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Lake Superior Zoo unveils new 15 year plan

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) -- City council approved the Lake Superior Zoo’s new 15-year master plan Monday night.

Zoo leaders talked about recent accomplishments and milestones at the meeting and then laid out plans for the future.

From now until 2037, the Lake Superior Zoo will work in six phases to maintain and enhance its facility.

Phase one includes designing a new main building and restoring the nature trail.

Phase two focuses on updating immersive play experiences and expanding animal exhibits.

Phase three is construction of the new main building, expanding garden spaces and modifying pathways.

Phase four will repurpose the historic pavilion into a two-level reptile house and construction a butterfly conservatory.

The fifth phase will modify the zoo’s Australian exhibit and expand raptor habitats.

The final phase will see updates to the primate conservation center and animal care center.

That will be completed in 2037.

Zoo CEO Haley Hedstrom said all this work will help maintain their accreditation.

“It means that we hold the absolute highest standards of animal care and welfare, and veterinary services and more,” Hedstrom said. “When they come on zoo grounds in June, they are going to be looking top to bottom at all of our programs, our exhibits, our husbandry, our vet care...everything.”

Hedstrom also said 2021 was the highest year of attendance since 2005 with more than 106,000 visitors.

Only phase one has secured funding, which is $600,000.

That money’s coming from state bonding, DNR funds, and various grants.

The zoo hopes to secure money for the remaining phases in the future.

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