Spring is a lovely time to get outdoors and visit Reid Park Zoo. The sun is shining, the animals are active, and plants are blossoming. Bring mom to the Zoo on Mother’s Day and enjoy keeper chats about the Zoo’s animal moms. Enjoy Brew at the Zoo on May 20 from 6-9 p.m., our annual beer tasting fundraiser, with sunset sampling of craft brews, ales and ciders from over 21 regional breweries, pub-style food and live music to benefit the Zoo’s animal care, education, and conservation programs. Summer Safari Nights are on the horizon on Saturday nights May 27 – August 12 with a different theme and animal focus each evening. We hope you can join us.
Construction projects at the Zoo continue with noted developments.
A portion of the South America loop is closed during construction of this new habitat as we prepare a home for a Linne’s two-toed sloth. The walls are going up quickly! This habitat will be completed by the end of the summer when we welcome this new animal to the Zoo.
Angel Charity for Children World of Play
What a difference a month makes! Construction on this unique, nature playground is progressing daily. Viewing the site, you really get a feel for just how amazing this new adventure area located outside the Conservation Learning Center will be when completed late this summer. Exterior walls and theming are going up for the Antarctic Ice Cave, inside which children will be able to slide down a cool ice tunnel as they play at being a penguin. The towering 30-foot Sequoia tree is also rising quickly. Guests will be able to climb high for an eagle’s eye view of the world. Design for interpretives and plans for the sound system are underway.
For Zoo guests: The Conservation Learning Center is open – come inside to view the bearded dragons, green tree python, and poison dart frogs while watching short features about the Zoo and conservation heroes. The presentation circle is closed during construction as it is transformed into a nature play area. Construction will continue to be noisy at times outside the Learning Center.
For Park guests: There will continue to be occasional traffic with large vehicles and equipment at times on Lakeshore Lane during construction.
Thank you for your patience!
New Parking Lot
Fencing is up and construction is underway on the new parking lot for the Zoo, Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC), and Reid Park. This parking lot will be located where the Maintenance Yard for Parks and Recreation has been. Buildings in the Maintenance Yard have been demolished and identification of underground utility lines have been mapped in preparation for grading that will begin soon. The new parking lot will expand available parking and will include about 100 trees that will be planted as a part of the project.
There will be changes to the parking for Adaptive Recreation Center and along Lakeshore Lane during construction. Parks and Recreation, Reid Park Zoo, U of A Baseball, and the Adaptive Recreation Center representatives have been meeting as we ensure access is available to each facility throughout construction.
There will be some parking spaces on Lakeshore Lane that will be unavailable during construction. These spaces will be reopened at the end of construction which is expected in October or November. Access to travel through Lakeshore Lane will continue to be available throughout construction.
Below is an updated map of the construction fence borders that will be in place during various phases of construction.
Pathway to Asia
Once the parking lot is completed, ARC, Zoo, Hi Corbett, and Reid Park visitors will be able to park in the new lot. At that time, construction of Pathway to Asia will take place in the current ARC and Zoo parking lots. This plan uses no existing green space in the park, only current asphalt and will convert 45% of the space to green space within the Zoo, including planting of over 300 trees between the parking lot and Pathway to Asia.
This month, final reviews took place as we prepare to file for permits with 100% construction documents complete. Construction is expected to begin shortly after parking lot completion in Fall 2023 and will take approximately 24 months to finish.
As always, Reid Park Zoo is focused on ensuring the highest level of care and well-being for the animals at the Zoo who are ambassadors of their species, while continuing to increase our efforts to help protect wild animals and wild places globally. Part of that work centers on providing meaningful connections and education programs to inspire the conservationists of tomorrow. Our progress and our work is made possible through the generous support of our community, donors and guests. Thank you for being on this journey with us as we continue to improve your Zoo and be the very best we can be.