What is the Master Plan?
Master plans serve as general roadmaps for the physical development of institutions. In the case of zoos, they typically include ideas for future expansion or renovation with a focus on animal exhibits, public amenities and support facilities. They are living documents, which provide direction yet offer flexibility. It is typical for a major institution to review and update their facility master plan every decade or so; in the Minnesota Zoo’s case it has been 11 years since we last went through this important cycle of planning, which resulted in a significant suite of projects: the Medtronic Minnesota Trail, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, Central Plaza, Woodland Adventure, the Heart of the Zoo (new South Entry, Cargill Education Center, Target Learning Center, 3M Penguins of the African Coast), and most recently the Black Bear exhibit.
The new plan charts the course towards the realization of our mission—to connect people, animals, and the natural world. Looking forward to the next 10 to 15 years of development at the Minnesota Zoo, our new Facilities Master Plan links proposed projects to specific strategic goals, and suggests an initial sequence of projects for which we will begin to raise funds. It includes several elements of our last Plan that were not completed—notably a permanent African animal exhibit zone and a ‘Prairie’s Edge” entry exhibit featuring bison, pronghorn and prairie dogs. Some of the concepts in the new Master Plan will add exciting and fun guest amenities—think carousels, zip lines and adventure play—while others will introduce powerful immersive exhibits with ties to new and expanded conservation programs—for example an Asian Highlands habitat with snow leopards, markhors and red pandas, and South American reptiles, fish and monkeys in the Tropics building. Some of the top priorities in the Plan include major renovations to existing facilities like Discovery Bay and our Snow Monkey exhibit.
View our Master Plan.