The Zoo’s construction projects continue to move forward, combined with a number of repairs as we take advantage of the summer’s lower daytime attendance. Summer Safari Nights continues every Saturday through August 12 from 6-8PM with live entertainment, games for kids, food and beverages and more. Special note: we have added two Friday nights to Summer Safari in addition to Saturday nights. We hope you can join us on Friday August 4 and 11 for more fun in the cooler evenings.
We are excited to announce that the opening of the new sloth exhibit is planned for August 15. This exhibit will house a two-toed Linne’s sloth, one of the slowest and most mysterious animals on Earth. The habitat is substantially complete, and over the next couple of weeks a mural will be painted, sloth ‘furniture’ for climbing will be installed, and there will be time for the sloth to acclimate to its new home. A portion of the South America loop remains closed as the final touches are finalized, but all animals can be viewed.
Angel Charity for Children World of Play
World of Play progress continues. The interior of the ice cave is being sculpted and is really starting to take on the feel and look of a cave. The roofing on the parent pavilion is being laid, and there are now branches in the giant sequoia. Opening is planned for October of this year.
For Zoo guests: The Conservation Learning Center is open – come inside to view the chuckwalla exhibit, along with bearded dragons, green tree pythons, 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. Work continues on utilities as well as pouring of curb stops and light pole bases. 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 unavailable during construction. These spaces will re-open again at the end of construction which is expected in November. Access to travel through Lakeshore Lane will continue to be available throughout 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 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 be returned to being available for park use.
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.
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.