The Greensboro Science Center has big plans to double the size of its zoo by 2020.
The center opened in 1957 with the help of the Junior League of Greensboro. Today, the complex, with 30 acres and 100,000 square feet of building, includes an aquarium, a small outdoor zoo, the OmniSphere Theater and a museum with a variety of hands-on exhibits.
Now, as part of a $10 million project, the center's leaders have big plans for its zoo. So far, $8.3 million has been raised privately. The museum recently launched a public campaign to raise the remaining dollars necessary for the project. An anonymous donor has offered a 50-cent match on every dollar donated - up to $500,000.
Once the money is raised, the center will expand its zoo and rename it Revolution Ridge - Life on the Edge. According to a press release, it will include:
- Shearer Animal Health Center where the science of animal care, conservation and welfare will be on display in an all new and state-of-the-art animal hospital and veterinary medicine classroom.
- Pygmy Hippo Hollow where pygmy hippos will wallow in mud, wash in streams and prowl the woods as visitors stand just a few feet away.
- Okapi Forest, featuring the elusive “forest giraffes," who will arrive in the Carolina woodlands for the first time in our state’s history.
- Cassowary Cove, featuring cassowaries, which have been called “the most dangerous bird on the planet,” standing five to six-feet tall. They are strikingly colorful forest dwellers of New Guinea and Australia.
- Survival Square featuring Chilean flamingos.
- Greensboro Water Garden, where a rehabilitated 1960’s watershed pond will become an educational sanctuary for native species such as turtles, fish and birds.
- The Green Scene where greenhouses will be used for both education and providing food and plants for the animals and their habitats. Additionally, sculptural willow structures will give visitors the opportunity to play in and reflect on the beauty and importance of the “growing” world around them.
- Precious Predators, an endangered cat complex where small, but stealthy cats will be featured in a
complex that encourages visitors to observe their unique physical adaptations and behavioral features. The residents of the cat complex will include the fishing cat, sand cat, black footed cat and serval.
- Red Panda Ravine, featuring the carnivores that are uniquely adapted to survive in their native regions of the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
- And a Prehistoric Path where visitors can see a Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosuarus rex and Spinosaurus, among others.
The center's website has more information about the fundraising campaign and the building plans.