GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay is a very popular place. So popular in fact – that they need more room.

Thirty years ago – when the wildlife sanctuary’s nature center building opened – officials knew one day they’d run out of room. According to the sanctuary’s director – that day has arrived.

“Our current facilities built in 1985 just aren’t meeting our needs anymore,” said Mike Reed, director of the wildlife sanctuary.

It’s a problem that Reed is happy to have, yet one he says needs to be addressed. A lack of space within the nature center caused by growing demand for all the facility has to offer. Like an extremely popular nature based 4-year-old kindergarten.

“We’ve had a waiting list the past two years that we’ve not been able to accommodate,” Reed said.

To programs for senior citizens or hosting large groups and special events.

“We just have a lot of user groups that we are struggling to accommodate at this time.”

Tuesday night Reed came before the city’s Park committee with a solution. Proposing a plan to raise $3 million in private donations to add a two-story, 15,000 square feet addition on the east end of the existing building.

“It will compliment the existing nature center, be connected to it, designed so it has very flexible use,” Reed said.

The money would be raised by the Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary. Tuesday the Park committee gave initial approval for that group to begin fundraising.

“Timeline right now is to start construction in next two years.”

A project designed to give this popular city facility more space to fulfill it’s mission of connecting people with nature.

The existing nature center opened in 1985 and cost $1.7 million dollars to construct. It was built entirely from private donations.