Oregon Zoo Looks to the Future, there is so much more we can do

Oregon Zoo Looks to the Future, there is so much more we can do



For nearly 135 years, the Oregon Zoo has offered local residents and visitors from around world a chance to connect with wildlife. Along the way, it has evolved into a hub for the science of animal well-being and an internationally recognized conservation leader, helping to save all kinds of endangered species, from California condors to northwestern pond turtles.

It has also generated a tremendous amount of community pride and support. In 2008, people across the region acted on behalf of animals and sustainability with an overwhelming vote to invest in the zoo.

“The 2008 bond measure was transformative,” Oregon Zoo director Heidi Rahn said. “It provided for a dramatic overhaul to some of our most popular animal habitats, plus a state-of-the-art veterinary medical center, and much more. I was fortunate enough to oversee the zoo’s bond implementation from 2013 on, and seeing the difference now — all those blueprints brought to life — is incredible. We came together as a community to benefit the animals and the environment.”

All told, the bond reshaped nearly 40% of the zoo campus. But while zoo leaders celebrate what has been achieved through the community’s support, they’re also looking to the future.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” Rahn said. “But at the same time, we know there is much more we can do — for our animals, for our guests and for our environment.”

All of that will be reflected in a new campus plan that will help shape the zoo over the next 20 years. Focusing on areas not improved through the 2008 bond, the plan proposes updating some of the oldest animal areas while improving guest accessibility and amenities.

The plan’s priorities emerged through a nearly yearlong engagement process, and the zoo will continue refining it for adoption later this spring.


For more information, visit https://www.oregonzoo.org/lights