We are working with Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on their Wildlife Park to study their existing entry sequence to help improve the visitor experience. Annually, over 130,000 people visit the Wildlife Park in Gray, which is currently open from April to October. The park, which is funded entirely by revenue generated from visitors, has seen a steady increase in the numbers of families and tourists visiting the park each year. This has led to congestion at the entrance during the peak summer season.
The study of the 40 acre park has focused on creating clearly delineated traffic flow for pedestrians, vehicles as well as ticketing. Planning for the entry sequence has taken into account the increase in visitorship and the desire to alleviate congestion both entering and exiting the park. We have also designed a new nature store located close to the entrance so that visitors can stop in and purchase a souvenir from the park before they leave.
As we help plan for growth and envision the future of the park, we are considering design elements that impact a multitude of users- from staff, volunteers, and the wildlife in the park, to individual visitors, educational groups, and rental users. Since this is the only educational facility for the IF+W organization, it is crucial this resource be easily navigable, informative, and preserve the natural feel of the setting. Construction of the new entry and Nature store are set to begin in Fall 2021.