. More information at www.maymont.org or 804-358-7166.

ccurran@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6151

Twitter: @collcurran

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