creative • integrated • sustainable

Multiple Projects Nearing Completion at the Zoo

Multiple Projects Nearing Completion at the Zoo

Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture is privileged to see two projects approaching successful completion at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.  AOLA was the prime design consultant for these projects, responsible for managing and coordinating the Design Team as well as multiple-prime construction contracts.  Partner-In-Charge, Pete Osborne, and Project Manager, Katy Jacobs, have been dedicated to the new Elephant Pool and new Events Terrace since design began and have diligently been visiting the sites to ensure construction progresses smoothly.  Katy and AOLA Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Smith, had the opportunity to attend a “sneak peek” event where Zoo staff, Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and generous donors were able to celebrate the vision of these projects becoming a reality. 


The Rosamond Gifford Zoo prides itself on being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for the past 25 years.  The design of the elephant pool took this important element into consideration and was designed to meet AZA Standards.  The new elephant feature appears to be one large pool but actually includes a shallow pool and a deep pool to accommodate different ages and preferences in the elephant herd.  To provide superior enrichment for the elephants, the pool features a waterfall and artificial rockwork boulders for a naturalistic appearance.  An important feature of the pool is the Life Support System which filters and recirculates the pool water.  Green infrastructure practices were incorporated for on-site storage and infiltration of storm water runoff and pool wastewater.  Finally, a new overlook deck provides a close-up view of the pool. 


The new Events Terrance is located adjacent to the existing banquet and conference facility.  The project included grading and drainage improvements, landscaping and lighting, and various amenities to provide a multi-functional and aesthetically pleasing environment to host a wide array of events, including weddings.  The new terrace features a new retaining wall with custom rebar and cedar railing, a cedar arbor, and cedar screen fencing around the perimeter.


We hope you get the chance to get out and enjoy the zoo this summer and see the exciting changes that have been taking place!  Below are some photos of the projects from the “sneak peek” event.


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