DULUTH, MN – The Lake Superior Zoo is pushing for big changes.
Not the ones that were already in place, but new changes that would open up seven new exhibits to the public.
“We are on the upswing here, and to be able to get these seven new exhibits in 2019 would just be a home run for us all around,” Haley Hedstrom, Lake Superior Zoo Director of Marketing and Membership, said.
In 2016, the Duluth City Council approved a plan that would eliminate parts of the zoo.
“There was a plan back in 2016 the council approved, which brought the zoo footprint to the east side of Kingsbury Creek, and so all of those exhibits that were on the west side of Kingsbury Creek were to be eliminated,” Duluth City Council President Noah Hobbs said.
They are now being called to approve the plan that would add to it.
“There will likely be a public listening session in some capacity that the public can attend to voice their opinions, thoughts, and concerns on this project,” Hobbs said.
Though nothing is set in stone yet, the zoo is prepared to start construction as early as this winter.
“We have the $1.9 million from the bonding bill that we got from the state,” Hedstrom said. “We also have the match from the city of Duluth from the St. Louis River Corridor funds, and we have some privately raised funds from the zoo through our zoo campaign, so we do have about $4 million in funds — public and private — ready to go.”
And in working with the Duluth City Council, the zoo is hopeful to find a resolution that works for all.