National Eagle Center at Wabasha to reopen to tourists June 3 after closing for six months for renovations, expansion

National Eagle Center Bird
(National Eagle Center photo)

WABASHA, Minn. (WKBT) — Tourists can come back to roost at the National Eagle Center when it reopens June 3 after a six-month closure for renovation and expansion.

Phase one of the $27 million Wabasha Riverfront Revitalization Project to renovate the center began in November.

The work includes expanding facilities to care for eagles, refreshing exhibit spaces and increasing the space where eagles are on public display.

“There’s been a lot of anticipation among the public and our staff,” said Ed Hahn, the center’s marketing manager. “We are incredibly happy to be welcoming visitors back.”

The National Eagle Center, a world-class museum in Wabasha, about 65 miles northwest of La Crosse, is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier resources for eagle education and experiences.

Outdoor portions of the expansion work will continue throughout the summer next to the center, along the alleyway and along the riverfront.

Phase one of the project also included creation of the new Main Street Program Center, which has been open for weekend programs since April 1.

Meg Gammage-Tucker, chief executive officer of the center, said, “While there is still much to be accomplished with the development of the new amphitheater, dockage and Big Jo Alley walkway, we are thrilled to be able to share new stories and much more of the Preston Cook American Eagle Collection with the public.

“We are also very happy to have created the best possible housing for our eagle ambassadors and to provide more options to engage personally with the ambassadors and the staff that care for them,” Gammage-Tucker said.

The Riverfront Center, at 50 Pembroke Ave. S., will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with admission of $12 for adults and $10 for ages 4-17. Admission is free for children ages 3 and under and National Eagle Center members.

Presentations will take place in the Main Street Program Center at 110 Main St. W. in downtown Wabasha. Programs featuring a live eagle ambassador will take place at 1 p.m. daily, with additional programs at 11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Daily nature programs (no eagle) will be at 3 p.m. Seating is limited, and guests are encouraged to register in advance on the center’s website. There is a $3 reservation fee for program participants.

For more information and to buy admission and program reservations, visit the center’s website, which features a Bald Eagle Cam to allow eagle watching year-round.

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