Exciting Updates on Projects at Reid Park Zoo! An Update to Welcome in 2022
Greetings and Happy New Year from all of us at Reid Park Zoo.
In December, Reid Park Zoo began redesign of the Angel Charity for Children World of Play Adventure Zone and is ready to begin redesign of the long-awaited Pathway to Asia in the next few weeks. We also have some smaller projects that will be complete in the next year that we wanted to share with you.
Pathway to Asia
We will begin meeting this month to start redesign of this expansion to Reid Park Zoo. As you may be aware, the location of Pathway to Asia has been modified with the project now located in the current Reid Park Zoo and Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center parking lots. A new parking lot for both the Zoo and the Adaptive Rec Center will be constructed to the north of the Adaptive Rec Center, which will occupy space in Tucson Parks and Recreation’s current maintenance yard. A diagram of the approximate placement is below.
The new location for Pathway to Asia addresses community requests to leave Barnum Hill and the surrounding ponds in place, while maximizing and repurposing hard space. It also meets the Zoo’s needs for optimum animal welfare by placing sensitive animals in the Asia expansion away from the periodic noise of High Corbett Field in order to promote the animals’ health and safety. The new location ideally provides a continuous perimeter and houses the animals in Pathway to Asia closer to the Zoo’s Health Center and Zoo veterinary team.
We believe this new location is a win-win for all parties, including the Zoo, and appreciate the extensive community conversation and input that has taken place regarding Pathway to Asia and Reid Park over the past year.
We look forward to introducing you to the amazing animals of Asia including red pandas, Komodo dragon, Malayan tigers, Asian small-clawed otters, an exotic bird feeding experience and more. We look forward to giving you a more detailed update next month.
World of Play
This exciting area will be located within the Zoo’s existing footprint in the former flamingo habitat by the Lee H. Brown Conservation Learning Center.
This Adventure Zone combines learning and play as children are introduced to the ambassadors for three continents from around the world that highlight our planet’s amazing diversity of habitats.
A replica of an emperor penguin will introduce you to Antarctica. You will learn about the animals who call the ice home as you enter the windy, frozen ice shelf and follow the march of the penguins as you travel through an ice tunnel, waddle like a penguin to your nest and see how you do at warming a penguin egg.
From Antarctica, you will warm up as you head to the rainforest of South America where the capuchin monkey will welcome you to an area of the world filled with a wide variety of homes for animals. You will learn who lives in the tree canopy and top leafy layers all the way down to the rainforest floor while engaging in play as you squawk like a macaw and chirp like a squirrel monkey. From there, you will slide down to the redwood forest!
We are presently focused on integrating the architectural design with the interpretive play activities and signage in World of Play. Next month we will tell you more about the rainforest play structure and the timeframe for this exciting area!
Other small projects underway!
We are in the design process for a new sloth habitat in South America. This project will be complete in 2022 for this tree-dweller known for its slow movements.
The Conservation Learning Center has had the fish tank converted into a small animal habitat that will provide a rotating habitat for some of the Zoo’s ambassador animals.
The birthday party area of the Zoo will be undergoing a facelift with landscaping, new tent and improved fencing.
The restrooms in the front of the Zoo will be undergoing a small remodel with new paint, new lights and fixtures, flooring and decorative features with a conservation theme on the stalls. We apologize for any inconvenience as we implement these updates at the front of the Zoo as they may cause closures of some of the restrooms from time to time. The other four restroom areas will remain open during this time.
We look forward to regularly sharing progress with you on these projects as they take shape.
Nancy J. Kluge
President & CEO, Reid Park Zoological Society