Maine Wildlife Park Earns A Governor’s Tourism Award

Maine Wildlife Park Earns A Governor’s Tourism Award

Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Maine – -(Ammoland.com)- The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, received the “Commitment to Tourism Growth” Award from Gov. John E. Baldacci on Monday evening during the 2010 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

This award recognizes an outstanding company, organization or person that not only strives to grow its business, but works with others within the industry to grow tourism in Maine through leadership roles in regional and statewide tourism initiatives, facilitation of tourism networks and development, and contributions to the local economy.

The Maine Wildlife Park is managed by IF&W Natural Sciences Educator Lisa Kane, who also schedules or teaches education programs at the park. MWP Superintendant Curtis Johnson handles day-to-day operations, including the care of more than 25 different species of native wildlife. The park has four full-time employees, up to 12 seasonal employees, and more than 100 volunteers.

“Over the last several years, through the tireless efforts of Lisa, Curtis and the entire park staff and volunteers, the Maine Wildlife Park has grown to become the must-go-to destination of residents and visitors who want to see and learn more about the wildlife that lives among us in Maine,” according to Commissioner Roland “Danny” Martin. “I whole-heartedly congratulate Lisa, Curtis and everyone at the park on their receipt of this tremendous honor. Your commitment to Maine’s outdoors is demonstrated by your desire to share and promote it to all through activities at the Maine Wildlife Park. This award is well deserved.”

Despite the rainy weather last summer, the Maine Wildlife Park played host to more than 102,200 visitors, up 9 percent from 2008, and revenues were up 24 percent. According to Kane, the Maine Wildlife Park is self-sufficient, with all personal services and capital expenses covered by its dedicated funding account.

The Maine Wildlife Park works with many Gray businesses to promote the town and the park as a destination. Among the partners in promoting the area are the Maine Office of Tourism, the Maine Tourism Association, the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Gray-New Gloucester Business Association, and the Gems of Route 26, a consortium of five businesses along the Route 26 corridor from Gray to South Paris.

“We do as much business locally as possible, supporting Gray-area grocery, lumber, automotive, printing, hardware and computer stores, as well as restaurants, contractors and other businesses,” according to Kane.

The Maine Wildlife Park is a 200-acre haven on Route 26 in Gray, just 3.5 miles from Maine Turnpike Exit 63. It is open from mid-April to Veterans’ Day, and visitors are guaranteed to see a moose! For more information, visit www.mainewildlifepark.com. A schedule of educational programs for the upcoming season will be posted soon. Also, become a fan of the Maine Wildlife Park on Facebook by searching Maine Wildlife Park on facebook.com.

During a ceremony on Monday evening, Gov. Baldacci presented awards in five general categories: Commitment to Tourism Growth, Commitment to Innovation and Creativity, Commitment to Customer Service, and Commitment to Employees. The Governor also presented the key award – Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence.

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