WRIC & Gift Shop Grand Re-Opening

April 19, 2024

Wendy Gehlhoff

press release

The Florence Wild Rivers Interpretive Center & Gift Shop is hosting a Grand Re-Opening event Saturday, May 4th from 9am – 3pm.  The Center closed in late January due to a broken pipe flooding the facility and damaging computers, ceiling, flooring and walls.  Repairs were completed thanks to great work by Brent Pataconi with Miller Heating & Cooling, a Trace Construction crew and Demko Electric. 

This event includes a storewide sale, refreshments and a scavenger hunt for kids who will receive a Smokey the Bear gift bag for participating.  Young and old can take their picture with Smokey the Bear who will drop in for a visit from 11:00 am – 11:30 am. 

Staff from the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC) will be on site for an Invasives Plant Trade-up Day.  Landowners remove ornamental invasive species from their landscape and bring them to the WRISC table outside the Gift Shop to receive monetary vouchers.  Each invasive is worth one $5 voucher (limit of $50/person). The vouchers can be spent at a local greenhouse or plant sale to purchase a native landscape plant from WRISC's suggested list.

There will also be guided hikes on the ¾ mile Nature Tale Interpretive Trail that tells the story of “The Return of Trees”.  Groups can gather at the pavilion at the edge of the parking lot to walk the ¾ mile trail with John Roberts, to learn how forests have moved and changed in our area over millions of years.  The 16 new signs on the trail were created by John and graphic designer Ashley Zoppetti.  This project was partially funded by a John E. Force Forestry Fund donation.  The trail is an easy, flat hike on a dirt path with 3 resting benches for those in need. 

So mark your calendar for May 4th to browse for Northwoods gifts, puppets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, books and other souvenirs.  And take time to explore the many exhibits and wildlife mounts including full body mounts of an albino buck, a mother bear with cubs, a wolf, coyotes, bald eagle, a variety of fish and more.  The friendly staff can direct you to information about a variety of attractions to see in Florence County and the surrounding area.  The center is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am until 4:00 pm.  Saturday hours, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, start May 4th and will extend into December.  The Center is located at the corner of Hwy 70 and US 2 at 5628 Forestry Drive on the SW edge of downtown Florence.  For more information visit www.ExploreFlorenceCounty.com or call the Gift Shop and Visitor Center at 715-528-5377.

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