Oregon Zoo breaks ground on new education center with help from - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo breaks ground on new education center with help from local schoolchildren

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Rendering of new exhibit (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Rendering of new exhibit (Photo: Oregon Zoo)

Local schoolchildren grabbed shovels to help break ground on a new educational exhibit at the Oregon Zoo.

The educational exhibit, the fifth of eight major projects funded by the 2008 community-supported zoo bond measure, will be located in the area opposite the zoo's Amur tiger habitat and adjacent to the train station.

The Oregon Zoo said once the conservation education center is completed it will feature a reimagined insect zoo and and interactive species recovery lab.

Visitors will learn how zoo scientists care for endangered animals and kids will get to practice some of the same field-research activities as zoo scientists in interactive play areas nearby.

"Across the zoo, visitors learn about animals, their habitats and the conservation challenges they face," said Grant Spickelmier, the zoo's education curator. "We want this center to help children and families appreciate that small things matter, both in the everyday actions they take and by connecting them with critically important small animals like bees, butterflies and turtles."

At the groundbreaking event, the Oregon Zoo Foundation announced the public launch of its $1.5 million Education Campaign.

The campaign will support features like technology in the classrooms, an expanded space for teen volunteers and interns, and interactive displays in the NESt (the center's Nature Exploration Station), as well as ongoing and expanded education programming. 

The new conservation education center will open in the spring of 2017.

To learn more, visit oregonzoo.org/discover/new-zoo/zoo-education-center.

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