Reid Park Zoo Project Update

Reid Park Zoo is a bustle of activity with ZooLights: Holiday Magic every evening from 6 – 9 p.m. through December 23 and returning for encore nights after Santa returns to the North Pole from December 26 – 30. ZooLights features thousands of enchanting lights, visits with St. Nick, falling “snow,” festive music, and fun. You can sip hot cocoa from the Zoo Café or carts as you travel through this Tucson tradition sure to put you in the holiday spirit. It is always so heartwarming to see families making memories and sharing some quality together time at ZooLights. We hope you can join us.

Progress is also continuing on new projects at the Zoo. Here are some highlights:

Sloth Habitat

Permits are nearly complete and we are in the process of selecting a general contractor for a new sloth habitat to be located in the South America area of the Zoo. Construction is expected to begin in January. There will be disruption to the South America loop during construction, with the portion of the Zoo from flamingo to jaguar closed. The South America loop will become a one-way path during construction. We should have a timeline for construction shortly after contractor selection is complete.

Angel Charity for Children World of Play

Construction continues with the essential underground work needed before the visible construction begins. Over excavation is complete and the connection of underground utilities — electrical, water and sewer — is in progress.

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 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 expected to begin construction in January once permits are issued. This parking lot will be located where the Maintenance Yard for Parks and Recreation has been. There will be an increase in parking available combined with about 100 trees that will be planted as a part of the project.

There will be changes to the parking for Adaptive Recreation Center 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.

Below is a diagram showing the changes to parking for the Adaptive Recreation Center. Additional accessible parking spaces will be added to provide the same number of accessible spaces that are there currently.

Pathway to Asia

Pathway to Asia construction drawings are nearing completion. Construction is expected to begin shortly after parking lot completion in September 2023 and will take 24 months to complete.

As 2022 draws to a close, we are excited and energized about the future of Reid Park Zoo. Thank you for being with us on this journey. We look forward to another year of educating guests and inspiring meaningful connections between people and animals.

Happy Holidays!