Donated towards $2500.00 Goal
We’re raising funds to grow plants to help feed our animals!
Plants play a significant role in maintaining our animals’ well-being. When available, keepers provide residents with browse: tender shoots, twigs, and green leaves of trees and shrubs. Browse acts as a nutritional supplement, adds enrichment to the lives of our animals, and helps maintain dental health. These plants stimulate natural behaviors including nesting, foraging, and play and are important for our animals’ quality of life.
The Zoo is seeking funding to create a Browse Garden & Nursery on Zoo grounds to better address a need for browse plants. A location has been selected at the Zoo’s Victorian Greenhouse to establish nurseries. Cold frames, four-sided boards with clear tops used to house and protect seedlings without artificial heat, will be installed along a guest walkway and planted with several browse species our animals need. Beside that walkway, a smaller garden will be installed to grow additional browse materials such as vegetables.
Educational signage explaining the browse program will be established along the Browse Nursery Walkway and Garden. Signage would serve the following purposes: identify browse plants and the species who require them, showcase the cycle of sustainability within a browse garden, explain the animal behavioral benefits of browse, describe the cold frame gardening techniques and best practices, and showcase browse plants in gardening.
The Zoo’s Greenhouse Manager will review plant species relative to our animals and determine which will be most beneficial to head-start the nurseries. Ultimately, the Zoo hopes to source all browse materials directly from on-site nurseries and the greenhouse, lessening our dependence on purchased and donated materials. Photographs and videos of our animals interacting with browse materials will be shared on the Zoo’s social media channels to further educate the public on the need for browse and the importance of this project.
Cost to create a Browse Garden and Nursery to help feed our animals: $2,500
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