On September 12, 2011 City Council approved a $126,230 contract with WDM Architects to prepare a master plan for Miller Park Zoo. The Miller Park Zoological Society (MPZS) agreed to fund $116,230 for this master plan, with the remaining $10,000 funded within the Miller Park Zoo’s operating budget. A Master Plan is needed for the Miller Park Zoo to demonstrate a roadmap for what the facility will look like over the next twenty years. The purpose of the master plan will be to provide a tool for future facility development that provides a dynamic vision and realistic plan for improvement. The Zoo seeks to develop a viable plan for facility and program development that encompasses the most current zoo trends and best practices that will enhance the guest’s experience and enhance the Zoo’s conservation and education programming.
A very important aspect in the success of Miller Park Zoo is its accreditation status with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Miller Park Zoo has been AZA-accredited since 1978 and goes through a thorough review process every five (5) years. Being accredited is the only way the Zoo can house many of its featured animals and assures that the management practices meet the highest standards within the industry. Without the accreditation Miller Park Zoo would most likely not be able to have such a diverse and interesting animal collection. For FY 2012 the City Council approved funding for a Zoo Curator position in order to satisfy one of the findings in the AZA Accreditation report. Another concern of the AZA was the lack of a Master Plan. Completing a Master Plan will greatly improve the Zoo’s ability to recertify its accreditation during its upcoming review in 2012.
A strategic or business plan will also be a part of this process as it will demonstrate how the institution will grow in the operation of the facility. This Master Plan will help reignite community support for the Zoo and aid in discover funding for the build-out of the plan. Additionally, the Master Plan will be needed to assist in future grant applications to assist with the funding of an approved plan. WDM Architects has partnered with Schultz & Williams (S & W), a firm that specializes in development, management and marketing. S & W brings excellent experience in integrating business planning with facility master plans at zoos throughout the country. Teamwork will be an important aspect in completing the Zoo’s Master Plan. WDM and S & W have a proven track record, collaborating on multiple Zoo Master Plan projects.
The Miller Park Zoo Master Plan “Draft” was created by WDM Architects and Shultz & Williams with input received from Miller Park Zoo staff, Miller Park Zoological Society members, meetings with City administrators and two (2) public input meetings.
2012 Miller Park Zoo Master Plan Presentation
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