There is a new way to learn about the birds and the bees in Alabama.
From “An Original DUCKumentary” showing in its theater to a giant beehive among its many hands-on exhibits, the NaturePlex is creating plenty of buzz after its recent grand opening.
“This is a dream that we have been working on for many, many years,” said Angus Cooper III, president of the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) board of directors.
The dream became a reality on Oct. 9. A crowd gathered at the AWF headquarters in Millbrook to officially open the doors to the 23,000-square-foot NaturePlex that will be used for conservation education for children and adults across the state.
”It is a tremendous day,” said Tim Gothard, AWF executive director. “What excites me are all the young people that we have with us today. You are why we do this.”
The impressive facility boasts a 120-seat theater, along with a “Discovery Hall” with 2,500 square feet of displays and interactive features. There are also classrooms, a 100-seat community room with audio/visual technology and a 150-seat “Lunch Cove.”
The Alabama Power Foundation contributed to the $6 million project.
“We were excited to support the construction of this great facility,” said Matt Bowden, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power. “It is very important to teach our youths to be good stewards of the environment. The Alabama Wildlife Federation continues to do a great job of reaching children across our state.”
Admission to the NaturePlex is $5 per person. Children under 3 get in free, and the maximum admission cost is $20 per family.
The NaturePlex will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is available to rent for meeting and events.