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Public Gets First Look at Conceptual Renderings of Proposed Elk Grove Zoo

Public Gets First Look at Conceptual Renderings of Proposed Elk Grove Zoo

The public took its frst peak at the proposed Elk Grove zoo with the release of artist rendering from the city and the Sacramento Zoological Society. Through Jan. 13, 2023, residents can give feedback on how the zoo would affect their neighborhood.

Input from the the community will help city officials develop an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is a key step towards moving the project forward. The EIR looks at a project’s potential effects on the environment and ways to offset those issues. Typical topics looked at in an EIR include: noise, traffic, water quality and hazardous materials.

The zoo would sit on 70-acres off Highway 99 at northwest Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway. Animal habitat would cover 60 acres. Parking would account for the remaining 10 acres.

“We look at this project as something that’s not only an opportunity for our community, but for the entire region as people begin to understand what this project might bring.”

-Jason Behrmann, Elk Grove City Manager

The comment period began Nov, 21. The public can submit their feedback in writing during this review period to: 

City of Elk Grove

Office of Strategic Planning and Innovation

Christopher Jordan

8401 Laguna Palms Way

Elk Grove, Ca. 95758

Check out the zoo

The current Sacramento Zoo is 96 years old and has outgrown its location at William Land Park. In September 2021, the Sacramento Zoological Society and city of Elk Grove began negotiations to consider establishing a more spacious, modern zoo.

The conceptual drawings were created by design firms, SHR Studios and Mangolin Creative to show the modern zoo’s potential look. The renderings reveal an African Savanna where visitors can walk among wildlife like giraffes, ostrich and gazelle.

“We want to make sure there’s opportunities to feel not like you’re an observer looking into a habitat, but that you are completely surrounded by that habitat.”

-James Hill, Principal, SHR Studios
Image Source: Sacramento Zoo

The drawings show how visitors can learn about threatened species like the white rhino and Masai giraffe. There’s images of a walk-through aviary filled with macaws and other species and an overnight luxury tent cabin. There’s even an onsite restaurant that puts diners in the middle of a troupe of gelada baboons.

“We want this new zoo to be one of the best in the United States and something that Elk grove and the entire region can really be proud of.”

-James Jacobs, Executive Director, Sacramento Zoological Society.

The city has an opportunity to change the perception that zoos do animals more harm than good. It now has the chance to build a campus rooted in conservation from the get go. 

“We can look at opportunities like sustainability, top notch animal welfare and amazing guest experiences. There’s ways to interact with this wildlife and nature in a way that only a new zoo can,” Hill said. 

The next steps

Much work remains before the project gets the formal green light.

Before the landscape architect, SHR will create a zoo design from the renderings, the city will need to review the draft EIR, and a final financing plan needs development. The Elk Grove City Council could approve the project as soon as 2023. Planners predict the actual zoo could go up around 2027.

“There will be many opportunities for the city council to make decisions on continuing to advance the project. But, we’re excited to be where we are right now,” Behrmann said.

To view more renderings of the potential new zoo, and to keep up with the latest updates CLICK HERE.

About The Author

Tony Mercado

Tony is our News & Events Editor. Tony Mercado brings a decade of experience as a Bay Area newspaper reporter to the Tribune. He studied journalism and political science at San José State University and has written for such dailies as the Gilroy Dispatch, San José Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. By day, he’s a communications specialist for a San José water district and somehow finds time to dive into a Stephen King novel, get in the stands for San José Sharks and Las Vegas Raiders games and whoop it up with his family and rescue dogs.

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