• The existing courtyard was redesigned to include the replacing of plant material and improving pavement conditions.
  • Replacement trees planted in specially prepared “structural soil” trenches with overflow underdrains provide proper root growth and stability for vehicle traffic. 
  • Portions of the pavement surface above the structural soil replaced with a porous pavement material.
  • A new cistern/rain barrel with educational panels collects rain water from a nearby roof drain.
  • Remaining portions of the asphalt were milled and replaced with 1-1/2” asphalt overlay
  • The outside fencing was replaced with a netting material and is surrounded by rain garden plant beds.

Primate Exhibit

  • New primate exhibit was designed to create a naturalized interactive play area for primates, while also providing multiple public viewing experiences.
  • The original exhibit was replaced with an enclosed, supported netting system and perimeter public barrier consisting of fencing and native plantings.
  • The native plant bed also serves as rain garden, capturing storm water from the nearby exhibit building. A section includes green roof plants for the new elephant facility.
  • Exhibit features included varied topography, boulders, swinging vines and ropes, landscaped with native grass and plant material. A simulated rock water feature with waterfalls for additional interest and also simulated “heated rocks” to provide heat during the winter months.
  • Portions of the original exhibit retaining wall was saved and incorporated into the design to provide a “relic” appearance while at the same time save on demolition costs.
  • Most of the exhibit perimeter allows for public viewing, including a unique viewing tunnel constructed as a geological rock formation to allow visitors access into the exhibit space for a closer look at the primates.
  • Arched bridge between existing pond and original exhibit has been replaced with a new bridge designed for circulation and exhibit viewing.

Elephant Exhibit

  • The new elephant facility is located adjacent to the existing elephant day yard.
  • Green initiatives include a 9,000 s.f. green roof over the elephant facility. The stormwater management system includes a viewing rain garden, drywells, level infiltration subsurface trenches with internal weir plates to hold water and promote infiltration and vegetated swales along the perimeter of the elephant day yard.
  • The site design includes a number of different public viewing opportunities, including a viewing window into the new facility, renovated boardwalk with recycled material decking, and a shaded pavilion with amphitheater style seating area that overlooks the elephant day yard and demonstration area.
  • A unique elephant scratching post constructed as a simulated fallen tree is located in the elephant day yard.

Waterfowl Pond Treatment/Storm Water Wetland, completed in 2014

  • The waterfall pond which contains approximately 105,000 gallons of water has to be drained and cleaned about every two weeks.  The water was dumped to the sanitary system and the pond was replenished from domestic water, putting a tremendous load on the already taxed municipal treatment plant.  Additionally, there was a cost to refill the pond with domestic water on a continual basis.
  • A re-circulation system was designed that continually pumps the waterfowl pond water to an upper level in the zoo.  The outflow at this upper level is designed as a cascading waterfall to a wetland pond.
  • The cascade aerates the water and the wetland aids in settling out suspended solids.  Additionally, wetland plantings aid in cleansing the water.  This is the "primary treatment".
  • From this primary treatment wetland the water flows through a series of small cascades, again to aerate he water, and then flows through a reed bed.
  • The reed bed plantings plus beneficial bacteria in the planting medium and around the root system of the plantings further cleanses the water prior to flowing back into the waterfowl pond.  The reed bed essentially provides secondary treatment.
  • The system is designed to be a zoo exhibit of a natural, sustainable system for treating water.  A boardwalk was installed through the reed bed for zoo patrons to observe the reed bed system and the wildlife it will support.