The Philadelphia Zoo recently broke ground on the brand new Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Education Center. The Zoo website describes the center as a “joyful, engaging experience for children and families while promoting a lifetime of conservation action through hands-on learning activities.”
The Zoo plans to construct the new center according to LEED guidelines, making it the first zoo structure to include a green roof, cisterns to recycle wastewater and geothermal heating.
The center, which is scheduled to open April 13, 2013 is estimated to cost $30 million and will cover 2.5 acres of land. To date, $18 million has been raised.
Indoor features include:
- Exhibits featuring fish, budgies, butterflies and frogs;
- A hatchery that allows children to observe newborn chicks; and
- Action stations focused on environmental issues such as water usage, energy consumption, and recycling.
Outdoor features include:
- An 8-stall stables building to house horses, donkeys and other livestock;
- Overhead trails and bridge systems for monkeys and lemurs;
- Animal contact yards with rare breeds of goats, sheep and chicken; children can help with animal grooming, feeding and more;
- Parallel climbing ramps and towers for goats and children alike; and
- A toddler play area equipped with balance beams and spheres.