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Fairmount Park and Lake Superior Zoo Planning

Zoo Concept

Project Overview: The City of Duluth and the Lake Superior Zoological Society worked collaboratively to create a concept plan for the Lake Superior Zoo and Fairmount Park. The planning team included City staff, Zoo staff, Zoological Society board members, and Parks & Recreation Commissioners. The planning process included input from citizens through four public presentations, as well as online and paper comments. The concept plan was unanimously approved by the Parks & Recreation Commission on March 9, 2016 and by the City Council on March 14, 2016.   

The Lake Superior Zoo/Fairmount Park Concept Plan features:

  • A revitalized, more compact 10-acre zoo for $15.7 million
  • A signature park for the St. Louis River Corridor that will include picnic facilities, native landscaping, restored stream banks, open lawns and a destination playground.
  • New and improved wheelchair accessible paths and trail connections
  • New and improved animal exhibits for similar animal collection
  • Innovative new Forest Discovery Zone area mixing play, education, and up-close animal experiences in a forest environment
  • New zoo amphitheater to host interactive educational programs with live animals
  • Renewed main building mixing play, education, and animal experiences
  • Repurposing the flood-damaged Polar Shores exhibit as a new signature bear exhibit

The City of Duluth and the Zoological Society are working collaboratively to achieve AZA accreditation in the upcoming months and pursue financial support to implement the concept plan.

Important Documents:
Final Concept Plan (approved by Parks Commission on 3/9/16; City Council on 3/14/16)

Erik Birkeland
Property & Facilities Manager
1532 W. Michigan Street
Duluth, MN 55806
(218) 730-4435


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