Design and Planning
The design process for the current Master Plan began with the selection and hiring of an experienced and qualified architectural firm. Jones and Jones Architects & Landscape Architects, Ltd. were selected from a pool of five candidates on the basis of their zoo design achievements, geographic proximity to Eureka, and enthusiasm to help create a special zoo in our one-of-a-kind redwood setting. The planning process also involved zoo staff, Foundation Board members, and City of Eureka officials, and included two community input meetings. Most of the planning took place during the first six months of the master plan process; the master plan document was finalized and adopted in early 2008.
The primary tool used in the planning process was Sequoia Park Zoo’s Institutional Collection Plan, a document first written in 2004 and revised every five years, which identifies animal species that are most appropriate for this zoo. Much care and research went into this plan, which used the following criteria to identify species:
- climate and space requirements
- compatibility with staffing size and other zoo resources
- importance to conservation and the educational stories they tell
- visitor appeal
Sequoia Park Zoo seeks to be a leading contributor to the conservation of wildlife worldwide through a robust conservation education program that connects people to wildlife by fostering an understanding of biodiversity and a sense of aesthetic wonder for the living world.
Exhibit Organization & Themes
With the goal of creating intimate connections between people and animals, the zoo will over time incorporate modern, natural exhibits that interpret five different animal-based themes from around the world.
Future Themed Zones
Barnyard—The first zone to be completed, this permanent petting area enables kids of all ages to experience and learn about the community of animals – domestic and wild – that live in close companionship with humans. Many interactive experiences are incorporated into the Barnyard.
Native Predators (Bald Eagles, River otters, a new Black bear habitat in the redwoods, cougar and other local predators) —Visitors will meet some familiar and some less known predators native to our area and learn the important roles they play in a balanced ecosystem. This exhibit will explore the interconnectedness of wilderness and urban areas and how the two can live side by side; it will house most of the larger animals at the zoo, so it covers the largest area. The Watershed Heroes exhibit (completed in 2014) forms the cornerstone of this zone.
Asian Forests (Red panda, Muntjac deer, and future gibbon exhibit)—Visitors will discover and appreciate a number of charismatic species that share a similar climatic zone to our own, the temperate forest, but across the Pacific in central Asia. There will be areas where children can learn more about these animals’ natural behaviors by mimicking their activities in a themed play area. The Red panda/Indian muntjac exhibit (completed in 2010) forms the cornerstone of the Asian Forest zone.
Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot (Flamingos, Patagonian cavies, Crested screamers, Chacoan peccaries, rheas, and future Giant anteater, Capybara, Maned wolf exhibits)—An amazing diversity of life can be found in the Andes region of South America. Visitors can learn more about its animal population, the threats to both animals and environment, and how we can work together to preserve it.
Island Adaptations (Ring-tailed lemurs and other species)—The Island Adaptation zone will introduce visitors to some of the unique species animals that have evolved in isolated island habitats around the world, highlighting the biological adaptations that result from these special environments. Probably the best-known and most-endangered of these species are the Lemurs of Madagascar, which will anchor this zone.
Accomplishing our goal
While the City of Eureka funds the daily operation of the Zoo (animal care staffing, veterinary care and facilities maintenance), most exhibit upgrades and improvements are made possible solely through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses.
Help ensure the success of these projects by making a contribution today!
The Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation is a non-profit organization whose primary objectives and purposes are to promote and stimulate interest in the Sequoia Park Zoo and support the zoo’s development, operation and activity programs through fundraising, marketing, and other initiatives designed to enhance the zoo’s position as an important Northern California destination.