Zoo Miami conservation center to open, immersing visitors
Zoo Miami’s Conservation Action Center is ready to connect guests with wildlife and nature conservation issues in Florida through storytelling and play.
Set to launch Jan. 16, the center at 12400 SW 152 St. is an immersive, interactive experience that introduces guests to conservation stories, both globally and locally. The indoor exhibit educates on how everyday actions at home impact nature’s ecosystem and encourages visitors to take action to save all species on behalf of wildlife.
More than five years in the making, the zoo has transformed its former Dr. Wilde’s World building in the heart of Zoo Miami into an immersive center with the works of zookeepers, medical staff and researchers.
Primary funding for the project came from several sponsors, including the Marc and Robin Osheroff Family donation gift of $500,000, Florida Power & Light Co. and its charitable arm NextEra Energy Foundation contribution of $300,000, and the Romano Family Foundation’s donation of $75,000. The zoo also secured $412,000 from Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs Department, officials said.
“Human kindness is not an endangered species” is the inspirational message displayed above the entry of the new center It sets the tone for what visitors can expect from the one-of-a-kind interpretive exhibit, said Carol Kruse, the zoo’s director.
“By sharing stories of caring actions, engaging people in thoughtful activities, and inspiring them to take conservation actions [it] will affect change for generations to come,” she added about the action center, which is decorated with art murals by local Cuban American artist Juan Travieso in coalition with exhibit designs and fabrication by Split Rock Studios of St. Paul, MN.
Zoo Miami Conservation Action Center’s goal is to make an emotional connection with what is happening to nature around the world and in our own backyard, develop an understanding of the urgency that there’s hope to change the situation and compel people to act, said Bill Moore, the zoo’s president.
Along with the donations and partnerships aligned with the zoo’s local and global conservation efforts, Mr. Moore said, “together, we understand the importance of taking care of our planet and protecting it.”