Flamingoes and much more are included in the 15 to 20 year master plan for Miller Park Zoo. (photo by B.Corbin/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - Miller Park Zoo is ready to start raising funds for its master plan now that the facility's long-term projects have the support of the Bloomington City Council.
Superintendent Jay Tetzloff believes the next step in the roughly $16 million plan is finding monetary support from individual investors.
"We can still go out to the private sector and hope to get private money to help build out the plan," said Tetzloff. "Definitely going to go out and do the fundraising, making sure this plan isn't a pretty picture on the wall, but that it becomes reality."
Tetzloff said even though several community forums and open meeting were held prior to official approval of the master plan by the Bloomington City Council, continued feedback and community involvement is always welcome. The 18-month process so far still needs financial support and community understanding.
"Pretty much what we tell people is 15 to 20 years, and that's a pretty optimitistic goal," said Tetzloff. "If you don't have an optimistic goal, you don't have anything to shoot for in the end. The goal is to do a project a year and build some momentum so people can see that we are making changes out here and will want to come out and support the zoo."
The city council voted 7 to 2 to support the zoo's master plan at Monday's meeting. Zoo fundraising can continue on a private level without financial backing from the council.
Tetzloff said the realistic estimate for implementation of the master plan is 15 to 20 years. First on the list of projects is a flamingo exhibit front and center at the zoo entrance.
"Right now, you don't see an animal when you first come in, and I never liked that about any zoo," said Tetzloff. "We're thinking probably a flock of 35 to 40 Greater Flamingoes that will be an eye catcher when you first walk in."
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at Zach.Dietmeier@Cumulus.com.