November 2015




The Green Team is an advocate of the Akron Zoological Park’s Conservation commitment. We will advocate through Research, Education, and Motivation of our staff and guests, while endeavoring to create a culture that embraces sustainable operations.

Watch a video that highlights the zoo's sustainability efforts.

Map of the zoo's green effort in the zoo.

On your next visit see if you can spot these Green structures in the zoo:


Bear Ruins - 1998

  • The first green structure at the zoo.
  • Features recycled cement lift block
  • Three sides of the exhibit are built into the hillside


Grasslands Cafe - 2001

  • Constructed out of wood salvaged from an old barn in Medina Co.
  • Windows & doors used in the structure were salavaged from other structures too


Barnhardt Family Welcome Center - 2003

  • Carpeting, counter tops, bathroom stalls & furniture were all made from recycled materials
  • Constructed on the site on an old amphitheatre so site disturbance was kept to a minimum
  • Grey water is held in a detention pond on site
  • Motion sensors control water and light throughout the building
  • Built with many windows that light the atrium during the business day
  • Part of the building was built into the hillside for heating & colling savings


Penguin Point - 2003

  • Bolier for pool heating was built with exposed pipes to transfer heat from the ambient air in the buidling to the pool during circulation
  • Water filter and recirculation system saves roughly 8-10,000 gallons of water per month instead of draining and refilling
  • Fans and sprinklers are used for pest control instead of pesticides to control mosquitos


Komodo Kingdom Education Center - 2005

  • Summit County's first Leedership in Enviromental and Energy Design certified building
  • Storm water management
  • Reduction of light pollution
  • Water efficient landscaping
  • Waterless urinals
  • Geothermal heating & cooling


Conservation Carousel - 2010

  • Reused trees, shrubs and plants for waste reduction
  • Four truck loads of brush and logs removed were recycled into 55 yards of mulch
  • Includes 336 LED bulbs
  • Animals are made out of basswood, which is a sustainably harvested wood
  • Finishes on the carousel are 100% water based and are low V.O.C


Farmland & Train - 2011

  • Rain gardens
  • Pervious concrete
  • Rain barrels
  • Reused four exsisting barns
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Energy efficent heat pumps
  • Drought resisant landscaping
  • 7.38 KW solar array provides energy for train

Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge - 2013

  • The large oak tree that was previously in the Grizzly Ridge area was unstable and would have fallen. It will be reused and carved into an 8-foot bear statue, two bear cubs, a raccoon and a bald eagle. These statues will be carved with the use of a chainsaw by Michael Blaine, from Pennsylvania, who owns Dreamwood
  • Pervious Concrete- The water drains through the pervious concrete preventing run off and erosion. It also helps take pollutants out of the stormwater before it soaks into the ground water. There is 2,900 square feet of pervious concrete in GR.
  •  We have on site water management with a bio-retention filter which is on the hill overlooking the bio-retention basin. The filter helps manage storm water and reduce pollutants from the water
  • Also we have seven rain barrels that hold 52 gallons of water each. These will be used to hydrate the plantings in GR
  • Green roof on bear building which creates vegetation, reduces heat island effect, adds an insulating layer to the building and makes it more colorful.
  • Exhibit is currently being reviewed for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification with expectation of LEED Silver.
  • Energy efficient heating and cooling systems
  • 85-90% of the waste from the construction and demolition work was sent to a recycling contractor to be re-used.
  • 100% native landscaping
  • Salvage activities: Reclaiming wood (reused natural perching oak), metal, plant materials that were being used elsewhere in the zoo.
  • The rock excavated was used to build the retaining walls throughout the project
  • This high-efficiency project replaced one of the least efficient exhibits in our zoo




Things I can do to make the earth more green:

Create your own green cleaners!