Click here to view an image of the finalized Master Plan map, which lays out the new exhibits and visitor amenities.
20-Year Plan for RWP Zoo
The unveiling of RWP Zoo's new Master Plan follows over a year’s worth of staff input, public surveys and analysis of national and international trends in the industry. With funding for Zoo improvements approved as part of the Clean Water, Open Space and Healthy Communities Bond passed by voters last fall, the Zoo has the seed money to begin the first phase of the plan this year.
The plan includes three $25-million phases, with each expected to take five to seven years to complete. Design is underway for the first project of phase 1, a new Rainforest exhibit, with construction expected to start next spring. Once completed, visitors will experience rare and exciting creatures from the rainforests of South America including birds, primates and reptiles in a spacious and sunlit structure.
Next, the Zoo will construct a new, larger education center near Zoo admissions and the parking area to accommodate the growth of its very popular award winning programs and camps. Once the old education building has been vacated, it will be transformed into New England’s only reptile house to educate visitors about some of the most endangered and beautiful reptiles and amphibians from around the world. Rounding out the first phase will be a new event pavilion beside the wetlands pond, near the admissions plaza.
The second phase will significantly improve features in the entry area of the Zoo with new admissions structures, a new gift shop, and several animal exhibits. The plan calls for new Humboldt penguin and California sea lion enclosures with pools and a shore bird aviary. The third and final phase focuses on the upper Zoo with construction of two new large primate exhibits, an outdoor play area and a new tiger habitat. A complete reworking of the North America exhibit area will feature big horn sheep, grizzly bear and moose.
With the announcement of the master plan, which was developed with GLMV Architecture, the Society staff will initiate campaigns to raise the additional $10-million needed to complete the individual projects in phase one.