Summer is here and the pace is brisk at your Reid Park Zoo. As a thank you to the community, the Zoo is offering $3 Ticket Tuesdays through June, where admission is just $3.00 per person. Our Summer Safari Nights continue every Saturday evening from 6 to 8 pm through August 12 where you can get to know a different animal “rock star” each Saturday night with cool sunset viewing and keeper chats, plus live music and activities. In July, watch for Watermelon Wednesdays and join us for the Plastics Free Eco-Challenge – make an impact with simple steps you take to reduce plastics to help save our planet, its animals and ecosystems.
We are excited to report that the Zoo’s construction projects continue to move forward 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. Some of the details we are working on now include drywall, framing windows and preparing for the electrical connection. Construction is going smoothly and this habitat is scheduled to open in August!
Angel Charity for Children World of Play
World of Play is also moving along! Theming is in progress for the Antarctic Ice Cave and the redwood tree. Beams are being laid for the South America rainforest lookout. The roof and structure for the parent pavilion is up, and the roof of the ice cave is being finished. The play dig area is on its way. This is an exciting activity zone that will enable kids to look for artifacts to understand how scientists learn from animals who lived in different habitats in the past – and how our actions today influence future life on Earth.
For Zoo guests: The Conservation Learning Center is open – come inside to view the new chuckwalla exhibit (meet Chuck!), along with bearded dragons, green tree python, and poison dart frogs while watching short features about the Zoo and conservation heroes.
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
The new parking lot for the Zoo, Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC), and Reid Park is in progress. Currently, there is a lot of work being done on utilities and footings are being poured. There have been 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 will continue to meet weekly as we ensure access is available to each facility throughout construction and to address any issues that arise quickly.
There will be some parking spaces on Lakeshore Lane that will be inaccessible during construction. These spaces will return to being available at the end of construction which is expected in November. Access to travel through Lakeshore Lane is available throughout construction.
Pathway to Asia
Once the new parking lot is completed, ARC, Zoo, Hi Corbett, and Reid Park visitors will be able to park in it. At that time, construction of Pathway to Asia will take place in the current ARC and Zoo lots. There will also be areas used for construction materials and work in the parking lot along Randolph Way at 22nd Street (next to the elephant sculpture). When construction is complete, that parking lot will return to being available for park use.
The new location and plan for Pathway to Asia uses no existing green space in the park, only current asphalt, and will convert 45% of the space to green space within the Zoo. This also includes planting of over 300 trees between the parking lot and Pathway to Asia.
Plans have been filed for permits. Construction is expected to begin shortly after parking lot completion in Fall 2023 and will take approximately 24 months to finish.
We know that construction brings some inconvenience and every effort is being made to minimize disruptions. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work toward these new amenities at the Zoo and, as always, we appreciate your support of the Zoo and the animals.