Zoo2020—a campaign for the Dakota Zoo—has kicked off this past year, with priorities to build a new penguin, meerkat and red panda exhibit and renovate the admissions, concessions and gift shop areas.
If funds allow, the zoo will proceed with a new black bear exhibit, which is a part of their master plan. Dakota Zoo is relying on the support of members and the community, in order to accomplish a campaign for a project of this magnitude. In addition, the zoo plans to apply for grants from local community foundations and approach local businesses for financial support. The rest will have to come from generous supporters, who understand how much the Dakota Zoo benefits the community and local economy.
Included in the new penguin, meerkat and red panda exhibit, will be a building constructed where the long horn cattle currently reside, which is a short walk from the primate center on the wilderness trail. The 6,365 square foot facility will include a large temperature-controlled environment to house 10 penguins, fresh water pool and public window that extends below the surface of the water, exhibit space for 10 meerkats, three separate interior den rooms with 12-foot ceilings to house three or four red pandas and a large exterior habitat which will be the main area for the red pandas.
The zoo facilities will also be paid attention to as memberships continue to grow. The admissions area will be renovated to create a more efficient entrance for our guests. The new structure will allow for a streamlined entrance and exit area, a members’ express line making it easier for our members to get into the zoo quickly and a new area for the zoo gift shop and membership services. The new concession building will have additional food and beverage choices, including a self-serve drink area, additional indoor seating, and will house additional restrooms.
The Dakota Zoo provides a family-friendly, educational, economical attraction for all residents and visitors. Check out the zoo’s many events scheduled throughout the summer, and year-round at www.dakotazoo.org. You can also find more information about the Zoo2020 Campaign and consider making a donation online.