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Utica Zoo “Dream BIG” Master Plan

September 27, 2016



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Master Plan Map. Click for PDF version.

Click here to view the Master Plan Map.

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Full Master Plan 2016. Click for full PDF version.

Click here to view the Full Master Plan

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Dream Big Book. Click for full PDF version.

Click here to see the Dream BIG Book.

Utica Zoo released their new master plan on September 27, 2016 at a private party sponsored by First Source Federal Credit Union. The theme of the night was “Dream BIG with the Utica Zoo”. Invitees got the first look at what is planned for the next 20 years at the Utica Zoo.

It is the zoo’s first comprehensive master plan since 1990. Utica Zoo hired the company ELM Environments out of Seattle, WA to help create the document. ELM Environments used a concept called “return on exhibit” (ROE) to analyze every part of the current zoo, and future expansions. Utica Zoo has 80 acres of land, 50 of which are available to expand. Return on exhibit looks at the conservation status of a species (endangered, threatened, stable etc.), the educational aspects of the animal, visitor experience, cost to feed the animals, and cost to build or maintain the exhibits. With ROE, the Utica Zoo and ELM Environments have determined what animals and exhibits to keep, what exhibits to upgrade, and what changes and additions need to be made to the facility as a whole.

Utica Zoo’s Master Plan is broken down into 3, 5, 10, and 20 year goals. Highlights of the plan include animal additions like giraffe, black bear, otters, tigers, and orangutan. Visitor favorites like red panda, and California sea lion will receive new exhibits. The dream for the sea lion exhibit is to create a multi-species marine mammal exhibit with state-of-the-art underwater viewing, mini-amphitheater seating, larger pools & pup dens, and a special area for animal encounters with visitors.

“Signature animals like giraffe and otter are extremely exciting, but we are also looking forward to other important upgrades like new parking lots, a bus loop, new layout for visitor pathways, and additional restrooms and visitor services” said Executive Director, Andria Heath. Heath continued, “We have a wonderful history of connecting children and families with nature, and it is our job to ensure that future generations have the same opportunity to create life-long memories.”

The Utica Zoo master plan is considered a living document, and changes can be made to it when an exhibit is built faster than planned, funds are received, or different species are desired. The Zoo looks to private and public donors to help build and maintain exhibits. If you, or your business are interested in making a part of the master plan come to life, you can contact Executive Director, Andria Heath at: Office (315) 738-0472 ext. 41. Cell Phone: (315) 868-6827. Email a.heath@uticazoo.org

Media inquiries please contact Communications Coordinator, Mike Beck at (315) 738-0472 ext. 49 or mike.beck@uticazoo.org.

Utica Zoo’s “Dream BIG” Master Plan unveiling event was sponsored by First Source Federal Credit Union.

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